|2.5 stars out of 5|
This novel had a great plot line, which suffered I think from the author’s rigid adherence to historical fact. I think he would be much better at writing text books than fiction, which is not the insult that it sounds, as both are separate skills and both necessary in our world. But this could have been such a good story and it missed its mark for me by such a huge margin.
It’s such a wonderful setting—the lushness and harshness both of Hawaii. The situation of a remote island leper colony offers so much opportunity, much of which the author made use of, but mechanically rather than artistically. The story just seemed to plod from plot point to plot point, methodically telling the tale without really inspiring too much emotion from me. Perhaps I’m just hard-hearted, but all of the piling on of miseries just overwhelmed me. How much more could be thrown at a character? And although we are told that they are suffering, it was more telling than showing. It was more like reading a non-fiction account than like reading a novel.