Moloka’i by Alan Brennert takes readers on a spectacular journey through life, death, and disease in 1890s Hawaii. The heroine is Rachel Kalama, a seven-year-old Hawaiian girl with tons of spunk and whose father is a merchant seaman. However, her life is turned upside down when a rose-colored mark appears on her skin and it’s discovered that she has leprosy. Kalama is banished to the leper colony of Kalaupapa, which is located on the island of Moloka’i. Once she arrives she struggles to replace the family she’s lost with the inhabitants of the colony. Kalama meets a native healer named Haleola who becomes an aunt to the little girl and tutors her in the ways of their people. There’s also a Franciscan sister named Mary Catherine Voorhies who cares for the girls and Kalaupapa, and of course, Kalama meets the man she’s one day destined to marry.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Thursday, May 22nd, 2014||No Comments »|
Last year, Waterstones sat down with novelist Taiye Selasi to discuss her work Ghana Must Go, a novel about a West African family and their experiences as immigrants to the U.S. In the video, Selasi explains that her novel looks at how families can be successful and still ultimately fall apart when their patriarch or matriarch passes away. For example, in the book, during the family’s visit to Ghana for the father’s funeral, Selasi points out that many of the dysfunctional problems that plague families all over the world start to ripple forward in these pivotal scenes. Whether you’ve read Ghana Must Go or are new to the works of Taiye Selasi, her interview with Waterstone is an interesting look at the writing process, immigration, and how cultural differences can strain family relationships.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Thursday, May 15th, 2014||No Comments »|