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Moloka’i Audiobook

Moloka’i

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Publisher's Summary

The powerful debut novel from Alan Brennert, Moloka’i tells the story of Rachel Kalama, a seven-year-old Hawaiian girl who contracts leprosy and is quarantined on the island of Moloka’i during the 1890s. Separated from her family and forced to grow up in the leper colony of Kalaupapa, Rachel experiences intense isolation. But she remains strong, finding moments of joy, and even love. Rich in Hawaiian history, this novel proves itself a stellar piece of historical fiction.

©2003 Alan Brennert (P)2009 Recorded Books, LLC

What the Critics Say

“Compellingly original … Brennert’s compassion makes Rachel a memorable character, and his smooth storytelling vividly brings early twentieth-century Hawaii to life.” (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (1187 )
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4.3 (959 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Misty TULSA, OK, United States 10-29-12
    Misty TULSA, OK, United States 10-29-12 Member Since 2015
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    57
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    "Wonderful but.."
    Would you listen to Moloka’i again? Why?

    Yes. Simply put, it was an interesting account of what seemed to be a very real person reacting to a very harsh reality.


    What does Anne Noelani Miyamoto bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Miyamoto's accent added a sense of reality ot the book that I'd have missed by just reading it. I felt more drawn into what was happening by this accent and by her clever reading of an already interesting tale.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    There were several parts that made me sniffle, definitely, though I can't spoil the book for others by explaining them. Most of this book sparks a strong emotional response.


    Any additional comments?

    Throughout Moloka'i, you get a sense of how strong these characters are. Though the story its self is fictionalized, these characters come to life within it. You feel for their pain, and experience their joys for the rare treasures they are. The setting was once real and the horrors faced by these people are pretty accurately sympathized by this narration.

    I'm not very good at expressing just how awesome this book is, but if you're willing to give it a shot, you won't be disappointed. The only part I disliked about this book was how fast you were taken through the life of the main character. One moment, she's a little girl, the next a teenager, and the next a grown woman. You're taken through an entire lifespan in a few short chapters, it seems, and I would have loved to explore a more complete telling of her life. Making this book longer would not have been a bad thing, by any stretch. Unlike some others, I didn't find the pacing slow at all. If anything, it was too rapid.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kat MD 10-25-12
    Kat MD 10-25-12 Member Since 2012
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    "Plan a Trip to Moloka'i"

    Moloka'i is a beautiful and haunting novel. At times the pace was slow, but I really enjoyed hearing Rachel's entire life story.

    Anne Noelani Miyamoto was the perfect narrator for this book - I was transported back to the Hawaiian islands. Her voice made me want to never leave the leper island.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer United States 10-13-12
    Amazon Customer United States 10-13-12 Member Since 2012
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    "A surprise"
    If you could sum up Moloka’i in three words, what would they be?

    Great leaning experience


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Moloka’i?

    When Rachel's husband were free to leave and he chose not to because she could not leave.


    What about Anne Noelani Miyamoto’s performance did you like?

    A little bit of a slow narration but that was easy to fix by increasing the narration speed to 1.5.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    There were so many it's hard to pick just one.


    Any additional comments?

    No.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Roberta HALF MOON BAY, CA, United States 10-10-12
    Roberta HALF MOON BAY, CA, United States 10-10-12 Member Since 2015

    Sensitive critic

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    "Still thinking about it....cried at the end"

    I really recommend this excellent book. Not only did I learn many details about the leprosarium on Kalaupapa, I felt at the end of the book as if I had actually been there. The author was so skilled that I also felt I knew the main character personally.

    The book starts in the late 1800's with the main character, Rachel Kalama, at 5 years old. While I was reading, I was horrified to find out that little children who were diagnosed with leprosy at the time were forcefully parted from their families - from everything they had known - and sent to Kalaupapa. The book follows Rachel's journey to the island thru her girlhood, teen years, adult, and old age.

    While listening I found it hard to believe over and over again that this book was written by a man. He captured every kind of nuance and thought that was female.

    Because of this book I would someday like to visit the island and the area that housed the people with leprosy. It is now a the national park. Very much recommended, you won't regret purchasing it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    jggedd Worcester, MA 10-09-12
    jggedd Worcester, MA 10-09-12 Listener Since 2010
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    "Good story, but..."
    What did you like best about Moloka’i? What did you like least?

