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Daughter of Moloka'i

Narrated by: Tamlyn Tomita
Series: Moloka’i, Book 2
Length: 14 hrs and 20 mins
Categories: Fiction, Historical
4 out of 5 stars (2 ratings)

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Summary

The highly anticipated sequel to Alan Brennert’s acclaimed book club favorite, and national best seller, Moloka'i

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 listeners of Moloka'i have been awaiting for 15 years.

©2019 Alan Brennert (P)2019 Recorded Books

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Profile Image for June J
  • June J
  • 03-04-19

Read Moloka'i then Daughter of Moloka'i

As I hoped, I loved this book! Daughter of Moloka'i, published February 2019, is a continuation of Alan Brennert's wonderful book, Moloka'i, which was published in late 2004. I purchased "Book #1" in an airport in 2005 because I am a regular visitor to the island of Maui, Hawaii, and I liked the cover of the book! (Yay, Art Department!) That was such a wonderful story that I actually sent a handwritten letter to the author to tell him how I felt about the main character, Rachel Kalama, and that I thought he should sell it as a miniseries! He wrote back to me, thanking me for taking the time to write. (Today he actually replies to Facebook comments about the new book!) I have recommended that first book to countless people who have all been swept away by the story.
Fast forward to 2018 when I read that Brennert was finishing a follow up book focused on the life of Rachel's daughter, Ruth. Rachel was required to give her "Hapa" (mixed/half) Hawaiian & Japanese daughter up for adoption just hours after she was born, knowing that Ruth would live a life of freedom, unlike Rachel, who was sent to live at Moloka'i's Leper Colony when she was a little girl. Ruth, however, was living in CA just after Pearl Harbor was bombed, and people of Japanese descent were relocated to internment camps for sometime afterward, her freedom also temporarily gone.
Daughter of Moloka'i has a full cast of rich characters that you can become emotionally invested in. It is also a joy to become reacquainted with characters from the original book again, not limited to Ruth's mother Rachel.
I listened to this book via Audible (14 hours 20 minutes) narrated so wonderfully by Tamlyn Tomita, who I recognize from the TV show "The Good Doctor." Both books are rich, historical fiction, and I learned a lot from each one. The information about the Tanforan "Assembly Center" in Daughter of Moloka'i was especially interesting because I live minutes away from the location, which is now home to a shopping mall. I would definitely recommend reading book 1 then book 2, but if you like quality fiction, you will be pleased with these.
I will never forget these characters and their stories. Mahalo, Alan Brennert, for bringing Rachel Kalama back to us to finish both her story and Ruth's.

This review will also be posted on my Goodreads review page.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Lynne G.
  • 23-02-19

So good

This book was so well read by Tamlyn Timor’s. I grew up in Hawaii and have been to Kalaupapa. I felt like I was there many times during the story. Bravo to the author and narrator!

4 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Romy
  • 14-03-19

Might be a good story it the reader didn’t get in the way

I should have eye read this book rather than ear read (listen). I found the reader to be unbearable and found myself rolling my eyes, wincing and being downright frustrated with the performance. Usually I stop a book when the reader is horrible for me but I was on a long road trip and was super curious about the internet camp part of the book - a neglected area in American History. Perhaps the story was better than I am rating it but I could not get past the readers’ influence on the story with the weird voices, stuttering interpretations of conversations and imposed emotions. Ultimately I should have stopped listening and downloaded a different book because I am not leaving this book with the same good feeling I had after eye reading Moloka’i.
Book 2 focused on the family ‘s internment which despite the reader I found fascinating in that I don’t know a whole lot about that part of American History.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Monica
  • 13-03-19

Didn't impress like the others

The performance was not all that great for an audible book. loads ofnwhispering and hard to hear.

It was a nice book but nothing like Molokai.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Angela
  • 01-03-19

Wonderful Hawaiian stories & true history!!

This book brought me back to my roots, traditions and practices I forgot about after living in the Mainland so long. Descriptions offered beautiful pictures of Hawaii and bad scenes of WWII. Enjoy and have tissues in hand!

1 person found this helpful

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  • nanaj
  • 30-03-19

The narration is Awful!

This narration is SO irritating! The book is lovely but I am not sure I can listen to it. This woman’s voice is grating when she try’s a child’s voice. Also her mouth sounds so dry ..., seriously drink something! Molokai was perfect not this. I have not even listened to the full first chapter.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Cathy B.
  • Cathy B.
  • 04-02-20

Great read

Wonderful sequel to the first book,
Moloka’i Great history lesson too on WWII Japanese internment camps
I learned something new! The book held my interest throughout. I’m still thinking about it days after I finished it.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • needler
  • 17-10-19

A Must Read

Fantastic study of Japanese-American life before, during, and after WW II. Wonderful read - should be required reading for all American history students, especially. Brennert has done a masterful job of weaving a poignant story with a shameful period of US history.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Gail G. Stephens Munzing
  • Gail G. Stephens Munzing
  • 23-09-19

Daughter of Moloka’i

I thoroughly enjoyed this sequel to the book called Molokai. This,too, is a historical novel. While Molokai deals with the plight of the Hawaiians inflicted with Hansen’s Disease and life in a leper colony, Daughter of Molokai gives a glimpse into the injustices suffered by Japanese Americans in the Japanese internment camps during World War II on the west coast of the United States of California.
Very well written. I enjoyed the performance.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 01-09-19

Lots of info, average outcome

I can’t put my finger on exactly what made this story feel average. Possibly, because Alan Brennert’s Molokai is revered so highly in my book shelf, I wanted to love this book the same way. The narration was not relaxing, but almost annoying in the number of characters one single voice was attempting to represent. Brennert packs so much historical knowledge into the story line, the character development suffers.