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Captures the Irresistible Essence of Hawaii
am 22. Mai 2000
Aloha! If you have never been to Hawaii, James Michener's Hawaii will entice you into going. If you have been to Hawaii, this book will show you what you missed while you were there.
Hawaii requires that kind of explanation. I remember visiting the orchid garden in Honolulu once. I thought I had seen everything and really enjoyed it after 30 minutes. Then a volunteer gardener introduced himself and asked me if I would like a tour. I naturally agreed, and in the next 2 and a half hours, I saw the garden for the first time. That is what Michener will do for you in this terrific novel about Hawaii.
Like all Michener novels, this one starts back millions of years ago with how the islands were formed and populated. You will get a great geology and history lesson in the process. Normally, you would probably not be interested in either one in a novel, but they are both very valuable to you as a tourist in the islands by adding to your knowledge.
The people in the story are full of passion for religion, acquiring material possessions, power and sex. Although the last is not explicitly described, lust plays a big role in the story. That seems as it should in a tropical paradise where warm weather and scanty clothing combine.
When you visit modern day Hawaii, you will see reminders of the founding families of modern Hawaii all around you. Hawaii will give you a sense of the histories behind the current power and business structure.
The book itself is written in a way that feels like you are sitting at a luau with someone telling you the story through a combination of traditional means (like the hula) and good campfire story-telling. It's almost like a trip to the Polynesian Cultural Center on the northern shore of Oahu.
Seldom do I wish that long novels (and this one is really long) would keep on going, but that was my wish with Hawaii. Even if the fiction were not based loosely on fact, it would have been an exciting and engrossing novel. The fact that the reality is a lot like the novel makes it all the more appealing.
Hawaii will hook you on Hawaii. That's good. We all need more of the magic of the islands in our lives. Leave your misconceptions behind about Hawaii being too far away. It can be right inside of you. Enjoy!