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Wai-Nani, a Voice from Old Hawaii Paperback – May 1, 2008

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"A true & brilliant watercolor of imagination and reality! For those who know & love the Islands, it brings forward a visual feast of the past --For those who have yet to experience the rare beauty & history of Hawaii, a remarkable yet educational trip of truth touched by beauty & fantasy. Ballou: this is great!"
~XX-Connie Nelson


"Hi Linda - I started reading Wai-nani tonight. Nicely written and it's a compelling story. You really have a sense of Hawaiian life and culture and the imagination to bring an earlier time to life."
~Michael Shapiro- Travel writer and author of Sense of Place


"WAI-NANI -- A Voice From Old Hawaii is a beautifully written epic about a strong independent woman. It is a history lesson written with care and heart about a remarkable people during an amazing time. The Queen Ka'ahumanu, the favorite wife of Kamehameha the Great, inspired Wai-nani's character.
 
"Linda has caught the beauty, mystery, and heart of the Hawaiian culture. I found this book both educational, and inspirational: a seductive journey through time and to a place of great majesty and history. A must read for all those who enjoy romance and history."
~Yolanda Renee

"Wai-nani is a masterpiece! The historic novel tells the dramatic and heart warming love story of Wai-nani. By weaving the ancient legends of Old Hawaii into this compelling story, Ballou captivates the reader with her beautiful descriptions and very real characters, who come alive in your imagination. Once I got the rhythm I could hardly put the book down. It is an excellent read, especially if you have been or plan to go to Hawaii." 
~Bonnie Neely, Editor of Real Travel Adventures

Ballou's artful storytelling pulled me into Wai-nani's dramatic struggle - the universal journey to discover how and why one fits into the beautiful, yet flawed world one lives in. The duality of Wai-nani's relationship with the ocean and a family of dolphins that offers her uncomplicated freedom and expression, and her relationships within a culture where she must struggle physically, emotionally and spiritually against her traditional "place of standing," is a magical, inspiring and thought provoking read.  

Scott Hillenbrand - Feature Film Director/Producer  

From the Author

Ano Ano (the seed) for Wai-nani - A Voice from Old Hawaii took root in my heart thirty years ago when I lived on the north shore of Kauai.  I became smitten with the great personage of Ka'ahumanu, the childless bride who was the favorite wife of Kamehameha the Great. This was in the late 70's, a time when women were breaking the traditional mold. Ka'ahumanu faced down the all-powerful priests and ended the 2,000-year-old kapu system that called for harsh penalties for infractions. Writing the story of this empowered woman, mostly overlooked by western historians, became a beautiful obsession.


Readers of Wai-nani are amazed at the authentic detail and depth of my research. I went to most of the places described in my book, including the sacred Waipio Valley now closed to overnight stays. I hiked across the smoldering floor of Iki Crater in Volcano National Park, and spent hours in The Place of Refuge on the Big Island trying absorb the mana of the ancestors. I read old and new chronicles on Hawaiian history, spent hours at Bishop Museum and hired a Hawaiian scholar to read my manuscript. In short, I did everything in my power to stay true to the culture and re-create an authentic portal into a world that is lost to us now.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 284 pages
  • Publisher: Star Publish (May 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1932993886
  • ISBN-13: 978-1932993882
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,385,166 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

A love triangle of extremes has proven to be a solid base for my writing. From my roots in Alaska I receive strength, centeredness and respect for the awful power of nature. Numerous adventure articles, essays on my website are set in my homeland. In Hawaii I found a spiritual awakening, sensuality, peace and my heroine for my historical novel, Wai-nani--A Voice from Old Hawaii. In proud California I obtained a degree in English Literature from Northridge University and a doctorate in urban savvy. I continue to enjoy opportunities here for intellectual stimulation, exciting contacts and friends. My armchair travel collection, Lost Angel Walkabout-One Traveler's Tales, is filled with chills, spills, and giggles takes you to Alaska, Costa Rica, New Zealand and the wild west of North America!

In my latest novel Cowgirl Jumped Over the Moon Grand Prix jumper Gemcie McCauley takes a tumble on Marshal, her Irish Hunter, that turns her world upside down. She heads for the high Sierras to find her balance and meets Brady, a solitary cowboy, who gives her the courage to get back into the saddle and beat the odds. She returns to reclaim Marshal and fly high with him once more.
Stop by my web page www.LindaBallouAuthor.com and enjoy travel articles and photo essays.

In my column on Examiner.com I share Great Outdoor Days in L.A. I have 47 days for you there with adventures in Malibu, Ojai, Ventura and Santa Barbara.

I am also the Adventure Travel Expert at www.NABBW.com
Join me!


