Alan Brennert ☆ 9 CharactersShe was bornI can t say enough good things about this seuel perhaps in a few parts it was a tad slow and repetitive but that s so minor it didn t bother me I still give this book a full 5 stars 45 StarsAs this story begins we are taken to the Kapi olani Home for Girls a home to some fifty eight girls from the youngest who were not ite yet two years old to the oldest at twenty one With the night nurse sick Louisa is covering her shift and as much as she s appreciating the beauty wrought by Nature s storm outside she is sensitive to the younger ones fears of the noise of the storm It is on this night that another sister arrives at the door with a young infant girl in her arms The child s name is Ruth Utagawa and she has been brought over from Kalaupapa a Hawaiian leper colony where she was taken from her mother after her birth to avoid her contracting leprosy as her mother hadAs the years pass families come to visit the children and some are adopted but Ruth is passed by for her mixed heritage her mother Hawaiian her father Japanese That is Mediterranean Men Bundle until the Watanabes a Japanese family who have sons but no daughter decide to adopt Ruth and soon after move to Northern California where they help run and co own a farm producing strawberries in Florin a small town in the 1920s when this begins about 10 miles southeast of Sacramento There is a slightly subtle prejudice against the Japanese already but when Japan attacks Pearl Harbor this family s life changes almost overnight Having been to almost every location mentioned in this story Maui Kauai Oahu Kalaupapa the location of the former Tanforan Racetrack to some of the locations of the Japanese American camps which housed some of those confined to the mention of Hotel Sainte Claire since renamed the Westin San Jose one of those grand 1920s era buildings registered on the National Register of Historic Places made this so much easier for me to envision the story but this story would have moved me regardless Ruth is a woman who begins lifender such heartbreaking circumstances that these trials she faces would bring most to their knees but she faces them without it breaking her spirit completely As the years pass and her life story slowly nveils itself a little at a time the bittersweet moments are overshadowed by moments of joy leaving her with some heartwarming memories as the years pass and a sense of hope for the future I haven t read Alan Brennert s Moloka i although I plan to now that I ve finished reading this so I can t say if it s better to read it beforehand or not but this story stands on its own without reading Moloka I the first in this series Pub Date 19 Feb 2019Many thanks for the ARC provided by St Martin s Press Update 199 kindle special today It s a great follow p to Molokai I read the novel Moloka i when it first came out in 2004 before I joined Goodreads It s incredibly special to me It was my gift of choice many times Instead of a bottle of wine when invited to friends homes for dinner I brought Moloka i as a gift for the hostess So given that Moloka i is one of my favorite special heartfelt bookswhen I started Daughter of Moloka i I was excited but worried that it couldn t possibly have the same magic that Moloka i did I began my journey reading and turning pagesFor the entire first half of the book I was enjoying the characters but often felt I knew what was coming next The predictability didn t bother me but I knew I had two concerns My biggest was that this book wouldn t have the magic that Moloka i did See how concerned I wasThis is my second time mentioning my desire for the MAGICmeltingfloatingdreamlikeheaven on earth lovelovelove Holding Tight (Five in a Bed Book 3) uality that Moloka i had And honestly lots of honesty in this review it didn t have itYET Not for the first half Plus I had another worry I feared I knew too much about the subject matter in Daughter of Moloka i speaking of the historical history Japanese immigrants during WW II and the injustice of internmentwhereas when I read Molokai I didn t know anything about leprosy In both novels the history was horrific injustice But OH MY GOSHI KID YOU NOT and I was a hard ass cookie coming at this book with a critical eye as in don t mess with my Moloka i you can laugh now for being too overly dramatic and possessiveBUT I TURNED INTO MUSH TWICE then a THIRD time when I was talking to Paul in bed this morning I was a wet sloppy noodle Emotionallythis book got to me Especially around the themes between mothers and daughters As a mother myself I have often asked myself theestion what is it I would like to most pass on to my daughters Mother s beware you might cry once or twice Commercial BreakNote to the Author Alan when it comes to YOU and ANY BOOK with HAWAII in itI should know by now Your book Honolulu was FANTASTIC tooand
