Moloka'i by Alan Brennert
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Oi! This book is more of a 3.5 for me. It was a very good book but it wasn't the best historical fiction based on real events I've read. Again, it's a historical fiction and I learned something in our American history that I'd never known before and for that I'm grateful, but it just seemed to be missing something. Perhaps because it spanned the life of Rachel from age six to death it went almost too fast. I can't quite place my finger on why it just didn't hit the mark for me.
It starts in the later 1800's, before Hawaii had it's statehood. Many foreigners were arriving on the islands and because the natives had been so isolated, they were not immune to the diseases that the non-natives carried. This book focuses on leprosy, or Hansen's Disease as it's now called. These native islanders and a few foreigners were made to live on a peninsula, in an area called Molokai'a. The main character is fictional but the author states real life people inspired a lot of this story. I had never heard of this so it was certainly fascinating to read!
I'd still recommend this book though. It's a good history lesson.
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