Thursday, August 17, 2006

Behold the Many: A Novel

Okay, she's not Hispanic but I am looking forward to reading this book, from one of my favorite authors, Lois-Ann Yamanaka. Her book, Blu's Hanging, was one of the most poignant and moving books I have ever read. Her unique voice, filled with angst of being held between lines of the melting pot of Hawaiian cultures is very relative to those of our own.

Behold the Many: A Novel by Lois-Ann Yamanaka

From Booklist

A mystical, magical, and, at times, macabre world unfolds in Yamanaka's elegiac tale of three sisters outcast from their family and society in turn-of-the-century Hawaii. Reminiscent of Father Damien's leper colony on the island of Molokai, Oahu's St. Joseph's orphanage is a bleak haven of last resort for children afflicted with the tuberculosis that is devastating the Kalihi Valley.

As first Leah, then Aki, and finally Anah contract the disease, the sisters are banished by their monstrous father and forsaken by their powerless mother, left to fend for themselves under the callous negligence of the orphanage's nuns. Of the three sisters, only Anah will survive, but when she leaves St. Joseph's on her eighteenth birthday, she, her future husband, and their burgeoning family are destined to be haunted by the ghosts of Anah's long-dead siblings and the boy who once loved her.

Redolent with the island's lush and languid atmosphere, Yamanaka's richly atmospheric novel paints a chillingly spectral portrait of souls tormented by love and guilt.


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