This story explores Hawaiian culture and beliefs in a world where mainstream culture is sweeping away that identity. We follow one family who think they have been touched by the gods, destined for greatness after their 7 year old son is saved by sharks. Their belief in the potential to pull themselves out of the world they are living in starts out so strong. But as real life continues on they become less and less convinced and find themselves drifting in ways that challenge them.
I liked the alternating chapters with each character through the years and the weaving of the mundanities of their lives with spiritual and magical elements. It is slow and shows only snippets of what is moving them forward but each is so rich and layered. That said, I’m sure I missed a lot of messages that would resonate much more deeply with the Hawaiian audience. I am glad I read this and enjoyed the journey but think a second read would help me better absorb more deeply the intentions behind the story.
Thanks to Farrar, Straus and Giroux for gifted access via Netgalley. All opinions above are my own.
Have you been to Hawaii? Is it on your bucket list?