Daughter of Moloka'i: A Novel

Daughter of Moloka'i: A Novel

by Alan Brennert


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250137661
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication date: 02/19/2019
Series: Moloka'i
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 477
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

ALAN BRENNERT is the author of Honolulu, Palisades Park, and Moloka’i, which was a 2006-2007 BookSense Reading Group Pick; won the 2006 Bookies Award, sponsored by the Contra Costa Library, for the Book Club Book of the Year; and was a 2012 One Book, One San Diego Selection. He won an Emmy Award for his work as a writer-producer on the television series L.A. Law.

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Daughter of Moloka'i: A Novel 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
marongm8 3 hours ago
I've read Molokai and was really stricken by the story and the research done by Alan Brennert so I expected this one to be anything less and it surely lived up to my high expectations. I was so intrigued by the relationship between Ruth and Rachel and how Ruth kept her hidden from society because she had leprosy. The one thing I love about historical fiction novels that if the story is so compelling, it brings the historical time period to life and it's easy to imagine. This book has done that and more and I must say by far one of my favorites I have read so far. That is why we give this book 5 stars.
PegGlover 3 hours ago
4.5 stars 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.
ColoradoGirl71 3 hours ago
This book is a sequel to “Moloka’i” -- I read it in 2014 (loved it) and I was a bit worried that I’d forgotten too much from that book. Alan Brennert does an excellent job reminding viewers of key elements from that book in just the right places. The author is a fantastic storyteller and has created memorable characters. I do recommend reading these books in order though for the most magical reading experience. The first half of this book is Ruth’s story, she’s the daughter of Rachel and Kenji from book #1. Raised by nuns, she is eventually adopted by a Japanese family and moves to California. I must admit that I didn’t enjoy the California setting as much as the parts of the book set in Hawaii. There is a great deal of historical material here in the first half about the internment camps, especially the California ones, during WWII. I found this part uncomfortable to read, especially considering our current political climate. The Japanese people were treated abominably in these camps. I love that Rachel finds her way back into this story and the reader is taken back to Hawaii. There are so many fantastic emotional elements with mothers and daughter in this book and I was brought to tears in a few places. This sweeping saga covers several generations and is well worth a read. I highly recommend it as well as the first book if you haven’t read that one. Now I’m curious if there will be a book #3 in this series.
Anonymous 4 hours ago
These two books—Molokai and Daughter of Moloka’i—have turned out to be some of the best books I’ve read in years. I’d had Moloka’i on my to-read list since 2013, but only got around to reading it this January, 2019, when I took a trip to Honolulu. It was perfect for the flight and I got to read about a place I was visiting, perfect. But the book became so much more than that. The writing was beautiful, I probably teared up about fifteen times, and I ended the book with a deep sadness that it was over and I was never again going to experience this amazing book for the first time. Lo and behold, I come home from my Hawaiian vacation to find the author has written a sequel, and even though there are fifteen years between the books, I came onto the scene at exactly the right time. Daughter of Moloka’i was to be published in only a month, and better yet, it was available for request on Netgalley. I received the ARC and devoured the sequel just as I devoured its predecessor. In a way, it’s hard to rate the books individually. Most of Moloka’i happens at the same time as Daughter of Moloka’i, though they only overlap in a few places, and these places were the only times I felt bored. If I’d had even a few months between books, this likely wouldn’t have bothered me at all. They are both such touching, heart-wrenching, exquisitely painful books. If you are bothered by reading of another’s plight, these books are not for you. They will gut you. But they are still so, so worth it. The lyrical prose, the well-rounded characters, the tackling of difficult and complex issues, these books have it all. Both have sweet love stories, though they are not the main focus, but they are, more than anything, the saga of a blended, extended family living through the most harrowing times and places in the Western United States. From a Hawaiian orphanage to rural California and the anti-Japanese racism that eventually led to the internment camps, Ruth’s story was ever-evolving and always interesting. At times, it was almost too hard to read about the suffering some of these people went through—similar to reading about the leper colonies—but I still couldn’t put the book down. These stories need to be told. I didn’t know Japanese internment had occurred at all until I was I college, and I live about twenty minutes from one of the camps. It was simply never taught in schools or talked about in polite conversation. Yet how many books are there on the Holocaust? To forget this dark episode in our history is to risk it happening again. Suffice it to say these books had an impact on me. They are both going on my list of all-time favorites and I hope, for all our sakes, that it doesn’t take the author fifteen years to come out with another wonderful, mind-expanding work of art. Now, more than ever, these are the types of books we need. I received an ARC from St. Martin’s Press and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
CatmomJD 4 hours ago
