Sunday, January 01, 2012

The Best of 2011

One of the many items [old and new] enjoyed and recommended by the Library staff during 2011 for your consideration:
Moloka’i, by Alan Brennert

It was nice to see such praise for the movie The Descendents (with George Clooney) this year, though some island residents feel that the stories of Kanaka (Hawaiian), Asian, and other minorities are often left untouched by the Hollywood realm. This 2004 book and another, Honolulu, written by the same author in 2009, show a different aspect of historic Hawaii. In conjunction with John Tayman’s nonfiction 2006 book, The Colony, this novel by Alan Brennert puts the human face on the plight of Hawaiians with Hansen’s disease, banished to the colony of Kalaupapa. Lives and families are uprooted, relationships begin and end. Moloka’i hinges on protagonist Rachel Kalama, who at seven years old must revise her dreams of seeing the world as her merchant seaman father has, when the rose-colored mark on her skin sets her on a new life’s path.

Reviewed by Bonnie Y.

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