it had MAGICthat it ality you do SO WELLthat I will NEVER DOUBT YOU AGAIN Any time you write ahad MAGICthat it *Uality You Do SO * you do SO I will NEVER DOUBT YOU AGAIN Any time you write a about Hawaii it s MAGICAL You can t do anything less Back to Daughter of Moloka i So something change for me about half way into my reading we do need the story in the first half though this went from a good book likable to simply wonderful Just like when you make a new friend you might see a lot of alities you admire but it s not the same as when that something clicks An intimacy has bonded you I became deeper invested in the story the
read and the characters like family to meI felt pride thankful that Alan wrote this novelsetting parts of it in my city We have a lot of Japanese American history here in San Jose Japantown itself is a thriving community Manzanar located in Inyo County near the foot of the Sierra Nevada in California is one of ten American concentration camps where over 110000 Japanese Americans were interned during World War II from December 1942 to 1945 You learn about this first hand experientially through the storytelling Horrible One Eye Closed (The Pack, unfair times We take an engaging beautiful bittersweet journey with Ruth starting from when she was separated from her mother at birth Ruth s temperament and personality begins to take shape very young She loves animals passionately her entire life She s a precocious strong willed little girl who growsp to be a remarkable independent gracious wife mother and career mother by choice A great daughter friend She s outspoken and stands for civil rightsfor all justice empowering her own daughters wishes as well She s a modern thinking woman as she was as a child before she even Malones Vow understood herself The hotel Sainte Claire right downtown here in San Jose is where Ruth is reunited with her birth mother Rachel For 32 years she was angry at this strange woman because she nevernderstood why her birth mother didn t want her She s about to find out The Sainte Claire was one of finest hotels in San Jose in the 1920s when it was built Even today One of the oldest hotels in our city it s still gorgeous Ruth s husband Frank is a great man their children are lovely too The Japanese culture of honor fidelity and humbleness is inspiring Ruth s adopted parents are wonderful things that happen are horrific but this family sticks together It s when Ruth meets her mother for the first time at the Sainte Claire when I was on the edge of having tears for the rest of the book Sobbing tears a couple of times Granted I m extra sensitive these days with some medical problems butthe writing made me cry I haven t even mentioned parts in Hawaii yetMauiMolokai etcAlan Brennert does Hawaiian descriptions brilliantly You ll want to be thereI could picture the banyan trees the flowers the glorious colors of the waterthose morning skies rainbows the lush tropical areas Sentences like this gave me goosebumps Blue and black striped butterflyfishes nibbled on plankton on the rocky bottom as an electric blue Roughing it with Ryan unicornfish munched on a strand of seaweed Purple mushrooms black coral orange scorpionfish etc etc I get excited just thinking about Hawaii Paul and spent our honeymoon in Maui and Kawai 14 days and last year we bought a condo vacationnit on the beach in Maui And our daughter will be having her wedding party in Hawaii next year We ve got some Hawaii attachments The way in which Alan wraps this story p and ties it in with the story we started with Moloka i back in 2004 has ALL THE UALITIES I WAS HOPING FOR I m melting jello The magic was in Moloka i The magic is in Daughter of Moloka i NOW AVAILABLEI had been anxious to read this novel since Molokai was one of my all time favorite books I think the descriptive writing in this book is just as wonderful as in his previous novels First the descriptions of Hawaii were breathtaking and it was hard to believe that anyone would want to leave there But I m getting ahead of myself The story really starts when Ruth a little girl of 8 is living in an orphanage on the islands because her mother was forced to give her p If you haven t read the first book you might wonder why the reason was that she had leprosy At that time lepers were kept on the separate island of Molokai in an attempt to reduce the spread of the disease nothing was really known about leprosy then When a baby was born they were taken into a special home and if they show no signs of disease after one year of age they are put Transcending Taboos up for adoptionLittle Ruth had almost givenp hope of being adopted she realizes she is different because she has different eyes than most of the other kids She is half Hawaiian and half Japanese On a wonderful day a Japanese couple arrive and fall in love with Ruth They have three sons but have always wanted a daughter Ruth finally. He 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 strawberry and grape farm in California her marriage ,I Read And The Characters