A well written story that I was drawn into from the very start. First off, this is the first book by this author that I have read. I didn’t read the prequel to this book, Moloka’i. It isn’t necessary to be able to understand and enjoy this book. But, I will definitely be going back to read it just because I loved this story so much. Daughter of Moloka’i is Ruth’s story. Ruth was born on Moloka’i to parents who had leprosy. She was brought to a convent in Honolulu where she would have a chance at a better life. From an early age, Ruth struggles with being half Hawaiian and half Japanese. When she is adopted by Japanese parents, she is brought up with their culture. Ruth and her new family move to California to help on her uncle’s farm when she is five years old. It turns out to be a big mistake. They are faced with racism as soon as they arrive. The story follows Ruth through her school age years, marrying and having children. And, just when things seem to be going good, Pearl Harbor is bombed. Ruth and her family are sent to live in internment camps. After the war ends, everyone is allowed to leave the camps and resume life, even though they don’t have a clue what they will do after losing everything they had. Ruth also learns who her birth mother is and meets her. She learns more about her Hawaiian side of the family and their culture, and with what it was like for her mother living in Kalaupapa, the leprosy settlement on Moloka’i. This is a story of love, loss, triumph, tragedy and overcoming the odds with dignity. This book is so well written, I could easily visualize the scenes. It is one story that will stick with me for a long time. I highly recommend it.
CRSK 5 hours ago
4.5 Stars As this story begins, we are taken to the Kapi’olani Home for Girls, a home to some fifty-eight girls from the youngest who were not quite yet two years old, to the oldest at twenty-one. With the night nurse sick, Louisa is covering her shift, and as much as she’s appreciating the beauty wrought by Nature’s storm outside, she is sensitive to the younger ones fears of the noise of the storm. It is on this night that another sister arrives at the door, with a young infant girl in her arms. The child’s name is Ruth Utagawa, and she has been brought over from Kalaupapa, a Hawaiian leper colony, where she was taken from her mother after her birth to avoid her contracting leprosy, as her mother had. As the years pass, families come to visit the children, and some are adopted, but Ruth is passed by for her mixed heritage, her mother Hawaiian, her father Japanese. That is until the Watanabes, a Japanese family who have sons, but no daughter, decide to adopt Ruth and soon after move to Northern California, where they help run and co-own a farm producing strawberries in Florin, a small town in the 1920s when this begins, about 10 miles southeast of Sacramento. There is a slightly more subtle prejudice against the Japanese, already, but when Japan attacks Pearl Harbor this family’s life changes almost overnight. Having been to almost every location mentioned in this story, Maui, Kauai, Oahu, Kalaupapa, the location of the former Tanforan Racetrack, to some of the locations of the Japanese-American “camps” which “housed” some of those confined, to the mention of Hotel Sainte Claire (since renamed the Westin San Jose), one of those grand 1920s era buildings registered on the National Register of Historic Places, made this so much easier for me to envision the story, but this story would have moved me, regardless. Ruth is a woman who begins life under such heartbreaking circumstances that these trials she faces would bring most to their knees, but she faces them without it breaking her spirit completely. As the years pass and her life story slowly unveils itself a little at a time, the bittersweet moments are overshadowed by moments of joy, leaving her with some heartwarming memories as the years pass and a sense of hope for the future. I haven’t read Alan Brennert’s, Moloka’i – although I plan to now that I’ve finished reading this – so I can’t say if it’s better to read it beforehand or not, but this story stands on its own without reading Moloka’I, the first in this series. Many thanks for the ARC provided by St. Martin’s Press
trutexan 5 hours ago
I loved this story. My only complaint is that the characters didn’t spend enough time in Hawaii. The setting was one of the things that made Molokai so wonderful to read. While Daughters of Molokai is an engaging continuation of that story, I was expecting a bit more of the Hawaiian atmosphere. In Alan Brennert’s sequel, readers follow the child Ruth as she is put in an orphanage and eventually adopted. I felt her adoptive family was so pivotal to the story. As Ruth adjusts to her new family, she eventually forgets her life in the orphanage. The family endures many changes throughout her growing up years. A major event in their lives was the move to California, where her father learns some unsettling news about his older brother. Later, the bombing of Pearl Harbor leads to the incredibly sad time Ruth and her family spend in an internment camp during WWII. Growing up, Ruth was often bothered by being “half.” Half Japanese and half Hawaiian, Ruth was left with a sense of not completely belonging. Eventually meeting her biological mother and learning more about her Hawaiian culture helps Ruth to reconcile her dual heritage. Many thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for allowing me to read an advance copy and give my honest review.
lee2staes 7 hours ago
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Daughter of Moloka’i, examines both the leper community and the Japanese internment camps that were located in Hawaii. I really liked the historical information. The book is so well written it was hard for me to put down. I highly recommend it. I was provided an ARC of this book by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
MichaelBerquist 16 hours ago
It is impossibly rare that a widely beloved novel's sequel is as powerful as the predecessor. . Daughter of Moloka'i is that rarity. This book is as beautiful, epic, respectful and meaningful as the original and deserves every accolade that will surely arrive for it upon publication. Brennert continues the Moloka'i story where he left off, telling the story of Rachel's daughter Ruth from her childhood in Hawai'i still ravaged by leprosy to a life on the mainland where she combats prejudice, gender roles, her status as a Japanese-Hawaiian person in America, and her own past. This book is full of a history not often told. I learned way more than in any history class about the plight of Japanese Americans In the wake of World War II and the repercussions that those actions still have on Americans today. This book should be supplemental to every American History high school course. The writing in this novel is lush but never superfluous. I was gripped by the twists and turns and glorious prose. Brennert's research is deft and clear. This is already my best book of 2019 and I am sure that it will still top the list at the end of the year.