    The story was interesting; a young Hawaiian girl contracts leprosy and is removed from her home to live amongst other lepers. The writing, however, was at times, very awkward and unsophisticated. It was an okay book, but it certainly wasn't one that I couldn't wait to get back to.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    At times the narrator's voice bothered me; her accent was sort of a stereotypical tough Asian girl that I found rather condescending.


    Do you think Moloka’i needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    No. This one was enough.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Denise New Tripoli, PA, United States 10-08-12
    Denise New Tripoli, PA, United States 10-08-12 Member Since 2003
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    "Amazing story, well told!"
    Where does Moloka’i rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    top 10


    What about Anne Noelani Miyamoto’s performance did you like?

    Listening to Anne read I could feel and hear the islands in her voice and inflection. Having someone that speaks the Hawaiian language made all the difference.


    Any additional comments?

    I think Moloka'i is a wonderful story of survival. Although I felt it was depressing in the beginning, the pulling apart of families, and the bigotry, I can in some ways understand the fear of the community when you don't understand the disease. I came away inspired by the thousands of people that choose to make the best they could out of a horrible situation.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan L. Rhudy SW Missouri 10-08-12
    Susan L. Rhudy SW Missouri 10-08-12

    SR

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    "Moloka'i reminded me of the local TB hospital."
    Would you consider the audio edition of Moloka’i to be better than the print version?

    I enjoyed the audible version of the book. I hear more than I would read. Skimming is appropriate for a quick novel but listening allows you to feel for the characters.


    Any additional comments?

    I worked at a local hospital that in an earlier life was a TB hospital. It had it's own dairy, raised food, had schools, proms, operated on patients to remove the infected lung once the TB was surrounded. Patients became employees. Fresh air was a cure so in the dead of winter windows were opened wide. Patients had many blankets and a cap. Snow ended up on them during storms. Leprosy apparently wasn't communicable as was TB. We treat people different because......we're afraid.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Judy 10-07-12
    Judy 10-07-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Stunning story of a horrific situation."
    What made the experience of listening to Moloka’i the most enjoyable?

    The reader's performance was spot on!!! I really enjoyed her portrayal of the main charactor who is a child who was diagnosed with leprosy as a very young child and spent a year or more in a hospital and then about 20 or 30 years at the leper colony on Molokai.


    What other book might you compare Moloka’i to and why?

    Can't think of another book to compare this to.


    What about Anne Noelani Miyamoto’s performance did you like?

    She portrayed the main charactor so well, it was like listening to her telling her own story


    Who was the most memorable character of Moloka’i and why?

    Other than the main character it was the nun who nurtured her all the years she lived on Molokai.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Katherine Los Altos, CA, United States 10-06-12
    Katherine Los Altos, CA, United States 10-06-12 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Missed the potential to be great"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    It was too much exposition and not enough literary drama. Many of the scenes and circumstances had tremendous potential to be compelling and unforgettable, but came off as basic description. The characters and the scenes all needed flushing out. It was not a Michener masterpiece, though it had the potential.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    Predictable.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    Narration didn't confer the deep emotions the story deserved.


    Did Moloka’i inspire you to do anything?

    Reinforced my feelings against discrimination.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    wayne hawaii, HI, United States 10-06-12
    wayne hawaii, HI, United States 10-06-12 Member Since 2016
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    "Historical fiction which informs and engages"
    Where does Moloka’i rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I loved learning about the history of this very specific time, place and situation-Hawaii and Hansons Disease through 70 years of history, as told so fully and compationately through the eyes of the central and peripheral characters. The story trancended what it so successfully depicted by engaging me through fiction into contemplation of the human condition of suffering and loss, love and community that we all experience. I was also grateful for the interwoven Hawaiian history, mythology and spirit. Though I have lived in Hawaii for many years I felt closer to my chosen home through the experience of this book.


    What other book might you compare Moloka’i to and why?

    In a way this book engaged me as have some by Michener and Steinbeck, and shared the Hawaiian experience as did "The Folding Cliffs".


    Who was the most memorable character of Moloka’i and why?

    Rachel of course was the central character. Her strength, dignity and open heart were humbling, making me wish I could meet her and cheer her on.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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