Carolyn Gerk's Reviews > Middle Son: A Novel

Middle Son by Deborah Iida
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's review
Jan 17, 13

really liked it
Read from January 24 to 26, 2012

This is a wonderful, short little novel. I found it as I was scouring Amazon for novels about Maui (that didn't feature the phrase 'here today, gone to-maui' or 'love in' or 'romance in' or any further cheap beach smut). I tracked this one down and ordered it to my library.
A quick read, due in part to it's short length and the fact that it is heavy with dialogue, Middle Son is an unexpected gem. The novel allows the audience to gain insight into post war Hawaii and the cultures within. A story of tradition, honor, family, and loss; the loss of a son, a brother and the loss of innocence. Set against the beautifully depicted backdrop of Maui, Iida paints a lovely portrait of the island. She holds her ground in maintaining integrity as she dutifully portrays the cane fields, the camps, and uses pidgen-English for nearly all of the spoken dialogue. She creates a world that I found easy to sink into, and I found I was swept up quickly, not wanting to put the book down. A very skilled writer, Iida's novel has been described as 'stark' and 'restrained'. This is not inaccurate, and it fits with the melancholy tone that resides throughout the story. She uses a delicate touch with this novel, and it suits wonderfully.

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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Kati (new)

Kati "Cheap beach smut" ... EXCELLENT phrase :)

Carolyn Gerk Ha! I struggled over how exactly to phrase that. Trashy Chick lit didn't seem to work :)

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