One moment please while I put the pieces of my shattered heart back together Daughter of Moloka i is a follow Black Bottom Stomp up novel to Brennert s 2004 Book Club sensation Moloka i This is a seuel I never knew I neededntil I had it in my hands After reading I cannot imagine not knowing the conclusion to Rachel s storyThis book I have never cried so much while reading a bookEverIt never let Geographies, Mobilities, and Rhythms over the Life-Course up That may sound like a negative but it was actuallyite catharticThis story follows Ruth the girl that Rachel was forced to give Tempting Kate (Regency Quartet, up for adoption just hours after she was born We start with Ruth s life in a Home For Girls in Honolulu and follow her all the way through into her adulthood Moving from Hawaii to California with the Japanese family who adopted her Ruth lives through some challenging times including her family s incarceration in a Japanese Interment Camp following the events at Pearl HarborAs with other disgraceful pieces of history this type of atrocious event is not one you find often in modern fiction I knew these interment camps existed but reading about it from Ruth s perspective was heart wrenching To consider the types of injustices that were sufferedpon so many innocent people it was hard I applaud Brennert for his research efforts which were evidentI was asked a while back if you had to read the first book in order to read this one While I believe that you can read this as a stand alone your reading experience can only be enhanced by reading Moloka i first Add to this the fact that Moloka i stands strong as one of the most beautiful books I have ever read I don t think you will be disappointedIf you like sweeping historical fiction that explores what it means to live and the strength of family both blood and found this is a duology you do not want to miss While it broke my heart a million times I am grateful to have read it Thank you so much to the publisher St Martin s Press for providing me with a copy to read and reviewAlso thank you to Alan Brennert for writing such a remarkable story I will be thinking about Rachel and Ruth for years to comeOriginalI wanted this ARC sooooo much This is the companion novel to Alan Brennert s 2004 novel Moloka i which follows Rachel Kalama a young Hawaiian girl who is separated from her family and sent to live in a leprosy colony This novel follows Rachel s daughter Ruth who as a baby was taken from her care Mokoka i is one of the most beautiful and moving historical fiction novels I have EVER read and I am absolutely beside myself that we are getting a second book in this world If it is anything like this first one I am in for a very special treat Yayeeeeeeee I don t think I could anticipate a book than Daughter of Moloka i The seuel to Moloka i it tells Ruth s story Ruth is the daughter of Rachel Kalama Progress or Collapse uarantined at the leprosy settlement Rachel was forced to give Ruth away at her birth Ruth arrives at the Kapi olani Home for Girls in Honolulu where her journey in this book begins It later follows her adoption by a Japanese couple who take her to California Later Ruth is married and held in a World War II internment camp And most exciting of all it follows Ruth on the day she receives a letter from a woman named Rachel While Ruth and Rachel s relationship is touched on in Molokai Daughter of Moloka I breathes life into it rounding it out with so much depth Daughter of Moloka I is a story of mother and daughter of two strong women who never thought they would meet as they work out their similarities and their differences Ruth comes of age in a way finding out about her past and things she never could have known because she was adopted Overall Alan Brennert s luscious writing brings Hawaii and its culture to life It also inserts Japanese culture and is a bittersweet loving engaging story of two indomitable women and the building of a relationship I received a complimentary copy All opinions are my own My reviews can also be found on my blog wwwjennifertarheelreadercom There are some books and authors you connect with and then there are others that try as you might just don t bring that connection to fruitionI know that there are many wonderful reviews of this book and I surelynderstand the accolades and the four and five star ratings As I look back at my reading of Mr Brennert s first book I see that I also did not rate it than a three So perhaps this author and I just don t make that connection so very important to a satisfying readingI appreciate so Ruth s story What some Japanese people who resided in America went through was both tragic and a severe case for the evils of racism In reality this was the part of the book that I enjoyed reading because I learned of things I never knew I also enjoyed the first half of the book as we meet Ruth her trials as an nwanted girl born of parents who were lepers residing in a convent school and cared for by loving *Nuns I Loved The Fact *I loved the fact she was adopted by a loving couple and eventually brought to California to be raised by her new parents and her new siblings So what was it that fell apart for me In all honesty I would have to say that the telling of the story seemed to become bogged down by the wordiness of details I wanted showing action and less telling I found myself skimming which is never a good sign and was just not involved in the characters as I so wanted to beI know I am pretty much of an outlier of
