NOW A LOS ANGELES TIMES BESTSELLER | NAMED A BEST/MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK BY: USA Today • BookRiot • BookBub • LibraryReads • OC Register
The highly anticipated sequel to Alan Brennert’s acclaimed book club favorite, and national bestseller, Moloka'i
"A novel of illumination and affection." —USA Today
Alan Brennert’s beloved novel Moloka'i, currently has over 600,000 copies in print. This companion tale 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 strawberry and grape 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. Told in vivid, evocative 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.
In this emotional, gripping sequel to Brennert's Moloka'i, Ruth Utagawa, daughter of lepers but not afflicted herself, is taken from an orphanage and adopted by a Japanese family, the Watanabes, who move from Hawaii to Northern California, where they start a strawberry farm in the early 1920s. In Florin, near Sacramento, they encounter prejudice in the form of Sheriff Dreesen, who wishes the Japanese would all move back to their homeland. Ruth comes of age during the Great Depression; she falls in love with a young man named Frank Harada, and together they open a popular diner. Then the Japanese attack Pearl Harbor and, in the wake of FDR's Executive Order #9066, Ruth and her family are forcibly relocated to the internment camp at Manzanar, where they undergo a daily struggle for survival. At war's end, Ruth and her fellow internees must begin the equally difficult task of picking up their lives and starting anew. Then, Ruth receives a letter from her birth mother, Rachel. Their reunion forms the third act of this deeply moving novel. In Brennert's skilled hands, Ruth's story is powerful and urgent. 75,000-copy announced first printing.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Daughter of Moloka’i
A stirring and wonderful saga! This story of Japanese immigrant families to Hawaii and mainland USA spans many years. It’s long--in three parts, but it’s one of those that you just don’t want to put down. I listened to the audiobook, thoroughly enjoying the narrator’s voice, and her ability to present the characters with wonderful timbre and accent and language. Loved it!
This book was an emotional roller coaster. I think more so due to current events in our country that shows we just don’t learn from our past. This country was built on opportunity. Reading about the Japanese Internment through a fictional family made the past more real.