Denise's Reviews > Wai-nani: A Voice from Old Hawaii

Wai-nani by Linda Ballou
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's review
Oct 14, 2008

it was amazing
Recommended to Denise by: the author
Recommended for: Everyone

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 Hawai'i. (based upon King Kamehameha) Her gift is in the water, swimming with the porpoises, befriending them as she catches a fin and flies through the waves with them.

Using her instincts and wisdom, Wai-nani remains her husband's most trusted advisor and one of his favorite wives throughout his life, while he wrestles with change and the impact of the arrival of the white Christian men who bring both the positive ideas and the decadence of the new world.

An important aspect of any book for me is the quality of writing, and Linda is a faulous writer: "The red apple of the ohi'a tree tasted sweet in my mouth as I watched the drifting plumes of Pele, Goddess of the Volcano, cast shadows upon the shimmering sea. Frothy surf reached my ankles then receded, leaving tiny bubbles of foam upon a blank tablet of sand. The crescent sail of an outrigger flared upon the horizon." This is the opening paragraph of the book and it only gets better from here.

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