New Historical Fiction Novel by Alan Brennert–Coming 2/19/19
Daughter Of Moloka’i is a well-written, poignant, and bittersweet novel. The story begins in 1916, in Moloka’i Hawaii, a place designated for people with Hansen’s disease (Leprosy). When Ruth was born to parents suffering from the disease, she was taken from them, within an hour of her birth.
Ruth was brought up in an orphanage, run by nuns, until she was adopted by Japanese immigrants, living in Honolulu. Ruth loved her parents but often wondered why her biological parents had given her away.
Ruth was content with her life in Hawaii until her Uncle convinced her father to move to California. The opportunity he was offered, was supposed to be, a wonderful one. It wasn’t. It was a scam. But after her father uprooted his family and moved to America, it was too late to turn back. Being taken advantage of was not the worse thing, that happened to Ruth’s family in California. WWII was about to break out, and with it, Japan’s bombing of Pearl Harbor. The President’s reaction to the Japanese invasion was to gather, isolate, and relocate all Japanese immigrants and their family members, to less than ideal internment camps.
Everyone who was sent to these camps had given up their homes, farms, businesses, and belongings. Many of these people with Japanese parents and grandparents were US citizens, but sent to camps, just the same.
Daughter Of Moloka’i is a compelling and engaging book, well-crafted and researched.
Thank you, St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley, for my advanced review copy.
~4.5 out of 5 stars~
Bio (from author’s page on Amazon)
Alan Brennert is the author of the best-selling historical novels MOLOKA’I and HONOLULU, both favorites of reading groups across the country. MOLOKA’I was a 2012 “One Book, One San Diego” selection and HONOLULU was named one of the best books of 2009 by The Washington Post. PEOPLE Magazine said of his novel PALISADES PARK, “Brennert writes his valentine to the New Jersey plaground of his youth in RAGTIME style, mixing fact and fiction. It’s a memorable trip.” His work on the television series L.A. LAW earned him an Emmy Award in 1991 and his short story “Ma Qui” was honored with a Nebula Award in 1992. His latest book, DAUGHTER OF MOLOKA’I, is a follow-up to MOLOKA’I that tells the story of Rachel Kalama’s daughter Ruth, her early life, her internment during World War II, and her eventual meeting with her birth mother, Rachel. The novel explores the women’s 22-year relationship, only hinted at it in MOLOKA’I. It will be published by St Martin’s Press on February 19, 2019.