Monday, July 29, 2013
You know how some books touch your soul a little bit? Well, this book is one of those. Moloka'i essentially follows the history of a small section of the Hawaiian island of Moloka'i becoming a leprous colony. Alan Brennert weaves this historical fiction narrative through the life of Rachel Kalama. In the beginning of the book, Rachel is a seven-year-old girl whose dreams and future are stolen away by a small rose-colored mark on the back of her leg. Rachel is separated from her family and carted off to Moloka'i to live with other lepers forever. This is, basically, a death sentence.
I loved this book from beginning until end. I loved Rachel and her resiliency, but her situation broke my heart at times. I would highly, highly, highly recommend this one. In fact, I had to run out and buy a copy just so that I could own it and reread it again at my leisure.
I may have mentioned before that David and I went to Hawaii on our honeymoon. One of the things we did was snorkling near Lana'i, which is a hop, skip and a jump from Moloka'i. And David reminded me how, at the time, the leaders of our cruise expedition mentioned that it was an old leprous colony. It's crazy to think that I saw this island and didn't think much of it then. Now...all I can think is: wow.