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Monday, May 11, 2015

Book Club Book Review: Moloka'i By Alan Brennert

My Book Club's book choice for the month of May was Moloka'i by Alan Brennert

This is a story of Hawaii in the late 1800s and is based on true circumstances.

The main character Rachel is seven years old when she's taken from her family and sent to Kalaupapa a 'leper colony' on the Island of Molaka'i with others who are sick with leprosy and are there to live out the rest of their days.

There were many characters that played a part throughout the book and it become like a community, a small town with marriages, affairs, and small town gossip. But it had a lot of sickness, death and sadness too.

Life on Kalaupapa seemed to stand still with simple living conditions and many residents lived without electricity in their homes and basic food supplies, while over the ocean their capital Honolulu was expanding and growing and seemed to forget about the thousands of Hawaiian's they sent to the settlement.

To the people that lived on the settlement this was not a prison it was their home, although society often portrayed it to be like a prison and those that were sent there treated like dirty criminals. When the only crime they committed was becoming sick with this mysterious disease they knew little about how to treat or how it was spread.

Based on true circumstances, I found this story to be very confronting and interesting. It taught me a lot about the history of Hawaii and about how medicine and disease were treated back in the old days too. The only downside was this was a very long book and sometimes long winded to get to where ever it was going.

I recommend this book to anyone interested in the Hawaiian culture or old time medicine practises.

I give this book 3 stars out of  5

Jarrah Jungle's Star Rating:
1 Bad - I'd rather eat brussel sprouts topped with anchovies than read this again
2 Not Good - I'd rather watch paint dry than read this again
3 Ok - I'm sitting on the fence - its not great but not terrible either
4 Good - I'd pass up the last tim tam for this read
5 Great - I'd pass up a date with Johnny Depp for this read

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[Image via Alan Brennert]

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