Today I have a review of Daughter of Moloka’i by Alan Brennert, now available from St. Martin’s Press.
I don’t think I could anticipate a book more than Daughter of Moloka’i!
The sequel to Moloka’i, it tells Ruth’s story. Ruth is the daughter of Rachel Kalama, quarantined at the leprosy settlement. Rachel was forced to give Ruth away at her birth.
Ruth arrives at the Kapi’olani Home for Girls in Honolulu where her journey in this book begins. It later follows her adoption by a Japanese couple who take her to California. Later, Ruth is married and held in a World War II internment camp.
And most exciting of all, it follows Ruth on the day she receives a letter from a woman named Rachel.
While Ruth and Rachel’s relationship is touched on in Molokai’, Daughter of Moloka’I breathes life into it, rounding it out with so much depth.
Daughter of Moloka’I is a story of mother and daughter, of two strong women who never thought they would meet as they work out their similarities and their differences. Ruth comes of age in a way, finding out about her past and things she never could have known because she was adopted.
Overall, Alan Brennert’s luscious writing brings Hawaii and its culture to life. It also inserts Japanese culture, and is a bittersweet, loving, engaging story of two indomitable women and the building of a relationship.
I received a complimentary copy. All opinions are my own.
DAUGHTER OF MOLOKA′I is the highly anticipated sequel to Alan Brennert’s acclaimed book club favorite, and national bestseller, MOLOKA′I. It’s a companion tale that tells the story of Ruth, the daughter that Rachel Kalama—quarantined for most of her life at the isolated leprosy settlement of Kalaupapa—was forced to give up at birth.
The book follows young Ruth from her arrival at the Kapi’olani Home for Girls in Honolulu, to her adoption by a Japanese couple who raise her on a farm in California, her marriage and unjust internment at Manzanar Relocation Camp during World War II—and then, after the war, to the life-altering day when she receives a letter from a woman who says she is Ruth’s birth mother, Rachel.
DAUGHTER OF MOLOKA′I expands upon Ruth and Rachel’s 22-year relationship, only hinted at in MOLOKA′I. It’s a richly emotional tale of two women—different in some ways, similar in others—who never expected to meet, much less come to love, one another. And for Ruth it is a story of discovery, the unfolding of a past she knew nothing about. In prose that conjures up the beauty and history of both Hawaiian and Japanese cultures, it’s the powerful and poignant tale that readers of MOLOKA′I have been awaiting for fifteen years.
Have you read Daughter of Moloka’i, or is it on your TBR? Have you read any other books by Alan Brennert? Happy Reading! ~ Jennifer THR