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Wai-nani: A Voice from Old Hawai'i
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Wai-nani: A Voice from Old Hawai'i

4.07  ·  Rating Details ·  43 Ratings  ·  22 Reviews
From the cauldron of controversy that is Hawaiian history emerges Wai-nani, a reflection of the personage of the great chiefess Ka'ahumanu. Like all Islanders, she is a water baby finding pleasure, sustenance, solace, wisdom and courage in the grand and vibrant sea. She is born fifteen years prior to the landing of Captain Cook in Kealakekua in 1779 and is the favorite wif ...more
Kindle Edition, 280 pages
Published (first published May 1st 2008)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Tara Chevrestt
I have read quite a few historical fiction novels that take place in Hawaii, but none quite like this. It's not about leprosy or American colonization or even sugar cane plantations, but the natives of Hawaii and their lives, customs, superstitions, and rules before the white man's arrival. It follows a young woman, Wai-nani, the daughter and wife of chiefs. She is a woman of the sea and swims with dolphins and even "converses" with them. Let me be clear about that. She doesn't converse with the ...more
Cara Bertoia
Oct 28, 2011 Cara Bertoia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love books that tell a great story but I want to learn something at the same time. I knew that since Linda Ballou was a travel writer that I would learn about Hawaii but what I didn't realize is that she is a beautiful writer. This story takes place at the time in history where the Hawaiians are introduced to the Europeans as seen from the Hawaiian viewpoint. It is a story about a strong woman living in a warlike country. Just get that picture of peaceful Hawaiians out of your head. She weaves ...more
Nov 12, 2008 Linda rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
Wai-Nani is like no other book I have ever read. Linda Ballou is a master of language, pulling the reader in and evoking emotions hidden deep within. Her imagery will tickle your senses, allowing you to feel the story more than merely reading.

Passionate and primal, Wai-Nani transports you to the early days of Hawaii, where warriors ruled and women were expected to know their place.

Wai-Nani refuses to be bound by the shackles of society and follows her heart--finding a destiny beyond her wildest
Irene Vincent
Jun 25, 2014 Irene Vincent rated it it was amazing
Wai-nani is written with so many beautiful poetic descriptions of people and scenes. Linda wrote it so magically that I felt like I was actually swimming with Eku, the dolphin and Wai-nani. I liked learning about the historical account of the ancient Hawaiian people and their culture while reading it as a love story. The characters all became so alive for me that I held concern for each one of them and how their lives would be revealed. I savored the story like a wine connoisseur savors wine. I ...more
Yolanda Renee
Mar 05, 2011 Yolanda Renee rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
WAI-NANI -- HIGH CHIEFESS OF HAWAI’I HER EPIC JOURNEY by Linda Ballou is a beautifully written epic about a strong independent woman. It is a history lesson written with care and heart about a remarkable people during an amazing time. The Queen Ka’ahumanu, the favorite wife of Kamehameha the Great, inspired Wai-nani’s character.

Linda has caught the beauty, mystery, and heart of the Hawaiian culture. I found this book both educational, and inspirational; a seductive journey through time and to a
Lorraine Brodek
Aug 28, 2014 Lorraine Brodek rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
WAI-NANI Brings Peace to Paradise!
By Lorraine Holnback Brodek (Hana, Maui, HI, USA)

The rhythm of Linda Ballou's writing is sheer poetic dialogue. Her descriptions are as mystic as the ancient Hawaiian culture she so graphically describes in this wonderful story that she tells using the voice of Wai-nani (aka Ka'ahumanu, King Kamehameha's favorite wife). Chiefess Ka'ahumanu's birthplace was in a cave at Puu Kauiki in Hana--a hill that exists today in this charming town that truly evokes the beaut
Toby Neal
Oct 25, 2013 Toby Neal rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A hypnotic spell that takes us to ancient Hawaii.

Press in to really "get" this book. Wai-nani's story is told in a hypnotic, fairy-tale or high legend voice that took me a chapter or two to get into--but once I did, I was fascinated with the way Linda Ballou had taken us into the intimate and unknown world of the Hawaiian people through the eyes of an unforgettable heroine. Wai-nani is fierce, passionate, and deeply connected to the land and ocean--and to her complex and multi-faceted warrior hu
Feb 11, 2017 Anne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is a fictionalized account of Hawaiian royalty and, in particular, the life of one of Kameamea's most beloved wives which was fascinating and alive. A thoroughly researched book, there is no doubt that the author has a deep love for Hawaii, it's people and culture. The resulting story becomes an educational journey into their way of life. I believe that Ballou has done a great service to the Hawaiian people. It was a joy to read!
Apr 04, 2014 Tori rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mahalo nui loa, Linda, for writing this glorious story. As a Hawaiian, born and raised, I loved the journey back into the days of old and the poetic way that you mixed fact, fiction, and legend. Wai-nani is a truly beautiful story, written with lush language that emotes the aloha of my people, while bringing our ancient culture and mysticism to life. Thank you so much for the careful research and the passion that you so clearly feel for Hawaii.
Aug 09, 2013 Christine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Now in audio:

See YouTube trailer:

