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Monday, April 8, 2013


Monday Night Book Discussions
(written by Alan Brennert)
Salina Public Library
Salina, KS
© Lydia Lowe  4/8/2013

     I love the cover of this book as I'm really drawn to Hibiscus blossoms and all things Hawaii so naturally I was going to have to pick the book up.  And now you're sensing a "but".  But, while this book has exciting cover art, the story is a bit ponderous.

     Don't get me wrong, the book, the story, and the history of leprosy (Hansen's disease) are all covered quite well.  The book holds your attention and even the disease is kept somewhat a mystery all through the book with just small bits of information released to the reader.  I did additional research on my own to find out more and I think that is the hallmark of a great read.  The reader wants to know more about the subject matter.

     My problem with the book is that it is quite long and at several times during the book, I simply didn't want to hear any more about the disease.  It was overwhelming.  I understand and know that any disease that is a chronic condition can get to be overwhelming for most patients.  It's one of those enough is enough type of situations.  The patient doesn't want to hear anything more about the illness they are struggling with they just want to go to some place in their mind where they are not their disease.  This too may have been a writing technique that the author was using to draw the reader into the story.

     I think that the book overall was a great read and is well worth the time.  I have a bit of a squeamish stomach and thought at the onset that I would have trouble continuing with the book but that didn't happen, the author doesn't go into lots of graphic detail.   I think the book is a bit overlong but it does wrap up nicely at the end.

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