Shark Dialogues
  • Shark Dialogues
  • Shark Dialogues

Shark Dialogues

3.7 18
by Kiana Davenport
     
 

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“An epic saga of seven generations of one family encompasses the tumultuous history of Hawaii as a Hawaiian woman gathers her four granddaughters together in an erotic tale of villains and dreamers, queens and revolutionaries, lepers and healers” (Publishers Weekly).See more details below

Overview

“An epic saga of seven generations of one family encompasses the tumultuous history of Hawaii as a Hawaiian woman gathers her four granddaughters together in an erotic tale of villains and dreamers, queens and revolutionaries, lepers and healers” (Publishers Weekly).

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A sprawling but compelling first novel, Davenport's gargantuan family epic centers on the awe-inspiring Hawaiian matriarch Pono, a prophet gifted with magic powers, and her four estranged, mixed-marriage granddaughters. The book begins in 1834 with Pono's forebears, a shipwrecked Yankee sailor who had resorted to cannibalism, and a runaway Tahitian princess, and covers large chunks of Hawaiian history before ending up on a present-day island coffee plantation. Using flashbacks and detours, the novel chronicles how granddaughters Ming, Vanya, Rachel and Jess reclaim their heritage and achieve reconciliations with Pono, who terrifies them--she can metamorphose into a sea creature and live for days in the ocean--but commands their love and respect. Pono periodically goes on unexplained voyages to visit the girls' grandfather, Duke, a leper deeply ashamed of his putrefying limbs. A digression describes the history of the disease and treatment of its victims. Other sections evoke life on a 19th-century whaler, and offer a history of Hawaii's labor-union movement, the story of a drug-addicted Vietnam vet and cameo appearances of such real-life figures as Queen Lil'uokalani and F.D.R. Between wars, plagues, uprisings and earthquakes the book has a surfeit of events, but for the most part Davenport juggles the elements admirably as she moves from Hawaiian rain forests to downtown Manhattan, slipping easily from the fantastic to the actual. Breathtaking images studded throughout the densely poetic descriptive passages more than compensate for the occasional clumsy effort at stream-of-consciousness writing. Author tour. (May)
Library Journal
This expansive and engrossing multigenerational saga details the history of Hawaii through the experiences of one family. It begins in the 19th century with the dramatic meeting of a young Yankee sailor and a beautiful Tahitian princess. Their descendants, who live in contemporary Hawaii, are four cousins named Vanya, Ming, Rachel, and Jess who have been brought up by Pono, a kahuna, or seer, who has never talked about her mysterious past to her four granddaughters. Davenport deftly includes much information in the narrative--about politics, leprosy, and the racial melting pot that is Hawaiian society--with a minimum of didacticism. She incorporates folklore, history, and myth in a vivid, lush prose style that only occasionally becomes overwrought. This first novel is much better written than James Michener's Hawaii (1959) and brings Hawaiian history up to the present day. Entertaining and educational, it is an excellent purchase for public libraries of any size. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 1/94.-- Nancy Pearl, Washington Ctr . for the Book, Seattle

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781439192436
Publisher:
Scribner
Publication date:
03/23/2010
Sold by:
SIMON & SCHUSTER
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
512
Sales rank:
135,095
File size:
2 MB

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