Wonderfully written; very magical in its prose. I highly recommend it!
Melissa Farnsworth
Linda Ballou has done an amazing amount of research on her topic. She writes a well informed story. An enjoyable read with very well developed main characters. Lots of information on Hawaii before the English came. Wai-Nani is inspired by a real woman who braved the ancient traditions to achieve change.
MaryJane Rings
Jun 29, 2017 MaryJane Rings rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well researched and interesting to read. Having visited Hawaii and learned of the history and culture of the native Hawaiians, I found this book to be an interesting account about the ancient peoples, their diverse culture and their connection with the sea.
Good summer read.
Wai-nani: A Voice from Old Hawai'i Set in the late 1700s, Wai-nani is the daughter of a great Hawaiian chieftain. However, she finds that she can’t live by his rules and swims away to another island. On her journey, she meets people from other Hawaiian tribes, lives through wind and wave, and eventually meets some of the first Caucasians to visit the islands. Along the way, she is accompanied by her friend the dolphin Eku.
I really wanted to like this book. I set into it wanting to sink in and so
Lloyd Lofthouse
Oct 09, 2009 Lloyd Lofthouse rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wai-nani, High Chiefess of Hawai’i, Her Epic Journey
by Linda Ballou
ISBN: 978-1-932993-88-2
Star Publish LLC
I met Linda Ballou at the 2009 Los Angeles Times Book Festival. Later, in an e-mail, she told me it took her twenty years to do the research for this historical fiction and to get it out of the drawer and into the streets. The time Ballou spent on this work shows in the rich details that flow like lava from two of the earth’s largest volcanoes found on the island of Hawaii.
Wai-nani is
Oct 14, 2008 Denise rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Denise by: the author
I love Hawai'i, so when I found Wai-nani: High Chiefess of Hawai'i - Her Epic Journey by Linda Ballou, I couldn't wait to read it. I was not disappointed. I raced through it, enjoying every vivid moment and cannot say enough about it.

Linda has captured the beauty of Hawai'i and the ancient lore and legend that makes Hawai'ian history so enchanting. Her main character, Wai-nani, is fourteen when the story begins, and we follow her as she becomes the first wife of the soon-to-be high chief of Haw
I have no idea how the book really was. I need to read it in print. The narration for this book is horrendous. I understand the narrator is actually rather good, but the direction for this book sucks. The narrator has a habit of reading too slow. She draws out the last syllable of the last word in every phrase and her voice goes down on the last word of every sentence. Someone else said they contacted the narrator and was told that she was doing it the way the director wanted it for dramatic eff ...more
Nov 14, 2008 ZooDoc rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: juvenile through all adult levels
Recommended to ZooDoc by: Saw it on a website
"Wai-nani: High Chiefess of Hawai'i - Her Epic Journey." Linda Ballou has hit a home run with this wonderful novel! I highly recommend it to everyone. Ms. Ballou has delivered a well-researched historically-based tale that sends the reader back to the 1700's, to the days of early English explorers, and the era of Hawaiian war lords. In the middle of it all is a touching, though frustrating and often frightful love story surrounding the young girl Wai-nani. You the reader will swim with Wai-nani ...more
Jan 21, 2016 Jeff rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
If this isn't the worst commercial narration I've ever heard, it certainly comes close to it. Christine Padovan reads this book like it was a radio commercial.
Her phrasing and shaping of the text is indescribably inappropriate. I will give her credit for not stumbling over the many Hawaiian names and terms, but
her overall delivery is almost unlistenable.

With the right narrator, this could be a pretty good story. As mentioned above, there's an abundance of Hawaiian terms, most are undefined, req
Marla Martenson
Jan 08, 2013 Marla Martenson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a beautifully written book. It was a gift, so a nice surprise. I love getting to read something that I never would have picked up on my own. Linda Ballou brings to life this magical tale of Wai-nani who finds pleasure and courage in the sea. We experience the Hawaiian society through her as it existed in 1779. I previously had no knowledge of Hawaiian culture or history.

I loved the story of Wai-nani's bond and friendship with Eku the dolphin. I have always wanted to swim with the dolphi
Apr 28, 2015 Greta rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was the captivating story of Wai-nani, the favorite wife of Makaha in Hawaii in the 1700s. Although the audiobook narrator sounded close to an electronic voice, the story was still wonderful. Wai-nani was a fascinating woman- strong, spirited, sensual. I enjoyed reading about her love of the water and her relationship with a pod of dolphins. I feel Ballou painted a vivid picture of old Hawaii with wonderful landscape descriptions, great attention to the old customs of the Hawaiian peop ...more
Anna Maria
Jan 03, 2009 Anna Maria rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a wonderful book. Wainani to me is another word for empowerment. A woman's journey into the secret rituals of womanhood and historical Hawaiian traditions. Wainani, a true historical figure, is the ultimate self-actualized woman. We get to peek at her private fantasies, her sexual encounters and her love for sea creatures like Eku, her dolphin friend. This book is filled with magical experiences, warriors, ancient Hawaiian traditions and its beauty. Once you read this book you will never fo ...more
Betty rated it liked it
Dec 01, 2012
Hoping to get back to this, as the author was super generous in giving me an audio and print copy of her book. I was not required to write a review, and all opinions are my own. The audio was too difficult to listen to, and sadly, has made me apprehensive for the print reading. I really do hope to finish it.
Jackie rated it it was ok
Jan 04, 2010
Deborah Necessary
Deborah Necessary rated it liked it
Oct 15, 2016
Kristen Brooks
Kristen Brooks rated it it was ok
Feb 24, 2010
MaryJane Rings
MaryJane Rings rated it really liked it
Jul 14, 2017
Vanessa rated it really liked it
Jun 15, 2010
Noelani Uebel
Noelani Uebel rated it liked it
Jul 18, 2017
Tom Ball
Tom Ball rated it really liked it
Jun 09, 2017
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Making Connections: 3317. - WAI-NANI, A Voice from Old Hawai’i by Linda Ballou 2 13 Jul 19, 2014 10:37AM  
A love triangle of extremes has proven to be a solid base for my writing. From my roots in Alaska I receive strength, solitude, centeredness and respect for the awful power of nature. In Hawaii I found nurturing, a spiritual awakening, sensuality, peace and my heroine for my historical fiction, Wai-nani-A Voice from Old Hawaii. In proud California I obtained a degree in English Literature from Nor ...more
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