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The Last Aloha Paperback – May 15, 2009

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Editorial Reviews


Beautifully and insightfully written, The Last Aloha shines a light on a dark part of Hawaii s history, and challenges us to see each other with both our minds and our hearts the true aloha spirit. Quinn reminds us that this spirit has always been in the hearts of the Hawaiian people, giving us hope that it is within reach of us all. --Q Orianka Kilcher, actress, star of The New World and Princess Ka`iulani (2009)

I was caught up in the drama and spectacle from the first. Quinn knows her history and is skilled at bringing it to the page. I highly recommend this novel, not just to those with an interest in the Hawaiian Islands, but to all who can appreciate a good yarn. Knowing that much of this one is true made it all the more compelling. --Eileen Goudge, best-selling author of Garden of Lies and Such Devoted Sisters

About the Author

GAELLEN QUINN has a master's degree in International and Community Development, and a bachelor's degree in Linguistics and Chinese. She was development director of the Association for the Cohesive Development of the Amazon (ADCAM), vice president of both Network Action Company and Central Technologies, Inc., and operations and marketing director for the California Wellness Plan. Her writing reflects her passion for diverse peoples, as well as for global themes that affect our personal, social, and spiritual lives. Gaellen Quinn has two daughters, and lives in Moloka`i.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 392 pages
  • Publisher: Lost Coast Press; First Edition edition (May 15, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1935448005
  • ISBN-13: 978-1935448006
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (200 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #228,171 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

171 of 182 people found the following review helpful By L. Gronquist on January 31, 2008
I live in two worlds, one I know and one that leaves me baffled. I was raised by my native Hawaiian grandmother who was born in 1887. She was 6 years old at the time of the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom. I was 5 when we became the 50th State of America and on that day I learned the most important lesson of my life. I went to my white grandparents home in Kahala for a 4th of July like picnic celebration and was dropped off later that day at my Hawaiian grandmother's home and witnessed the other truth, the mourning.
24 years after the overthow Liliuokalani wrote, " I could not turn back the time for the political change, but there is still time to save our heritage. You must remember never to cease to act because you fear you may fail. The way to lose any earthly kingdom is to be inflexible, intolerant and prejudicial. Another way is to be too flexible, tolerant of too many wrongs and without judgment at all. It is a razor¹s edge. It is the width of a blade of pili grass. To gain the kingdom of heaven is to hear what is not said, to see what can not be seen, and to know the unknowable, that is Aloha. All things in this world are two; in heaven there is but one." (Liliuokalani 1917)

On that day in 1959 I saw two truths and I have spent a life time trying to tell the other side, but with each side bunkered down behind their truth it is too painful to hear the other. The subject of the overthrow has been obscured by a hundred fifteen years maybe heaven will open up and Queen Liliuokalani's truth will be heard through a historical novel called, "The Last Aloha". E waiho `ia me ka ha'aha'a a me ke aloha palena `ole.
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43 of 43 people found the following review helpful By S. Jones on February 14, 2010
Format: Paperback
I don't know where to begin. There was so much beauty, education and it was a testament to the human spirit! It was breathtaking in every way, the background story, the history is cleverly woven into the storyline without slowing down the pace of the plot. The dramatic events take the story in a new direction and the reader is hooked! This is charming with its engaging dialogue, great characterization, full of passion for life. What a learning experience! The spectacular writing and obvious extensive, thorough research that the author did was a joy to read! SPECTACULAR! YOU WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED!!!
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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Gayle Brandt on January 17, 2008
In the blink of an eye, what might have been an ordinary life for an ordinary woman is tranformed by tragedy into an extraordinary journey. By not dwelling overly-long on the tragic events that precipitate our heroine's travel to the Hawaiian Islands, Ms. Quinn gets right to the heart of the matter and grabs our attention, showing us that Laura (like many people of her time) has no idea what the words "Hawaiian Nation" really mean, nor does she know what awaits her at the end of her voyage. She thinks she will be living amongst "savages," and quite possibly, cannibals. She will find that she is very much mistaken.

This excerpt is engagingly written. The characters of "The Last Aloha" are vivid and believable, as are the settings, and the use of journal entries affords a wonderfully intimate view into the mind of our main character. The hint of a family mystery is compelling. What is the real story of the beautiful pearl ring Laura wears on a chain around her neck? Ms. Quinn promises to lead us through a story rich in intrigue, passion, and courage, revealing truths about Hawaii's history thus far hidden from the public eye. If the first two chapters are any indication if what's to come, I can't wait to read the rest of "The Last Aloha."
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on January 19, 2008
Most people come to the Hawaiian islands and see the beautiful landscapes but know nothing about the tragic past that broke the hearts of the Hawaiian people. This book,though it contains fictional characters,is based on sound research and it paints a tremendous picture of the actual happenings that caused the Kingdom of Hawaii to be stolen away from its people. I truly could not stop reading from start to finish. Hawaii is known throughout the world as one of the most beautiful places on earth. It is time the world heard the story behind the beauty.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Trina on January 28, 2008
Either Ms. Quinn lived in Laura's time and was transported to ours OR she really did her research! The attention to detail and historical facts down to the period clothing, city scape, and the sights, smells and sounds brings these pages and characters to heart-beating life. Tragedies are always a catalyst for change and can happen to anyone at any time. The jump right into the action approach did it for me! It was believably heart-breaking and it immediately raised the stakes for Laura seducing the reader to come with her on her journey. Laura's vulnerability was captivating knowing she would be facing a completely foreign world alone, but through the author's deep characterization, the reader also knows this girl won't be going out without a fight. I love the mix of storytelling through Laura's personal journaling and the author's outlining.
And who doesn't LOVE Hawaii?? Although I am not a native, I do have lovely Hawaiian family by marriage and my immediate family in general has an history with the islands dating back to the 1960's!
This looks to be the beginning of an incredible adventure for a fictional young lady living in the non-fictional story of Hawaii that is finally about to be told.
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