Here's the description of the book from Summerside Press' website: "In 1890, Lahaina is in the midst of unrest. Kaiulani, Crown Princess of the Kingdom of Hawaii, has recently become known throughout the world for her intelligence, beauty, and determination to restore her nation’s monarchy. When a Scottish missionary lands on the shores of Lahaina, he finds himself drawn into a revolt by those desirous of annexing the islands to the United States. Will he underestimate Kaiulani, the 'barbarian princess,' or can they work together to restore peace to this normally tranquil paradise?"
Note: For some reason, the descriptions I found of the book online are not the same as the description on the back cover of the book. The description above is kind of misleading and does not do the story justice. However, I don't really want to retype the whole synopsis from the back cover! =) But hopefully you can get your hands on a copy and read it for yourself!
My Rating: Summer
This is such a powerful, moving book, that I'm sure my words here will not be able to express how much I loved it! The story is an amazing work of historical fiction, beautifully weaving together fact and imagination. And I was absolutely drawn in by the imagery! The author's writing style is delightful.
Both of the plot lines--the past (late 1800s) and the present (1973)--intrigued me and kept me reading to find out more. I feel like I have done a lot of traveling through this book, from Hawaii to England. And each place was described in such a way as to take me there, right where the characters were.
But it wasn't just the imagery that I loved--I also fell in love with the characters. I laughed at the antics of the young Princess Kaiulani and her friends, and I was moved to tears by the heartache she felt as an adult. My heart was also breaking for Sandi, the main character of the novel in 1973, whose husband was missing in action during the war in Viet Nam.
And at the end of it all, I was amazed by how both stories were resolved, and how magnificently interwoven both plot lines were. Through Kaiulani's faith in God and the love between her and her dear friend, Hannah, I was truly blessed. And the love stories (both of them) left me more than satisfied. What a wonderful book!