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Saturday, July 19, 2008

Author Fictionalizes History of Hawaii

Wai-nani High Chiefess of Hawaii-Her Epic Journey
By Linda Ballou
Historical Fiction
Reviewer Paul Wagner

Reviewed by Paul Wagner for About Teens

This is an historical novel couched in magical realism set against the backdrop of Hawai’i’s most dynamic period between 1740 and 1820. Wai-nani’s character is inspired by Ka’ahumanu, the favorite wife of Kamehameha the Great, who was responsible for ending the 2,000-year-old Polynesian “kapu system.” The turbulent romance of these Hawaiian icons and the events that changed an ancient culture forever is told by the author with passion and authenticity.

Wai-nani’s relationship with the ocean and a family of dolphins offers her uncomplicated freedom and expression, while her experiences with her people demand that she struggle physically, emotionally and spiritually against her traditional “place of standing.”

Author Ballou delivers a generous slice of Hawaiian history with details of land and sea as vivid as being there. It is an inspiring and absorbing read.

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