this and Mr Brennert s former book I know he is well versedand Mr Brennert s former book I know he is well versed the topics he explores and I feel bad that a book so loved by others fell short for me Thank you to Alan Brennert St Martin s Press and NetGalley for a copy of this book for an honest reviewThis book is due to be published on February 19 2019 Daughter of Moloka I by Alan Brennert is a 2019 St Martin s Press publication Vivid and poignant very effective and emotional It took me a long time to get around to reading Moloka Around ten years ago someone in my book club selected Moloka i as our monthly read I wasn t sure I d like the book as I knew very little about Hawaii or leprosy but it was a chance to learn By the end of the novel I was in tears and had scheduled a trip to visit the islands It was a major hit at our book club meeting and I fondly recalled the book for several years Last month I was searching NetGalley to see what was newly released when this book showed in my eue WHAT A SEUEL I Firedance (Aubrey Knight, uickly reuested it waited days to find out if I d be granted the approval and messaged my former book club members to tell them about it When I was awarded the book I moved itp the The Buzzards That Circle the Throne (The Peacock King, ueue and read it this week This novel was truly a wonderful read and livedp to the first book it s a high recommendation from meThe seuel starts in the 1920s at an orphanage where Ruth a young girl has been dropped off by her parents for adoption While she didn t have leprosy Ruth s parents did which meant they couldn t raise her for fear of further spreading the disease Ruth waited years to be adopted because she s half Japanese and half Hawaiin few potential adopters were interested in taking her with them after a visitation All Ruth wants is her own pet a cow a dog anything but the orphanage can t allow it One day a Japanese couple arrive and adopt her Ruth finds a wonderful home and everything she deserves falls into place for a few years Her adoptive father s brother asks them to move from Hawaii to California to help farm his land They do but they find resistance to Japanese by Americans By the time Pearl Harbor occurred life for anyone of Japanese descent in mainland America was impacted Ruth and her entire family including new husband Frank and their two kids were placed in various relocation camps across the Western US Pain death and regret follow the family for a few yearsAs a reader I came to tears several times but they also have wonderful moments and relationships that deliver a strong balance in emotional terms About 23 into the book Ruth receives a letter from her biological mother explaining why she was given The Monster in My Closet up for adoption Should Ruth meet the woman Who is she and what is her connection to the characters from the first book in the series Author Alan Brennert delivers a powerhouse of emotions and history in this seuel which I feel is definitely a parallel match Not only do we learn about the culture of Hawaii but about Japan in this second installment Tonderstand what happened to Japanese Americans in the 30s and 40s was difficult and crushing It was eually as crushing as the deaths at Pearl Harbor and in WW2 as a result of all the fighting but the focus here was on those around Ruth and her familyThe book The Sea Lion Festival ultimately chronicles Ruth s life from age 3 to 55 when she s grown with her own kids who are beginning to think about marriage in the late 1960s after the Korean War efforts We walk step by step with her as she loses family members gains new ones finds her connection to animals in a second life andnderstands who she really is The language in this book whether it s Hawaiin Japanese or American English is inspiring It shows the flavor of the world Ruth lived in both good and bad At times I laughed Others I teared Greenlighting (Directors Cut up To see a 50 thousand foot version of someone s life throughout the middle of the 20th century during many horrific wars isite impacting We learn of a few different things that happened during the first book that we didn t know then but from a different perspective We re visit a few of those scenes again just to make connections It s Rebound Roommate (Men of Lake Tahoe Series, uite comforting and eye opening to learn things that we hadn t know happened to Ruth s family before. This companion tale to Moloka'i tells the story of Ruth the daughter that Rachel Kalamaarantined for most of her life at the isolated leprosy settlement of Kalaupapa was forced to give p at birthT. .
