Julie Markham's Reviews > Moloka'i

Moloka'i by Alan Brennert
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's review
Jul 15, 2010

it was amazing
bookshelves: recs-from-friends, all-time-faves, hawaii-five-0, historical-fiction
Recommended to Julie by: Bex

Reading Moloka'i was a very emotional journey. I connected deeply with the main character Rachel, who contracts the disease leprosy at the young age of 7 and is sent to an isolated leper settlement on the Hawaiian island of Moloka'i. Through her story I learned so much about the disease and this time and place in our history when lepers and their families were separated, shamed and outcast. Abandoned and alone and facing great odds, Rachel courageously perseveres and with a strength of spirit finds her very own slice of life. She is my hero. And a side note- I thoroughly enjoyed all the history of Hawaii that was woven into this story, especially the native people's religion and legends.
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Quotes Julie Liked

Alan Brennert
“No. Grief and anger doesn’t shock me.” Catherine paused. “Rachel, do you remember that day at the convent when we saw the old biplane? Remember what I said?” Rachel laughed without amusement. “I don’t even remember what I said.” “’Who can doubt the presence of God in the sight of men whom He has given wings.’ I recall that so precisely because I’ve had time to consider my error.” She smiled. “God didn’t give man wings; He gave him the brain and the spirit to give himself wings. Just as He gave us the capacity to laugh when we hurt, or to struggle on when we feel like giving up. I’ve come to believe that how we choose to live with pain, or injustice, or death…is the true measure of the Divine within us. Some, like Crossen, choose to do harm to themselves and others. Others, like Kenji, bear up under their pain and help others to bear it. I used to wonder, why did God give children leprosy? Now I believe: God doesn’t give anyone leprosy. He gives us, if we choose to use it, the spirit to live with leprosy, and with the imminence of death. Because it is in our own mortality that we are most Divine.”
Alan Brennert, Moloka'i

Alan Brennert
“And sometimes she would dream again of being Namakaokahai'i, her waves rolling across burled coral beds, scattering moonlight, cresting higher and higher the farther she traveled over the reef. She was a colossus of water and motion soaring toward the black crescent of 'Awahuua Bay, her soul perched on the curling lip of the wave, riding it in the only way she could now; she felt the mana, the power in her waves, felt the rumble in her ocean depths.....”
Alan Brennert, Moloka'i

Reading Progress

July 15, 2010 – Shelved
July 15, 2010 – Shelved as: recs-from-friends
July 28, 2010 – Started Reading
July 29, 2010 –
page 32
August 5, 2010 –
page 59
August 7, 2010 –
page 79
August 8, 2010 –
page 106
August 9, 2010 –
page 139
August 10, 2010 –
page 187
August 11, 2010 –
page 214
August 11, 2010 –
page 255
August 12, 2010 –
page 273
August 13, 2010 –
page 325
August 13, 2010 – Shelved as: all-time-faves
August 13, 2010 – Finished Reading
November 18, 2010 – Shelved as: hawaii-five-0
November 18, 2010 – Shelved as: historical-fiction

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

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Becca So happy you liked it :)

Julie Markham It was GREAT, had to have myself a good cry at the end (and a few throughout). Thanks again for the rec!

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