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

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by Alan Brennert

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  • First Published:
    Sep 2003, 384 pages
    Oct 2004, 384 pages

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There are currently 9 reader reviews for Moloka'i
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Gladys (12/20/11)

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.

Cher Kenyon (05/31/11)

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 (03/16/11)

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 (06/01/07)

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!
Alan Brennert (03/27/07)

Mahalo and Mosquitoes
Mahalo to Teri for her very generous review of my novel Moloka'i. But as for the supposed "slip up" she brings up, well, I never claimed to be a kama'aina, and there probably are errors in the book I'm not aware of...but in regard to the mosquitoes I must respectfully point out that Susan Scott's "Plants and Animals of Hawai'i" states, "Mosquitoes are also troublemakers for both people and animals in Hawai'i. Researchers believe that the first mosquitoes arrived in 1826... By the 1830s, people described mosquitoes as numerous and annoying on O'ahu and Kaua'i... People brought several kind of minnows to Hawai'i in 1905 to help in mosquito control."

Another reference book says, "Mosquitoes were once unknown on the islands... Whatever their introduction, mosquitoes are kama'aina now, setting up nurseries in any stagnant water they can find..." There was just such stagnant water in the flats of Kalihi back in the 1890s, when Rachel took her swim, and my mention of them in Moloka'i was taken from a reference source about the hospital. (There was also an area of Iwilei called Mosquito Flats in the 1920s and 30s, which wouldn't have been so named if the bug was unknown in the islands.)

I admit, the little buggers are not a major problem in Hawai'i today, but I do maintain that my mention of them in Moloka'i is historically accurate.

Again, thanks to Teri for her otherwise glowing review. I'm glad those pesky mosquitoes didn't interfere with her enjoyment of the book!
Teri (02/24/07)

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 (01/29/07)

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 (08/07/06)

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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