There are many things about Hawaiian culture that once experienced, will permanently affix themselves to your soul. Hawaiians value family above all else, at what equates to a spiritual level that is embedded in both culture and language. It's quite easy to overlook this when you're watching the sunset with pupus and drinks in a seaside resort bar. But if you've had the opportunity to actually live as a local, you come to relish the Hawaiian language that is integrated into the casual speech of fellow islanders. The themes of "living aloha" and "please kokua" that have a much deeper translation than the average mainlander truly realizes are like a secret relationship between you and the islands themselves. Achieving the resident status of Kama'aina is something to treasure.
I love all things Hawai'i, even managed to live on the island of Maui for 6 months in the mid 90s. I pay that island a visit every year around Labor Day, and get a brief chance to reconnect. This past September, I was working on my newest novel and using my Kindle to proofread my work. I accidentally hit the Kindle store menu and managed to stumble upon Maui Widow Waltz by JoAnn Bassett, which of course I grabbed on the spot. I did not, however get a chance to read it until this past week.
I instantly felt connected to the main character, Pali Moon, and within a few pages was in a full swing reconnect to Maui and the local way of life. The narrative is reflective of the pace of Hawaiian living, or as the locals say, da kine. The mystery in the plot and the realistic romantic tugs between Pali's friends and new acquaintances became so real and so familiar that I was sad to see the story end in spite of the drama the characters went through. Fortunately there are several others in the series. I've got Living Lahaina Loca downloaded for this weekend.
And finally, as I did a tad of research on the author, I came upon misterio press, which features Ms. Bassett as one of four fiction authors. The other novels on the site look quite tempting for fun, easy reads - my favorite kind of fiction!