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The Spoils of Eden (The Dawn of Hawaii Series) by [Chaikin, Linda L.]
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The Spoils of Eden (The Dawn of Hawaii Series) Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Length: 352 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Prolific author Chaikin (For Whom the Stars Shine) begins the Dawn of Hawaii trilogy with this novel, set in 1880s Hawaii, when the island group still had a queen and talk of annexation to the United States was a hot political potato. Leprosy is another relevant historical fact. The leper colony on the island of Molokai is where the mother of nurse Eden Derrington lives and also where baby Kip was found by his prospective adoptive father, Rafe Easton, a Clark Gable–like coffee plantation owner who is Eden's fiancé. Eden is at least as interested in helping her father, Jerome, research a cure for leprosy as she is in marrying Rafe, who doesn't want her to risk her health helping her father chase a phantom. Chaikin uses a big canvas strewn with beautiful details from Hawaii's landscape; she has also researched Hawaiian history. Her intricate plotting compensates for some clumsy writing and lack of depth in a few of the supporting characters. But fans of historicals and epics will like this new evangelical Christian take on what James Michener did so memorably for the state. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

LINDA LEE CHAIKIN has written over thirty top selling books, including The Silk House series and For Whom the Stars Shine, a finalist for the prestigious Christy Award. Two of her novels have been awarded the Silver Angel Award for excellence. Linda is a graduate of Multnomah Biblical Seminary in Portland, Oregon, and taught neighborhood Bible classes for many years. She and her husband make their home in Northern California where her favorite recreations are reading and taking vacations where the wind blows through lonely deserts and ghost towns.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1008 KB
  • Print Length: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Moody Publishers; New Edition edition (April 23, 2010)
  • Publication Date: May 1, 2010
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003IQ16GU
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #112,581 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Hawaii, 1891. Rafe Easton, heir to a sugarcane plantation, finds an abandoned baby boy on the coast of Molokai, the Hawaiian leper colony. Not wanting to see an innocent child suffer, Rafe takes the child back to the mainland. The boy (assumed to have been born to lepers), given the name Kip, is tested and initial tests show him to be free of leprosy. Unfortunately, the law at that time says that all citizens must be certified free of leprosy through the Board of Health before they are allowed to reside on the mainland. Even so, Rafe refuses to take the child back to Molokai, instead deciding to start adoption proceedings.

Meanwhile, Rafe's fiancee, Eden (a nurse specializing in tropical diseases and representative for the Board of Health) is assigned the task of trying to get Kip away from Rafe and back to Molokai until he is "officially" cleared of leprosy. There's also tension between her and Rafe due to her desire to work with her father, a doctor, on the leper colony. Rafe prefers her to stay on the mainland, marry him and settle into domesticity.

While I did enjoy the themes of family politics & loyalties, late 19th century politics and social norms, and the history of the leper colonies (specifically the shoddy treatment of lepers by their govt.), I found that I never really became attached to any of the characters, at least not as much as I had hoped. Eden especially got overly preachy for me -- even the characters in the story were telling her to pull back! I realize this is meant to be Christian fiction but even so, it was a bit much for me. The heavy-handed references to the Garden of Eden were cringe-worthy.. almost like the author saying "Did you get that reference? Did you? DID you?" Yes. I got it. Thanks. I will try out the next book in the series to see if I get more into the series, sometimes it takes a book or two for a series to hit its stride.
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Format: Paperback
Rafe Easton rescued an abandoned baby from certain death on the leper's island in Hawaii. The baby seems to be leprosy free, but the doctors in Honolulu believe that Rafe is playing with danger and must return that baby to the islands immediately.

Eden Derrington has loved Rafe since childhood, but with them going in different directions and being unwilling to give up her dreams to follow his, she reluctantly returns Rafe's ring. Now she is the one chosen to deliver the bad news to Rafe, that he must return the baby boy to the leper's island.

Yet, Eden wants to work alongside her father, trying to find a cure for leprosy. She is willing to risk a life of privilege to work with the forgotten people. Yet, what if she falls victim to the dreaded disease that took her mother? Will Rafe even wait for her while she fulfills her dream?

THE SPOILS OF EDEN is book one in Ms. Chaikin's newest series The Dawn of Hawaii. Ms. Chaikin is certainly talented in prose, painting such a vivid word picture of the setting that the reader can literally see the exactly blue of the sky and know how many clouds floated in sight. The setting is very beautifully portrayed, but as a result it does slow the story down considerably, making it almost drag at times.

Still, Eden is a very believable character, loving and kind, and Rafe also. I felt kind of bad for them putting their dreams together aside so they could pursue their own separate dreams, and I hoped that it would all work out for them. The story is set in a real time period of Hawaii's history, with some very real people appearing as characters in the book. Ms. Chaikin included a directory of who people are, whether they were real or imaginary, and a map of the islands. She also included a glossary of Hawaiian terms.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
When Rafe Easton rescues an infant from the forbidden island of Molokai in Hawaii, he is convinced that the boy is meant to be his. Doing the right thing may cost him more than he is wiling to pay, but he is confident that his fiance Eden Derrington, will not only understand but support his decision. Forced to lie and say that little Kip is his nephew, he brings Kip to his home in Hanalei and makes his a part of his life.

Eden Derrington is trying to accomplish too much in too little time. Juggling her impending marriage to Rafe and her interest in helping her father Jerome, establish a new clinic for the lepers of Molokai; she also seeks the truth about her mother's fate. Will she loose Rafe's love even as she discovers what it mean to be Dr. Jerome's daughter? And will the questions she has about her mother Rebecca, ever be answered satisfactorily?

The only thing I knew about Hawaii before reading this was that they became a state in 1959 and that they have a tropical climate. But this novel taught me so much more about the state's rich history, and it's first missionaries who gave everything to a people that so desperately needed the word of God. Whether you know a lot or a little about the last state to join the Union, Chaikin weaves a tale of intrigue and mystery that is sure to capture you interest from the very first page.
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Having been a fan of LL Chaikin for many years now, I was not disappointed with her latest Hawaii series. The author has established a reputation with me, her reader, wherein I can count on her trilogies being complicated, historical, biblically respectful, and personally inspiring.

That said, I recognize not all prospective readers may be familiar with LLC's works. To that end, I suggest they should expect to mentally "stretch" (unless they have eidetic memories) a bit for their escapism entertainment. Two clans with ancestors and their descendants must be learned - including family secrets, individual peccadilloes, villains and heroes/heroines, etc. One is helped to a degree with several prefacing pages devoted to Hawaiian lingo, family trees, and a map. I agree there is a bit more backstorying to this volume than usual, which due to the narrative nature of informing, slows down the action and dialog a bit. For those of us who have been long readers of LLC, the backstory is actually satisfying vindication, as it was disappointing when the prequel's story For Whom the Stars Shine (Jewel of the Pacific, Book 1) remained incomplete due to a publisher's decision.

The heroine's and the hero's respective wills clash not over some flagrant vice or sin but rather over noble goals, not to be pursued in tandem. Both Rafe and Eden would wish the other would do the deferring; as neither is prepared to do so, a spiritual and emotional wall of separation pushes them apart.
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