Frierson, formerly with The Hawaii Observer , combines cultural and natural history with a compelling personal narrative. She takes the reader on an informative hike through the Volcanoes Region of Hawaii, sacred to Native Hawaiians as the dwelling place of Madame Pele, goddess of volcanoes. Frierson unearths still-extant cultural beliefs and traditions (hula and chants) performed to propitiate Pele as Kilauea Volcano enters its eighth year of continuous eruption. The area is of equal importance to vulcanologists, who study the relatively benign, though complex, nature of these volcanoes. Unfortunately, controversial geothermal development threatens to exploit the delicate balance of nature and culture, as well as destroy the last surviving lowland rain forest in the United States. Frierson examines the underlying issues of cultural attitudes toward nature from scientific and native Hawaiian viewpoints. Highly recommended for general and Hawaiiana collections, and useful for travel collections too.-- Kevin M. Roddy, Oakland P.L., Cal .