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message 1: by Diane, Armchair Tour Guide (new) - rated it 5 stars

Diane | 10022 comments Start group discussion of Moloka'i by Alan Brennert here.

message 2: by Dee (new)

Dee (austhokie) | 430 comments I just saw, and I don't know if this is related to the book at all since I haven't read it yet, but one of the women who lived with the lepers on Moloka'i for 30 years has gone through the process for Sainthood and the Pope officially declared her eligible today

mstan | 130 comments Has anyone else started reading this? I am about 65% done, and feel like there's something missing. It's not badly written and in fact quite educational, but just not greatly engaging to me as a story.

message 4: by Connie (last edited Jan 05, 2012 07:21PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Connie (Connie_G) | 542 comments I'm about 50% done, and am enjoying it. With historical fiction, sometimes it all comes together at the end so I'm keeping an open mind. Maybe the historical information slows the pace of a book, but I'm finding it interesting.

message 5: by Connie (last edited Jan 10, 2012 08:04AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Connie (Connie_G) | 542 comments I liked the book, and felt that I learned a lot about leprosy, or Hansen's disease as it's called now.

It seemed like very little compassion was shown to the people with the disease, especially when the leprosy settlement was first founded. While it may have been a normal medical and social reaction to want to quarantine a person with a horrible disease, it seems like the first settlers were just dumped on the island before the nuns and brothers arrived. The children especially needed more emotional help after being ripped from their families, although the nuns did their best to help. Rachel was one of the luckier ones since she had family on the island, and her father always made her feel loved through his letters, gifts, and occasional visits.

Rachel was a wonderful character. She was a strong, gutsy woman who tried to make her life as normal as possible in spite of the disease. Interpersonal relationships were important to her, and she was a warm, loving person. Although leprosy is a horrible disease, the book was not dark because of the important relationships between Rachel and other people.

I also liked how the author showed both the nuns and the lepers struggling with a belief in a loving God when they were surrounded with people dealing with a disease that was eating away at them, bringing them closer to death every day. He was also realistic, showing that depression and suicide were problems at Kalaupapa.

Jane(Janelba) (Janelba) | 232 comments I absolutely loved this book. Great historical content, compassion, all the different characters relationships with and towards one another, relations with the nuns and lepers and God. I also, like Connie, appreciated his realistic approach showing the there were problems with depression and suicide too. Sadden me to think that people were still living in Leper Camp/Colony in 1970 though.

Thank goodness the world has become a more compassionate place on the whole these days !

message 7: by Jenclone (new)

Jenclone | 78 comments Just finished Part 1 - sad, of course, but very engrossing. I like the way the history is woven together with a personal story. Reminds me a bit of Michener.

Tammy AZ (TammyAZ) | 74 comments I finished the book this weekend. I enjoyed it and learned a lot but would not put this into the category as one of my all time favorites. I felt the book may have been too short since it covered Rachel's entire lifetime and many times wished the author would have dove more into the depth of the character's feelings.

LindaD (freedom333) | 223 comments We have come so far! I loved this book

message 10: by [deleted user] (new)

Am new to this group but just thought would add that I read this book last October while on vacation in Oahau.. I never went to Molakai but it did give me a flavour of 'the islands'.
My previous trip to Oahua I had read Honolulu by same author & hadn't thought much of that book, but Molakai was for me at least a much better read.
Don't really think Brennert is a great author but I did find the book engaging & at the end thought I had learnt something....

message 11: by Diane, Armchair Tour Guide (new) - rated it 5 stars

Diane | 10022 comments oppem wrote: "Am new to this group but just thought would add that I read this book last October while on vacation in Oahau.. I never went to Molakai but it did give me a flavour of 'the islands'.
My previous t..."

Welcome to the group, Oppem! You read the book in the perfect location. I am so envious! I was wondering how Honolulu was.

message 12: by Sue (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sue | 42 comments Sorry this is a bit late but I had to wait for it to be ordered from elsewhere in the UK. I did enjoy it - but having read The Islandby Victoria Hislop(similar but set in Europe) which deals with many of the issues in Molakai around the disease it wasn't as interesting second time around. However, I did find the ways of treatment interesting and Rachel's marriage and the differnet cultures. Having just read Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet was interested in daughter's experience. Also understand a little more about Hawaii now!

Alana (alanasbooks) | 97 comments I recently read this for an in-person group and found it absolutely fascinating! I was afraid based on the subject matter that it would be dark and depressing, but Brennert did a great job of bringing to light a serious, potentially dark subject, and bringing light and warmth to it. There are such beautiful stories of family--TRUE family--and love and success in the midst of incredibly overwhelming circumstances. Not to mention struggles with faith and belief, life and death, forgiveness, hurt, anger, human brokenness, sacrifice... Many beautiful themes, set in a beautiful location, with beautiful (and sometimes ugly, on a personal rather than a physical level) people. I definitely would recommend this one to others.

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Books mentioned in this topic

Moloka'i (other topics)
Honolulu (other topics)
The Island (other topics)
Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet (other topics)

Authors mentioned in this topic

Alan Brennert (other topics)