When Strange Gods Call [NOOK Book]


Ka Palapala Po'okela Award Winner 2005 for Excellence in “Aloha from beyond Hawai'i”
--Hawaii Book Publishers Association

“Pam Chun writes lovingly of Hawai'i—a land of beauty and tradition, where the scent of plumeria fills each page and a love once lost can be found again.”
--Gail Tsukiyama, author of "Samurai’s Garden," "Women of the Silk," and "Night of Many Dreams"

“Good family epic enlivened with a nice ...

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When Strange Gods Call

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Ka Palapala Po'okela Award Winner 2005 for Excellence in “Aloha from beyond Hawai'i”
--Hawaii Book Publishers Association

“Pam Chun writes lovingly of Hawai'i—a land of beauty and tradition, where the scent of plumeria fills each page and a love once lost can be found again.”
--Gail Tsukiyama, author of "Samurai’s Garden," "Women of the Silk," and "Night of Many Dreams"

“Good family epic enlivened with a nice locale and a stiff dose of history.”
--Kirkus Reviews

“Chun vividly evokes the lush, sensual land and effectively dramatizes the conflict between old traditions and fast-paced modernity.”
--Booklist Reviews

Twelve years ago, ambitious Miki Ai’Lee left her native Hawaii seeking adventure. Now thirty, Miki is a renowned and feted professor of art history in San Francisco. But when her grandmother’s illness draws her back to Hawaii, Miki realizes she has been gone too long. When she returns, she accidentally meets her first love, Alex, who bears scars that he is unwilling to explain.

Miki and Alex’s families have known each other for four generations. Four generations of animosity and death, corrupt politics, and international murder.

Alex's world has been the high-stakes world of art theft. Miki's is the high-society glamour of art collectors. But now her grandmother is ready to share their family’s darkest secret, if only Miki will listen.

When the old world of tradition and the new world of opportunity collide—forcing Miki to choose between the man she loves and the heritage that holds her—she finds that the whispers of tradition are once again at odds with her own desires.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Chun follows up The Money Dragon with another book set in Hawaii, this time a sentimental tale of star-crossed lovers unfolding in 1970, 11 years after the island achieved statehood. Miki Ai'Lee, daughter of a prominent Hawaiian family, returns to the island after years of teaching art history at a San Francisco university and crosses paths with Alex Demming, her high school sweetheart. Though 12 years have passed, the same obstacle keeps them apart; the Demmings and the Ai'Lees have been engaged in a bitter feud for generations. To further complicate matters, Miki's brother, Braxton, and Alex's cousin, Chris, are both vying to be the governor's deputy commissioner, with Alex apparently doing his best to help Chris. Most satisfying are the novel's scattered glimpses into Hawaii's history, which will be unfamiliar territory for most readers, and some descriptions show definite elegance ("My father was a quiet, analytical gentleman who thought with his hands"). But Chun's story, though it shoehorns in mystery and scandal (international art thieves; corrupt local politics), rarely engages. The dialogue often feels contrived and merely expository ("`Miki, I must tell you a family secret'"), purple prose abounds ("my hair fell to my waist like an ebony waterfall or streamed behind me when I ran in the wind") and the characters never quite spring to convincing life. Agent, Elizabeth Pomada. (Nov.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • BN ID: 2940011338670
  • Publisher: Pam Chun
  • Publication date: 5/19/2011
  • Sold by: Smashwords
  • Format: eBook
  • File size: 369 KB

Meet the Author

Best-selling author Pam Chun's award-winning first novel, The Money Dragon, was named one of 2002's Best Books of Hawaii. Her second novel, When Strange Gods Call, won a 2005 Ka Palapala Po'okela Award for Excellence.

She has been featured on NPR, at the Smithsonian and the National Archives, and in the documentary Hawaii's Chinatown, which premiered on Hawaii PBS.

Pam is a veteran storyteller at the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco. She lives with her husband, Trans-Pac sailor Fred J Joyce III, in the San Francisco Bay Area, where her tropical flowers bloom despite fog, drought, and frost. She has one son, a U.S. diplomat stationed overseas with his family.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix
Author's Note xi
Demming Family Tree xiv
Ai'Lee Family Tree xv
Chapter 1 The Lure of Ghosts and Gods 1
Chapter 2 Like a Moth to a Flame 35
Chapter 3 Beach Ghost Stories 49
Chapter 4 The Demmings 65
Chapter 5 Lailee's Secret 81
Chapter 6 Family Ties and Curses 89
Chapter 7 Reunion with the Past 107
Chapter 8 The Cycle of Past and Future 121
Chapter 9 The Ai'Lee Ladies 131
Chapter 10 The State Capitol 145
Chapter 11 Flying Through Water 153
Chapter 12 The Lu'au 169
Chapter 13 Ga Na Gnew, the Hawaiian 187
Chapter 14 Taiko Drum Beats 193
Chapter 15 Ginger Ai'Lee 199
Chapter 16 Hurricane Warnings 223
Chapter 17 The Beginning and the End 241
Chapter 18 Aftermath of the Storm 249
Chapter 19 The Hawaiian Wedding 265
Chapter 20 The Tears of the Gods 271
About the Author 275
Glossary of Hawaiian Terms 277
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 2.5
( 2 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 26, 2012

    If you like history you will want to read this book. There is a

    If you like history you will want to read this book. There is a lot of history about Hawaii and it's descendants. I was amazed that the different island or even sections of the islands were frowned on for interacting with each other. The story seemed to get lost, or maybe it was me that got lost, but I kept on reading and wasn't disappointed. Miki left the island when she gratuated and went on to college and live off the island in San Fransico. When Miki came back to the isand for the summer to see her grandmother a long lost love shows up. She is immedately attracted to Chris. It takes a storm to bring out secrets of the family and for love to bloom again.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 26, 2012

    I live in Hawaii

    - this book irritated the hell out of me. So corny. It does not even deserve 1 star. I would give it 0 stars if that were allowed, but B&N won't let me do that.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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