Spank! unimaginable happens and the Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor By this time Ruth is married to Frank and they have two children FDR issues the order that all Japanese will have to relocated away from the West Coast They are relocated to what is little than abandoned army barracks some are even in the stables Still they try to make the best of the terrible situation making some friends and fixingp their small space to feel like home To learn what happened to the Japanese in the 30 s and 40 s is heartbreaking and I kept wondering why this isn t in children s history books maybe it is now but it wasn t when my daughters went to schoolThe book follows Ruth from age 3 to about 55 the good parts and the sad parts I don t want to give away any of the plot The author delivers another great character driven novel in which we get to know Ruth s family I must admit that I didn t feel Saints and Misfits uite the connection to this story as to Molokai Perhaps it was because in the first book we learn so much about Hawaii and how leprosy is treated along with the incredible nurses and other help who risked their own lives to work among the lepers This made such a huge impact on my heart This book I feel is about the internment camps and I have read several books about them and so wasn t that much surprised about the conditions etcThis is still a wonderful read but I would encourage reading Molokai first because there is a lot of background history to learn about Ruth and all of the lepers and how they overcame their afflictions tried to help others and live in the moments that they hadI received an ARC of this novel from the publisher through NetGalley 35 Stars roundedp to 4This book would have never crossed my radar if I hadn t gotten an email from the publisher inviting me to read it The subject matter didn t particularly lure me in but the fact that this was a follow p to a beloved bestseller from years ago intrigued me It prompted me to pick p the original book Moloka i when I noticed it on a kindle sale If I was going to read the follow Bon Appetit, Yall up I wanted to experience the original I m very glad I did Moloka i was a wonderful reading experience When you read aality book such as this it certainly raises the bar for what s next to come Sadly but not surprisingly it didn t I Do, Two uite livep to the exuisite level of its predecessor To provide a synopsis of the original story when 7 year old Rachel Kalama contracted leprosy in the late 1800s she was forcibly removed from her family in Honolulu and sent to a leprosy settlement She was lovingly raised by Franciscan nuns in an orphanage on Moloka i She made the best of her situation and managed to live as normal a life as possible even marrying a Japanese man and having a child However within 24 hours of birth Rachel had to give She Weeps Each Time Youre Born up her baby a girl she named Ruth Babies of lepers were born without disease but if they remained in contact they were susceptible The new book begins with a nun lovingly transporting baby Ruth to an orphanage one windy and rainy night Ruth grows to be very precocious and has a passion for animals Before she was adopted she became aware of a dog who would cry outside the orphanage She began secreting a portion of her dinner to later feed to the dog outside There was a cow who would sometimes wander over from a neighboring farm onto the orphanage s property and Ruth would try to befriend it She gotite a surprise when she pulled on the cow s teat and got raw milk sprayed into her faceThere were disappointments when some families seemed to be interested in Ruth but decided to adopt someone else Finally when Ruth was 5 a couple came by specifically looking for a girl who was Japanese Ruth s birth mother Rachel was Hawaiian but her birth father Kenji was Japanese Therefore Ruth had Japanese shaped eyes Mr and Mrs Watanabe already had three sons but Etsuko could no longer have children and desired a daughter Ruth was enchanted when she found out that the Watanabes owned a black cat named Mayonaka which means midnight The Watanabes owned their own carpentry and construction business in Honolulu in a two story structure with living Warheart (Sword of Truth, uarterspstairs This was a very brief part of the book because Mr Taizo Watanabe s older brother Jiro enticed him to emigrate to Florin California to share in a successful farming business with him So the Watanabe family closes down their carpentry and construction business in Honolulu to emigrate to Florin California for greater fortunes only to find that Jiro was dishonest Jiro s farming business was in financial distress because of mismanagement Not only did he need the whole Watanabe family to become physical laborers to pick the fruit in the fields he needed Taizo s financial advice to bring the farm out of the
