Shores of Paradise

Shirley Streshinsky, Author Putnam Publishing Group $22.95 (416p) ISBN 978-0-399-13568-2
Set in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Streshinsky's latest novel (after The Gift of the Golden Mountain ) intertwines the lives of four colorful characters during a turbulent period of Hawaiian history. Martha Moon, abandoned by her parents, is eventually expelled from a Catholic orphanage in Honolulu and sent to Hale Mana'olana (House of Hope), a school for ``the unwanted and unloved'' located on a breezy stretch of beach at Waikiki. There Martha develops friendships with two other ``young outcasts,'' the dwarf Liko and True, who has witnessed the murder of her mother. The three become inseparable and, after meeting the frail Hawaiian princess Kaiulani, they add her to their coterie. Conveyed chiefly as Martha's memoirs, the story is gently laced with Hawaiian legends and the characters' correspondence. Streshinsky exhibits a persuasive understanding of Hawaiian class distinctions, culture and folklore. While the shifts in point of view and voice can be distracting, the narrative is unified by the lush detail that exudes the warmth of the islands. (July)
Reviewed on: 07/01/1991
Release date: 07/01/1991
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-425-13331-6
Paperback - 978-0-425-13418-4
Paperback - 420 pages - 978-1-61858-024-5
Hardcover - 574 pages - 978-1-63026-464-2
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