Author: Alan Brennert
Published February 19, 2019
St. Martin's Press
Note: I received this book from the publisher via NetGalley to facilitate my review. I received no other compensation, and all opinions are my own.
DAUGHTER OF MOLOKA′I is the highly anticipated sequel to Alan Brennert’s acclaimed book club favorite, and national bestseller, MOLOKA′I. It’s a companion tale that tells the story of Ruth, the daughter that Rachel Kalama—quarantined for most of her life at the isolated leprosy settlement of Kalaupapa—was forced to give up at birth.The book follows young Ruth from her arrival at the Kapi'olani Home for Girls in Honolulu, to her adoption by a Japanese couple who raise her on a farm in California, her marriage and unjust internment at Manzanar Relocation Camp during World War II—and then, after the war, to the life-altering day when she receives a letter from a woman who says she is Ruth’s birth mother, Rachel.
DAUGHTER OF MOLOKA′I expands upon Ruth and Rachel’s 22-year relationship, only hinted at in MOLOKA′I. It’s a richly emotional tale of two women—different in some ways, similar in others—who never expected to meet, much less come to love, one another. And for Ruth it is a story of discovery, the unfolding of a past she knew nothing about. In prose that conjures up the beauty and history of both Hawaiian and Japanese cultures, it’s the powerful and poignant tale that readers of MOLOKA′I have been awaiting for fifteen years.
If you've followed my blog or any bookish social media postings I've made regarding my all time favorite books, Moloka'i is at the top of my list. I reviewed it here on the blog in April 2014. It gives some good background to the first book and why I loved it so much, but I HIGHLY recommend you read the first book before reading this one. For one, Moloka'i is fantastic, and for two, this book will mean so much more if you've read the first one. Go to the bookstore right now and buy both of them! You will thank me!!
I'll admit I was worried when I first heard about this one. Sometimes sequels aren't nearly as good, and fans of Moloka'i have been waiting YEARS for this one. I'm happy to report--this one was absolutely worth the wait and JUST AS GOOD as Moloka'i! I can't believe I doubted Brennert here--I loved his other Hawaiian novel, Honolulu. PLEASE write more Hawaii books, Mr. Brennert! I'll never doubt you again!
I feel like Ruth is my soul sister. Her love for animals touched my heart and reminded me of myself and my grandma. I too loved animals from a very young age. The historical aspect of Japanese internment camps during World War 2 was also interesting, and sad of course, but I learned so much about that period of history. The last third of the book was when Ruth connected with Rachel, and just gave me all the feels and tears. This was a beautifully written, well researched, fantastic book that is included in my all time list of favorite books, along with Moloka'i. I can't say enough good things about this book--it is an absolute must read!