*Red And Into The Black *and into the black was cause for rage and anger on Taizo s part that he the gibson uprooted his family out of a comfortable and sound financial situation into this mess because of Jiro s lies However like in all good books the characters put their best foot forward to work really hard and make the best out of the situation they find themselves in The saddest part of the book was what happened after the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7 1941 It was World War II andpon the orders of US President Franklin D Roosevelt Japanese Americans were rounded Bad Things in the Night up and forcibly relocated and incarcerated in internment camps most of whom lived on the Pacific coast I found this part of the book mostnpleasant and difficult to get through On the one hand it was inspiring to read about how the family stuck together as much as possible and through intense cleaning and creative decoration they made the best of an Diana (Sunfire, unpleasant housing situation Also the mensed whatever skills they possessed to work whether it be farming food service or journalism However it was The Woman in the Wall uite depressing to read about the plight of these Japanese Americans who were proud to be Americans having everything they worked for just taken away from them Once the war was over they had to start at ground zero once again their former proprietary concerns lost to them As touchedpon at the end of the original book Moloka i through the writing of a letter Ruth s birth mother Rachel makes contact Ruth is now an adult married and with two children and had no idea that her birth mother gave her The Golden Vortex up because she was forced to because she was a leper She had no idea that her birth mother loved her so much and thought about her each and every day She also had no idea that Rachel bought and elaborately wrappedp a present for each and every one of Ruth s birthdays that had never been able to be given They now amounted to 35So the book comes full circle with the reunion of Ruth and Rachel and all of the beautiful emotions that would entailThe main theme of the book as voiced by Rachel is her dismay at the irony of what happened to Ruth in the internment camps Her first reaction was OH NO YOU were supposed to be FREE Having read both of these books I now see the parallel storylines clearly than ever of their trials and tribulations both families always trying to make the best of the worst situations when government entities are controlling them These are both very fine books I just enjoyed the first one a little bit You definitely could read this one as a standalone but I would highly recommend reading them both for a most enriching experience Thank you to the publisher St Martin s Press for providing an advance reader copy via NetGalley Daughter of Moloka i is the seuel to Alan Brennart s novel Molaka i
SEUELS ARE A UNIUE WRITING GENREare a niue writing genre anticipated highly scrutinized and highly debated There are few novels and their seuels that achieve eually plauditsKnowing this I felt a sense of trepidation when I began reading Daughter of Molaka i Within A Few Pages The Trepidation Was Gone The Hours That few pages the trepidation was gone The hours that spent reading the novel have turned to images in my memory that will last a lifetimeBeginning at age three Brennart tells the story of Ruth daughter of Rachael a leprosy victim Rachael had the disease but Ruth also suffered its conseuences Torn from her mother and placed in an orphanage in Honolulu Ruth struggles as other girls are placed in families while she remains behind Finally joy enters her life when a Japanese family adopts her and eventually move to California With insight into human emotion Brennart takes s thru Ruth s life thru teenage years to marriage to the internment in a World War II camp But yet for Ruth there is in her continuing life a letting from her birth mother RachaelPossibly Brennart s greatest gift to the novel is his ability to deeply and deftly describe the places and people so that we are transported to that time and local We emotionally connect with Ruth We feel her sadness we celebrate her joy and fulfillment We won t forget her You can t ask for than that in a novel I received an advance copy of this book from NetGalley NetGalley DaughterofMoloka. Nd njust 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‚Äôs birth mother Rach. .