Moloka’i – Alan Brennert
Moloka’i is a beautifully written piece of historical fiction. Until the book came up during an interview at work (HINT: a great way to build your personal reading list and learn about candidates is to ask them what the last book they read for fun) and quickly piqued my interest. Until this book, I had never heard of Moloka’i nor the treatment of lepers in the early 1900s nor put much thought to life in Hawaii outside of honeymoons and vacation. The book’s main character, Rachel Kalama, becomes the youngest Hawaiian to be sent to Kalaupapa, the quarantine facility on the island of Kalaupapa. She thought her life, at the ripe age of seven, was over but the books takes you through the years, adventures and people that culminate in her story. Reading this book provides a different perspective and perhaps a good reminder of medicine’s advancements but also areas that we should never slip back upon and the strength of the human spirit and living a full life on one’s health and wellbeing. On page 372, there is a single sentence that really summed up the whole experience of reading this book and in truth, is something we all should be feeling each and every day. Gratitude.
“With wonder and a growing absence of fear she realized, I am more than I was an hour ago.”
I leave you with a few snapshots that fit within the theme of today’s book review. Captured in two divergent locations: Little Rock, AR and La Jolla, CA.
Photo notes: Bird of Paradise and Roadside flower, La Jolla with Nikon [no editing]; H.U. Lee International Gate and Garden, Little Rock, AR [editing w/Pixlr]