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
“Compellingly original … Brennert’s compassion makes Rachel a memorable character, and his smooth storytelling vividly brings early twentieth-century Hawaii to life.” (Publishers Weekly)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Can't think of another book to compare this to.
She portrayed the main charactor so well, it was like listening to her telling her own story
Other than the main character it was the nun who nurtured her all the years she lived on Molokai.
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.
Narration didn't confer the deep emotions the story deserved.
Reinforced my feelings against discrimination.
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.
In a way this book engaged me as have some by Michener and Steinbeck, and shared the Hawaiian experience as did "The Folding Cliffs".
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.
yes. i am sure that i missed a lot in the read. it was an enjoyable listen
"cutting for stone". because it is the story of a treacherous life that could have been depressing but isnt
rachel was humorous and positive and talented and ambitious and loveable and ...etc
i am surprised that i had never heard of this story before. it was very well written and obviously researched. not only did i enjoy the story extremely, but feel well enlightened on our nations history
It seems I've been on a dry stretch of trying to find a book that would really capture my interest lately. Moloka'i has it!! I learned a lot, the characters were realistic and memorable and the historical research was remarkably well done and yet easily transposed into a great plot about the history leprosy colony off main land Hawaii.
A narrator who obviously has the knowledge of Hawaii and its language and traditions only adds to the enjoyment of this listen.
Alan Brennert is an wonderful writer. In Moloka'i, he will bring you to tears as he weaves this heart breaking story. Most of the characters are well developed. His description of the Island of Moloka'i doing this period is excellent. This is a book that will remain with you forever.
Her pronunciation of the Hawaian words and names was invaluable
This is an extremely sad book that will bring the strongest to tears
Author, Raising Baby Green
I cried every time I listened, and yet I couldn't stop listening. I cared so deeply about these characters.
It's a great story and you really fell the pain and life that the people had to live.
That it was read to you by a local. It made you feel the pain and the joy. I spent 8 years in Hawaii and you could picture what and where they were. It was told very well.
There are too many to pick just one. When the girls went to the party, then surfing
Rachael ! You watched her go from a young girl happy to being cast off to becoming a women and then meeting her daughter and the end
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