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Between the Deep Blue Sea and Me

3.63  ·  Rating details ·  97 ratings  ·  15 reviews
Moana Kawelo, PhD, has a promising career as a museum curator in Los Angeles. The untimely death of her father—and the gravitational pull of Hawai‘i when she returns home for his funeral—cause Moana to question her motivations and her glamorous life in California. Between the Deep Blue Sea and Me is the story of Moana's struggle to understand her ancestral responsibilities ...more
Kindle Edition, 153 pages
Published November 1st 2008 by Kamehameha Publishing (first published October 1st 2008)
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Average rating 3.63  · 
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 ·  97 ratings  ·  15 reviews

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May 06, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: contemporary
Solid look at life in modern Hawaii and a woman's struggle to reconnect with her roots. I liked the way it tackled family struggles, being sort of a forced diaspora and dealing with that fallout when reconnecting with one's heritage. I could sympathize with both Moana and Lei's viewpoints and thought they read realistically on why they'd be disappointed in/resentful of each other. However, I thought their butting heads went on so long that it started to feel tedious.

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Mar 03, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Marcia Vining

McGregor, L.W., Between the deep blue sea and me: A novel. Honolulu, HI:
Kamehameha Pub., 2008. Print

Genre: Multicultural

Format: Print

Selection Process & Award: Winner of the American Indian Youth Literature Award (2010)

McGregor tells a warm, searching story of finding one's path home in this tale of Moana, a Hawaiian woman trying to find her place. Dealing with the themes of family and culture, this story touches on both while leaving the reader wanting to explore their own cultu
Jan 22, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a story about self discovery and the strength of family. It would be of particular interest to people who are familiar with Oahu and the political climate. The use of the Hawaiian language is an effective way to feel the exclusion. I liked it. And a quick read.
This won an American Indian/Native award for excellence in teen lit. I didn't really think it was too much of a teen book, and didn't bother to get through it. If you have an afinity for Hawaiian lit and culture, though, it could be a good one. ...more
Melissa Fondakowski
I loved this book - a suspenseful read for anyone interested in the journey each one of us makes toward both understanding, and fully becoming, ourselves. It is the kind of journey that isn't so much about a thousand plot points, but rather about the choices we make when presented with splits in the path of our life. It is a story about the ways that knowledge--both known and lost--about those who came before us and they choices they made is essential to guiding us in making those choices. And i ...more
Aug 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Moana thinks she is ready to marry Charlie and embrace her dream job in Santa Monica. But when her father’s unexpected death brings her back to O’aho, Moana finds herself torn between the life she has made for herself and the one she seems destined to live. This riveting tale offers a taste of the naturally and spiritually-connected traditions of the Hawaiian culture. Although no glossary is provided, the meaning of most of the Hawaiian words woven into the story can be gleaned from the narrativ ...more
becky binge reads
This was a nice story about family and life's meanings, and I loved that elements of real issues Hawaiians currently face are themes throughout. However, it did feel slightly disorganized and limited in what the audience could understand. ...more
Great for Hawaii cultural references and fun/quick to read, but predictable, too short (could have been better fleshed out) and didn't really address the consequences of the main characters' choices. ...more
Sisilia Meli
Apr 14, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ah, I’ve really gotta start reading more local literature. They give such beautiful insight on modern life in Hawaii and I truly appreciate that!
Feb 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed it. It was a nice look at a different culture.
Becky R.
Jun 15, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Moana's struggle with her life in California, separated from her Hawaiian heritage, land, and culture, bring her to a critical juncture in her life where she must decide what she most wants. In this short novel, we get the sense that cultural identity is critical to one's happiness. As with most native stories in literature, Moana has found that her denial of her land and people has brought about a disruption in her world; her ancestors are unhappy, can't be at rest, and Moana herself is unable ...more
Feb 18, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was actually super excited to read this but it came off incredibly cheesy and many of the nuances of the Hawaiian native culture were poorly explained. It started out really great explaining the intracacies of archival and artifacts and the relationships cultural groups have with them being in museums (I actually enjoyed that part) but the narrators relationships were often confused or barely dimensional.
Martha Grace
Mar 08, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great book to read while I am here is Kauai...
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