Browsing my shelves again today, I found myself savoring pages of one of my favorite Hawai`i novels. And so for you I present the first few lines of Makai by Kathleen Tyau, (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1999).

Chapter 1: Riding to Sea in Cock-A-Roach

“Annabel Lee is coming, and I’m not going to be cheap. I’ll buy a new dress and we’ll go out dancing. Annabel Lee and me, Alice Lum, still best friends after all these years, not just old married ladies. It’s been seven years since the war ended, and I miss the music, miss the dancing. The men holding me, spinning me around, my high heels clicking to the beat.

But instead of music, I hear my husband, Sammy, snoring. He whistles through his nose, like a teakettle coming to a boil again and again.

Wake up Sammy Woo. The rain has stopped. Annabel Lee is coming tomorrow. You promised to take me shopping in town. A real town, with more than one store. Not like this place where I am stuck. Hana, Maui. Out in the sticks, where the road stops, where you can’t get the ocean out of your head.”