Customer Reviews for

Moloka'i

Average Rating 4.5
( 473 )
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5 Star

(276)

4 Star

(122)

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(44)

2 Star

(17)

1 Star

(14)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

16 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

BREATHTAKING!

This is a beautifully written, well-researched work of historical fiction. With its well-developed, rich characters, I found myself totally immersed in the story of Rachel and the life that she managed to endure and her valiant attempt at staying grounded. The narrative...
This is a beautifully written, well-researched work of historical fiction. With its well-developed, rich characters, I found myself totally immersed in the story of Rachel and the life that she managed to endure and her valiant attempt at staying grounded. The narrative is quite descriptive and I found myself intrigued by the workings of the leper colony and its advancement over the years. This is a beautifully written story of the resilience of the human spirit and its will to triumph in even the most horrifying of circumstances. The setting is exotic, interesting, informative and exciting. There is an underlying message of hope, kindness and endurance that refreshes and inspires. A TRULY WORTHWHILE READ! I ENJOYED EVERY WORD!

posted by LCH47 on February 14, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

The book that never ends!

Although this book was interesting, it seemed to go on and on and on. There were several times I thought it would be a good time to end the book, but it just kept going. Usually I love to read long books, but this had way too many insignificant sub-stories that didn't...
Although this book was interesting, it seemed to go on and on and on. There were several times I thought it would be a good time to end the book, but it just kept going. Usually I love to read long books, but this had way too many insignificant sub-stories that didn't contribute to the central plot. I learned a lot, however there are also aspects of the book that were not quite correct. I think the author researched a lot about leprosy to write this book, but forgot to research everything else.

posted by 9848268 on February 27, 2012

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  • Posted December 17, 2014

    The book Moloka¿i is about a young girl who gets leprosy.  When

    The book Moloka’i is about a young girl who gets leprosy.  When Rachel is 5 years old her mother finds leprosy on her leg and then she is brought to a hospital.  She is in that hospital for a few years before she is sent to live on the island Moloka’i.  Moloka’i is where lepers were sent to live.  She grew up in a home for young girls, always willing to try anything that would get her home.  Rachel had an “adoptive aunt” on the island, but then she died.  Most of Rachel’s friends died before there was a cure.  Like her husband Kenji.  Kenji and Rachel had a baby that they put up for adoption.  When Rachel was about 65 years old and on the brink of death they found a cure and she was allowed to leave Moloka’i.  When she left she found her daughter and sister.
    Rachel is desperate to get off the island throughout her whole life.  Even from the beginning she would do anything to get off and caused a lot of trouble.  She nevers sees her mother again and her father is only allowed to go to the island twice.  When she reaches her 20s everyone close to her starts dying.  Many of her friends are crippled and yet she doesn’t become crippled until much later.  I think that her attitude might have something to do with that.  She can’t accept that she has leprosy and can’t leave Moloka’i.
    The story is based on a true story, so it is easy to get into.  Obviously since the story is true the characters are realistic and easy to get to know.  The setting of the story is Hawaii during 1870-1940.  Throughout the book Rachel sees many doctors and talks about her leprosy scientifically.  The way leprosy is described on the skin is medically.  A lot can be learned from the book.  I feel like older women would like it.  I think if you like scientific books you would like this book and I would give it three stars out of five. 

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  • Posted July 2, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    What do you know about leprosy? If you're like me, practically

    What do you know about leprosy?

    If you're like me, practically nothing.

    But after reading Moloka'i by Alan Brennert (what I'd probably call historical fiction), I know much more about the disease.

    Moloka'i is the Hawaiian island where lepers are sent once diagnosed in the 1900s.

    I really enjoyed the story of Rachel, a spunky girl who is diagnosed with leprosy and sent away to live in quarantine on the island.  Plus, the cover of the book is beautiful.

    I loved the historical aspects of the book, the real information about quarantine, and Rachel.  I like how, while leprosy was a big part of Rachel's life, it was also just a part, and that Rachel was so much more than her disease.

    But I was kind of sad as Rachel grew up.  I did like her as an adult, but I liked her so much more as that child who loves to break all the rules.  I guess I wish the book focused more on her life as a child, and less as an adult.

    I did some research on the disease, too, and I'm glad to know that "leper colonies" are unnecessary now and that leprosy is treatable and maintainable with the proper treatments.

    Does this sound like a book you'd be interested in?

    Thanks for reading,

    Rebecca @ Love at First Book

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2012

    Excellant READ!!!

    The love of a child growing up in an ugly world.You will definetly learn something from this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2012

    Book was good!

    We read this for our book club, and it was a very good story. I learned a lot about history. The book was a bit long, and got choppy at the end. Seems like so much was spent on the beginning/first half, then chopped together at the end. Because of this, the book was good, but not great.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2012

    Its okay...

    Its a story of a life quite ordinary apart ftom the fact the heroine had leprosy. There are moments that entice the reader but i find the story to be quite flat.

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  • Posted September 8, 2011

    Good historical fiction.. boring at times

    I enjoyed this book but there were parts that could have been omitted and at times it felt like it dragged on. I found myself becoming bored as the book progressed...HOWEVER... i would recommend this book for the fact that i had no idea of the historical gold it contains and i think what happened at molokai should be common knowledge. The history in this book was very well covered. This book... while at times boring... was heartbreaking and triumphant through the history it contains and it is worth reading

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  • Posted July 26, 2009

    Good history of Molokai

    Good read but felt it was like reading a book specifically written to be a movie and could have 150 pages or so less. I had a hard time finishing it. I much prefer "Song of Exile" and "Shark Dialogs" by Keana Davenport for a history of Hawaii.

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  • Posted June 10, 2009

    Touching, inspirational and great historical fiction weave; would greatly recommend it except several times is needlessly too sensual and graphic

    As a lover of Hawaii and historical fiction, I both enjoyed and disliked the book. I came to feel that the main character was real with the author doing an excellent job of revealing the character's innermost fears, joys, and emotions. Other supporting characters also came to life in all colors, some not so pretty, but all believable. It is very disappointing, however, that the author had to make the book so sensual in several places; I didn't need to read about some of "those" innermost sensual feelings and they were unecessary. Good authors can write about sexual experiences and feelings without revealing every act and detail. I cannot recommend the book to anyone because of it. It would have been five stars across the board if not for that faux pas.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 1, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    Pretty Good

    The setting of this story makes it a worthwhile read. The plot is explained in other reviews here, so I will just say that it is an interesting, entertaining story. I would neither go out of my way to recommend it to a friend, nor would I discourage anyone from reading it.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 1, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    A well-written, heartfelt story, but somewhat depressing

    Okay, I gave the book only three stars because it's definitely not something I'd read again. I didn't know what Molokai was about, but I picked it up because it came highly recommended by a trusted fellow reader. I finished the book rather quickly only because it was extremely sad and depressing for my taste, and I didn't want to stay in that frame of mind. It is a very well-written book, and you can tell the author spent a lot of time researching the history of Kalaupapa and Hansen's disease. Even though it's fictional literature, the book is skillfully intertwined with non-fiction detail. I liked how the author mixed mythology into the story line as well. It is a worthwhile read if you can get passed the depressing struggle of the characters.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 29, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Definitely not a Michener

    A semi-romanticized portrait of the colonization of Moloka'i and its history.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 12, 2008

    Not Bad

    A good enough read. Some of the writing is clever, but much of it is par. It seemed the author was just killing time in the middle before getting to the neatly arranged ending. I couldn't feel more than a passing sympathy for characters other than Rachel.

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    Posted September 16, 2010

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    Posted November 1, 2011

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    Posted January 11, 2011

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