Reader reviews and comments on Moloka'i, plus links to write your own review.

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Moloka'i

by Alan Brennert

Moloka'i by Alan Brennert X
Moloka'i by Alan Brennert
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  • First Published:
    Sep 2003, 384 pages
    Paperback:
    Oct 2004, 384 pages

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There are currently 10 reader reviews for Moloka'i
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JHSiess

starsA beautiful story -- haunting, compelling, and emotionally rich
Molokai is simply a beautiful story in which Alan Brennert features unforgettable characters. Brennert's love of Hawaii and meticulous research are fully on display throughout the rich tale of Rachel who, at the age of 7, is diagnosed with leprosy and torn from her family and happy life in Honolulu. Exiled to a leper colony on Molokai, Rachel is raised by the Catholic nuns who run the girls' home there. Rachel develops deep friendships with the other girls, as well as with, in particular, Sister Catherine. Rachel longs for her family back on Oahu and the prospect of returning to a normal life there, but as the years pass, and the disease remains active, thereby prohibiting her release, she draws upon the strength of those around her and the beautiful island of Molokai, as well as her Hawaiian heritage. Eventually, Rachel finds love and has a beautiful daughter with whom she is only allowed to spend a few hours before the child is cruelly taken from her lest she or her husband infect the child.

Rachel's story spans nearly 7 decades and is told with great compassion. Brennert educates readers on the beliefs and culture of the Hawaiian people, the sadly true history of Kalaupapa, the leper colony that is today a national park on Molokai, and the suffering of real Hawaiians who, like the fictional Rachel, were ripped from their homes and families when they displayed symptoms of the disease. But Brennert's focus is on his characters' strengths and resilience, not their suffering.

The result is a deeply moving story that will resonate with and haunt readers long after they finish reading the book. For readers who have never been to Hawaii or experienced its beauty, spirituality, and traditions, Molokai will permit them to understand the true meaning of "aloha" and precisely why Hawaii is commonly referred to simply as "paradise." Molokai gets my highest recommendation.
Gladys

What does ohana mean?
I belong to a book club at a library & the librarian chose this book. I was so taken by the story & it made a lot of things happen to my mind as I read it.
This book had so much love, sadness, freedom &
to believe in yourself & others & what a family is to you.

I am Catholic & knew about Father Damien being in Moloka'i but the book brought Moloka'i more alive to me.

I did visit Oahu & Kaua'i as we lived on Guam for 3 yrs.

Aloha,
Cher Kenyon

Moloka'i
I have read both his books, Hawaii included and I couldn't put either book down. You can really feel for the people he is talking about, cried as read the stories, could relate to the places he talks about since I have lived on Oahu for 30 yrs. I never wanted the books to end! I can't wait to read more stories by this author as he writes with such style that just captivates you from beginning to end! I cherish both these books as my favorites and will read them again and tell everyone I know that these books are great reads! Thanks....
Lehua

Awsome book
All I have to say is I can only hope that Mr. Brennert puts out another amazing book. I've read both Moloka'i & Honolulu. Being born & raised in Hawai'i made both books that much more enjoyable. Also to comment on Teri's posting, you're obviously not from Hawai'i, because if you were than you would know that Hawai'i surely does in fact have mosquitoes.
Julie Masters

Couldn't put it down
I made my first trip to HI this past year and when I saw the title of this book I had to pick it up and read the jacket. I couldn't get home and started on it quickly enough. I was stuck in an airport for five hours yesterday and didn't mind at all because I this book to read. I did have to stop after Rachel made her trip to CA though because I knew I was going to cry. I finished last night and can't wait until someone else reads the book so I can talk about it with them. What a tremendous story to tell! And to bring such an uplifting character to life in order to educate us about such a sad fact of history. Thank you for this wonderful story and and the portrayal of how goodness prevails! I hope you are inspired to write more!
Teri

Very Well Researched
A wonderful and insightful book. Truly an excellent read. Having lived in the islands, and always fascinated by Moloka'i I have found the descriptions of places right on and the story of Rachel heartrending.

Just one comment- while Mr. Brennert did a great job researching the leper colony he did slip up on his research into the flora and fauna of Hawai'i (and I found it disappointing that a man who describes himself as being "at home" in the islands would make such a mistake). While Rachel is in the hospital at Kalihi he describes a night where she and her roommate slip out to go swimming. I am referring to his description of a summer evening "the air as thick with mosquitoes as with humidity," there are no mosquitoes in Hawai'i. Minor detail but sometimes minor mistakes make one question other facts and, for a kamaaina, this is really not just a little slip.
saskia

Scaring
When I read this book it made me think of what it was like to be different that anyone else and what it felt like to be pointed at and stared at. It made me want to cry but at the same time I was so happy and thankful for who I am and how lucky I am. This story will scar me for life.
Cheryl

Moloka'i
I read this book because it was the book of the month for my book club. I really wasn't excited about the subject matter at first, but after the first few pages, I couldn't put the book down.

Moloka'i is a wonderful novel with warm and human characters. The historical setting of the book educated me about a part of American history of which I was ignorant. I am enriched by the education.
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