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October 30, 2009

Best Discussion Books: MOLOKA'I

Posted by webmaster
Continuing with best discussion books, as submitted by readers of the newsletter, here is what Becky Haase of the LaSalle Book Group in Chicago had to say about Moloka'i by Alan Brennert.

Our best discussion was for Moloka'i by Alan Brennert, the story of a leper colony on one of Hawaii's islands. The main character, a young girl condemned to the colony from age six in the late 1800's to her old age when the colony was disbanded after World War II, is a fascinating tale of the island and many of the "real" people who lived and worked there, including Father Damian. It was obvious by the loving and accurate detail that a great deal of research had gone into the writing of the book.

Our discussion ranged from removing children from their homes to the impact of disease on the ill and their families to love and marriage to the internment of the Japanese during WWII to reuniting birth and adoptive families --- just to mention a few of the topics we covered. We usually meet for one hour, but this discussion lasted for two full hours. It is often referred to as "the best book we've read" by members when choosing our next book.

When, soon after our meeting, the book became a bestseller, we joked that our discussion must have led to its popularity. Now we are looking forward to reading Alan Brennert's new novel, Honolulu.

---Becky Haase
The LaSalle Book Group