Debbie Lisman's Reviews > Moloka'i

Moloka'i by Alan Brennert
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's review
May 20, 2012

it was amazing
Read from May 22 to 26, 2012

I bought this for my e-reader for something to read over Memorial Day weekend. I loved it! I haven't read a book in a very long time that moved me to tears as this one did. I was amazed and awestruck at the inner strength of the characters in this book. The main character, Rachel, a native Hawaiian, lives blissfully with her family in Honolulu. The story begins in 1889 when Rachel is just 5-6 years old. Soon it is discovered that Rachel has leprosy. She is placed in a hospital setting in Honolulu for about a year to determine if her symptoms can be cleared up. During that time her family is able to visit her, but with a screen between them. They are allowed no physical contact ar all. At the age of 7 she is permannently separated from her family and sent to the leper colony at Molokai'i. Her father is a merchant marine and sails all over the world. Her mother leaves to go and live with relatives to care for Rachel's brothers and sister. Unfortunately due to the stigma of a leper in the family, her mother cuts off all ties with Rachel to protect the other children in the family. Throughout the years, Rachel has some contact with her father. As she lives with other leprosy victims at Molokai'i she grows into adulthood and into her old age. This story is poignant and tender, yet fierce at the same time. I found it to be an historically accurate work of fiction, and became engrossed with the characters of the book. Thier strength in the wake of a terriible disease brings to light the will to survive, the ability to find happiness, and the prospect to live a life of value and dignity.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Allison Barlow I've reserved it at the library. Sounds wonderful.

Debbie Lisman Allison wrote: "I've reserved it at the library. Sounds wonderful."

Allison, hope you enjoy this book also. I stayed up waaaay to late Saturday night reading this. Then had to get up early for ward council Sunday with puffy eyes from crying through parts of it! Oh well, it was worth it!

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