Bodie Thoene is one of my favorite authors. She’s known for her historical fiction, which she writes with her husband and co-author, Brock Thoene. I’ve been hooked on Bodie and Brock since the very early 90’s. They are right up there in my top five authors.
Love Finds You in Lahaina Hawaii is another one of Bodie’s incredible books. It’s a stand-alone book, but I wish it were a series. I could read much more about the Hawaiian Monarchy.
One of the things I really enjoyed about the book is that it is two stories in one. It starts out with Sandi, who travels to Hawaii in 1973 to get the story on the era of Hawaiian royalty. She meets a woman who brings her the story of Princess Kaiulani that spans from 1889 – 1894. We follow Sandi as she relives the life of the princess while dealing with her own world of grief and longing.
The book is rich with Hawaiian scenery and ambiance. Bodie illustrates the innate character of the Hawaiian people beautifully, bringing out their sense of humor and cheerful approach to life. If you haven’t been to Hawaii, this book will make you want to go!
The other thing I really enjoyed was the historical accuracy. Of course there are few instances of literary invention (plenty of twists and surprises), but it wouldn’t be fiction if there weren’t. All in all, in researching the subject, I found most of the story of Princess Kaiulani to be accurate. And the story in itself is fascinating. It makes for a great read!
One thing I wish the book had included – a glossary of the Hawaiian words and names used in the book and how to pronounce them. Especially the names. Through the whole book, I pronounced them the way I thought they would be pronounced in Hawaii, with every vowel and syllable enunciated. But I was never sure I was right. That was something that bothered me.
What I enjoyed the most about this book was the ending! It floored me! I didn’t see it coming. Maybe I should have, maybe some of you saw it coming, but I never did. I won’t say what happened, of course, but it was great!
I highly recommend Love Finds You in Lahaina Hawaii. This was an amazing read. For all of you Thoene fans and Christian fiction fans, this is a great one!
Here’s the description from the back of the book:
1973. For four-and-a-half lonely years, Sandi Smith has wondered if her husband, a soldier missing in action in Veit Nam, is alive or dead. A research trip to Hawaii provides a welcome diversion. As Sandi interviews the oldest woman in Lahaina, she is swept into the life of a princess born nearly a century before … and a surprising love greater than she could ever dream.
1889. Greed and danger abound in the changing politics of Hawaii. The beautiful Victoria Kaiulani Cleghorn, Crown Princess of Hawaii and the next royal heir of the kingdom, is sent to England with her best friend, Hannah, to guarantee her safety. Two men vie for Princess Kaiulani’s hand – Clive, the handsome son of her English guardian, and the dashingly cocky Andrew Adams. But all is not as it seems. Betrayal swirls around her. With her kingdom in jeopardy and her own life in danger, whom can Kaiulani trust?