Wednesday, August 29, 2007


by Alan Brennert

Escape to the lush setting of Hawaii in the late 19th century. It is paradise. But for some unlucky people, paradise is about to be lost. For young Rachel Kalama, the nightmare begins with a small patch of pink skin on her thigh. A patch of skin that doesn't heal and doesn't have any feeling. It is, of course, the first sign of leprosy.

What follows is Rachel's departure to Moloka'i, the island of lepers. Terrified, the young girl leaves her family and friends for the unknown, always knowing that Moloka'i means eventual death. But Rachel's experience on Moloka'i is different: she finds friendship with fellow patients and the nuns who take care of them. She even finds love.

But Rachel is different--Rachel is a survivor. Her story is tragic and triumphant, and you will not be able to stop reading this novel. The setting is amazing, the history is intriguing, and Rachel is one of the most likable heroines you'll ever meet.

Read this. Read this now. Use it for your book discussion.


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