Emily Zacharczyk's Reviews > Moloka'i

Moloka'i by Alan Brennert
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's review
Aug 10, 2011

This is an amazing story of young girl diagnosed with leprosy and her coming of age with the stigma and the horrible symptoms associated with the disease. Not only was the story of Rachel gripping, but the history included in this novel shed light on topics I hadn't encountered before.

The author put a lot of research into this novel and his characters were all inspired by real people who had experienced life in the leper colony. So even though Rachel's story was fiction, her experiences and emotions were real.

The story begins before Hawaii was incorporated as a state. A little of the political issues of the time are woven into the book. The book also sheds light on how misunderstood leprosy was at the time and how this lead to horrific treatment of people diagnosed with leprosy. The book gives a raw look into what life was like in a leper colony and how isolated its residents were.

This book blends the emotional, fictionalized story of Rachel with the real-life events of Hawaii and the leper colony. I couldn't put this book down and left it feeling like I had read a great story, but also like I had learned about a dark time in America's and Hawaii's histories.

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