4.17 (120,732 ratings by Goodreads)
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Young Rachel Kalama, growing up in idyllic Honolulu in the 1890s, dreams of seeing far-off lands, but at the age of seven Rachel's dreams are shattered by the discovery that she has leprosy. Forcibly removed from the family, she's sent to an isolated leprosy settlement on the island of Moloka'i. In exile Rachel finds a family of friends to replace the family she's lot - but loss remains a constant shadow as Rachel watches those she loves succumb to the ravages of leprosy. Moloka'i is a story of hope, dignity, and the strength of the human spirit.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 400 pages
  • 140 x 210 x 27mm | 378g
  • Saint Martin's Griffin,U.S.
  • California, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 0312304358
  • 9780312304355
  • 17,026

Review quote

"A dazzling historical novel." --The Washington Post

"Moloka'i is a haunting story of tragedy in a Pacific paradise." --Robert Morgan, author of Gap Creek

"Alan Brennert draws on historical accounts of Kalaupapa and weaves in traditional Hawaiian stories and customs.... Moloka'i is the story of people who had much taken from them but also gained an unexpected new family and community in the process." --Chicago Tribune

"[An] absorbing novel...Brennert evokes the evolution of--and hardships on--Moloka'i in engaging prose that conveys a strong sense of place." --National Geographic Traveler

"Moving and elegiac." --Honolulu Star-Bulletin

"Compellingly original...Brennert's compassion makes Rachel a memorable character, and his smooth storytelling vividly brings early twentieth-century Hawai'i to life." --Publishers Weekly (starred review)

A stunning story of hope...captivating. --Woman's World

Captivating. --Never Ending Story
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About Alan Brennert

Alan Brennert is a novelist (Time and Chance) as well as an Emmy Award-winning screenwriter (L.A. Law). He lives in Southern California, but his heart is in Hawai'i. Visit Alan on the Web at or email for a chance to have him call in to your reading group!
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Rating details

120,732 ratings
4.17 out of 5 stars
5 42% (50,776)
4 39% (46,705)
3 15% (17,894)
2 3% (3,867)
1 1% (1,490)

Our customer reviews

The same flowing style you'll find in Alan Brennerts other book prevails in this one too.... the easy use of native Hawaiian and pidgin take you to a far away place. His two books tare unrelated so you don't need to read the other one, but you'll want to read both because you want more! This story follows the life of Rachel at the turn of the last century who contracts Leprosy (Hansen's disease) early on in her young life she is then whisked away from her family to the Leprosy colony on the isolated Moloka'i there are characters that are based in real life like some of the Franciscan Sisters of Syracuse that she meets and the famous Father Damien and a few of the residents. But the feature of the story are not just the people its the bonds that tie them, the Ohana (family) that she makes for herself and the Ohana that she left behind. The meaning of love and the beauty in the small things even when the outside is more
by Leilei Pan
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