Compellingly original in its conceit, Brennert's sweeping debut novel tracks the grim struggle of a Hawaiian woman who contracts leprosy as a child in Honolulu during the 1890s and is deported to the island of Moloka'i, where she grows to adulthood at the quarantined settlement of Kalaupapa. Rachel Kalama is the plucky, seven-year-old heroine whose family is devastated when first her uncle Pono and then she develop leprous sores and are quarantined with the disease. While Rachel's symptoms remain mild during her youth, she watches others her age dying from the disease in near total isolation from family and friends. Rachel finds happiness when she meets Kenji Utagawa, a fellow leprosy victim whose illness brings shame on his Japanese family. After a tender courtship, Rachel and Kenji marry and have a daughter, but the birth of their healthy baby brings as much grief as joy, when they must give her up for adoption to prevent infection. The couple cope with the loss of their daughter and settle into a productive working life until Kenji tries to stop a quarantined U.S. soldier from beating up his girlfriend and is tragically killed in the subsequent fight. The poignant concluding chapters portray Rachel's final years after sulfa drugs are discovered as a cure, leaving her free to abandon Moloka'i and seek out her family and daughter. Brennert's compassion makes Rachel a memorable character, and his smooth storytelling vividly brings early 20th-century Hawaii to life. Leprosy may seem a macabre subject, but Brennert transforms the material into a touching, lovely account of a woman's journey as she rises above the limitations of a devastating illness. (Oct.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
House Rules by Jodi Picoult
When your son can’t look you in the eye . . . does that mean he’s guilty?
Jacob Hunt is a teen with Asperger’s syndrome. He’s hopeless at reading social cues or expressing himself well to others, though he is brilliant in many ways. But he has a special focus on one subject—forensic analysis. A police scanner in his room clues him in to crime scenes, and he’s always showing up and telling the cops what to do. And he’s usually right.
But when Jacob’s small hometown is rocked by a terrible murder, law enforcement comes to him. Jacob’s behaviors are hallmark Asperger’s, but they look a lot like guilt to the local police. Suddenly the Hunt family, who only want to fit in, are directly in the spotlight. For Jacob’s mother, Emma, it’s a brutal reminder of the intolerance and misunderstanding that always threaten her family. For his brother, Theo, it’s another indication why nothing is normal because of Jacob.
And over this small family, the soul-searing question looms: Did Jacob commit murder?
Why don't we do what we did the last time we made our choice, do one and then read the other. I'm going to vote for the Picoult novel simply because I've already read the other one. But...I really hope that you all read the Molaki novel because is just a precious book.
I have just placed holds on both books at the library, but the bad news is both books have 6 and 8 holds ahead of me so I don't know if I'll have a book to join in with this time. I was hoping to join in with at least one more book before I head north for the season.
The good thing about Mary's post is that the books are in high demand so should be good reads, the bad thing is obvious. Mary, did you see if they could get one of them at another library, or isn't that a possibility there?
Well, I could always pick out another book to see if it is in your library Mary. Maybe another Picoult.
I am surprised that this Picoult book is held for so many ppl. as it has been on the market for quite a while now. Anyway, is everyone up for reading a different Picoult book for now so Mary can join in?
Hi I got a call from the library, One book is in, I just don't know which one until I go tomorrow to pick it up. So hold off on choosing other titles. Sue, when I put a hold request in, it is for every library in the system, not just the branch I go to. I'll pick it up in the morning before I head off for the respreroligests office.
Now we just have to see which it is so we can find out if WE can get it, . This is a tricky endeavor at times, isn't it? I remember not being able to get that one book you all read last year. Luckily I had enough here to keep me reading, but missed out on the conversation.
I called the library this afternoon and it still hasn't come in yet. But they get a van in tomorrow and hopefully will be on there. I'm stopping by before they close and checking. Go ahead and start your discussion and I'll catch up.
The library called and I picked up the book this afternoon. Will start reading today, although from the sounds of what you all have said so far, won't be fast at catching up, . Maybe I should take notes?