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Sofia Steryo-Bartmus on August 14, 2009
Format: Paperback
Author of: "Paws of Wisdom" Valuable Lessons we can learn from our Pets

Wai-nani tells the story between the first High Chiefess of Hawaii,and the fierce, great warrior and magnificient ruler , Makaha, who unified the Hawaiian islands in the late 18th Century. Wai-nani emerges as a young, beautiful, strong, powerful and "Free-Spirited" modern woman in an ancient society. She is a woman before her time, who rose to a position (Kuhina-Nui) no other had risen before her, and one who helped bring about changes that elevated the status of women. She loves the sea and her dolphin friends, where she finds peace, solitude and comfort from the harsh traditions imposed on her and her people. She defies the 'kapus' (taboos) of the time and wishes and vows one day to see the savage ways of the long ago lifted, where men and women can sit together and share their joys and troubles without the fear of the death dealing Kahunas.

Linda Ballou has done extensive research on the history of the characters and Hawaii, and gives the reader blow by blow details in a flowery, poetic and interesting language. She manages to intertwine a love story with historical fact and has done a superb job. She narrates the story through Wai-nani's eyes and experiences, and she makes it all come alive for the reader. I found myself transported into an ancient world where human sacrifices were common and where people were put to death for disobeying the laws.I felt as if I was present in the lives of the common people, the warriors and the royal families of the time, as well as in the midst of the lush valleys and beautiful sand beaches and mountains of the Islands.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Bonnie Neely on July 8, 2008
Format: Paperback
Wai-Nani, High Chiefess of Hawai'i: Her Epic Journey By Linda Ballou This, the author's first book, is a masterpiece and a fascinating read. The historic novel tells the dramatic and heart warming love story of Wai-Nani. By weaving the ancient legends of Old Hawaii into this compelling story, Ballou captivates the reader with her beautiful descriptions and very real characters, who come alive in your imagination. The first few pages were a bit hard to read because the author has interjected real Hawaiian words into sentences in which the meaning is evident, but once I got the rhythm I could hardly put the book down. It is an excellent read, especially if you have been or plan to go to Hawaii.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Anna Maria Prezio on January 3, 2009
Format: Paperback
What a wonderful book. Wainani to me is another word for empowerment. A woman's journey into the secret rituals of womanhood and historical Hawaiian traditions. Wainani, a true historical figure, is the ultimate self-actualized woman. We get to peek at her private fantasies, her sexual encounters and her love for sea creatures like Eku, her dolphin friend. This book is filled with magical experiences, warriors, ancient Hawaiian traditions and its majestic beauty. Once you read this book you will never forget Wai-nani. She stays with you forever. I highly recommend this book.

Anna Maria Prezio, Ph.D.
Best Selling Author of Confessions of a Feng Shui Ghost-Buster
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By O. Brown HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 20, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
*****
This is a beautiful story, a fictionalized account of the life of a Hawaiian woman, Wai-nani, based upon the life of Hawaiian chiefess Kaahumanu. Reading this lovely novel is an appealing way of learning about early Hawaiian life.

The story is filled with vivid imagery and rife with details that make this time period come to life. I especially enjoyed the way the voice of the book reflects Hawaiian thinking and values.

Readers who would enjoy this novel the most are those very interested in early Hawaiian life and/or the lives of indigenous peoples.

Highly recommended.
*****
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By iCloudia on October 23, 2009
Format: Paperback
To be completely honest, sometimes all of the dense detail and descriptive information seemed to impede the narrative flow of the story for me, but those who desire to experience the mind-set and culture of the Hawaiians of old will find much to enjoy and profit from in these pages. It's not a bad story, and those conversant with Hawaii's history will even recognize some of the characters. "You are THERE!"

This book gives it to you right on the cover: it is an epic. Linda Ballou obviously fell under the spell of Hawaii in a way that had a major impact on her life. Of course, it is always a minefield for a mainland writer to appropriate the already plundered culture of the Hawaiian people - and there will be some who will nit-pick until they find some detail of which to disapprove. But as Ms. Ballou herself humbly demonstrates in her Author's Note, she is well aware of these potential pitfalls, and has made a very honorable effort to thoroughly research her book's milieu. She has also taken the trouble to seek out scholars of Hawaiian blood (in the traditional way) in order to learn from them and their words directly. This is a book that appreciates the islands' host culture and treats it with care. The result is a likeable read that does not offend or provoke laughter from this Hawaii resident and author.

If have already read Michner's Hawaii, and are still longing to get lost in a tropic setting, there to dream of waterfalls, beautiful people, and azure surf, as the winter winds howl outside your window; well you could do a lot worse than to spend some time with Wai-nani. Aloha to You!

Cloudia Charters, author of:

ALOHA Where You Like Go?: From Survival to Satisfaction by Honolulu Taxi
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