Nothing is better
than being curled up
with good historical fiction.
"Readers will fervently hope that Anderson has more novels in her because this one is
a winner.” Starred Review, Best Indie Book for October. "Best Books of 2020" --- Kirkus
"Riveting...Perfect for history buffs." --- Booklist
"Running from Moloka`i is a notable exception worth any historical fiction lover’s time… Anderson has meticulously researched the culture and history of both leprosy and the
white colonization of Hawaii. Her writing is exceptional…. I too give it 5 stars.
I can’t wait for more from Anderson.” --- Mind Joggle
"Highly Recommended." --- Historical Novel Society
It is 1884. In the days of a dying kingdom, Hawaiians have already lost so much. Now
the native population is on the verge of collapse as the deadly disease of leprosy continues to
ravish the islands. Hawaiians want to keep their sick loved ones at home where they can die
with dignity. But foreigners make the laws, and they want them gone. The islands are seething
over the issue.
So is the family of Mele Bennett, a young half-Hawaiian girl.
To Mele's white physician father, the only way to save the remaining Hawaiians is to exile
"every last leper" to a remote peninsula on the island of Moloka`i. Willing or resistant, most
with the disease submit to the authorities.
But not all. A few are hidden by loved ones. In caves and cane fields, in hills and valleys, t
hey listen for footsteps, gunshot, or the sound of pounding hooves. Mele’s mother is secretly
helping some of those hiding.
In the chasm between the father she adores and the mother who nurtures her Hawaiian heritage,
Mele longs for a defining moment. She wants a shiny moment! Like when the firebrand is tossed
over the cliff and lights up the night sky! Instead, she will be torn from the security of her childhood
beliefs. It will take Jacob Maila, a boy she never met in a front yard she had never seen, to reveal
to Mele the human toll of the law.
Mele underestimates the forces around her: the power of greed and the tenacity of hatred; the
lifelong secret of Keahi, the boy she has loved since childhood; and the heart of her father.
As the disease unravels their world, Mele, Keahi, and her family will be reshaped by this painful
time in the history of a fading kingdom. They will be sewn back together in unexpected ways. In
some places with coarse ramie, in others with luminous thread.. Mele is not coming-of-age; she
Not all of the stories were told; not all of those sick were exiled.