Lehua – Ka'ao a Ka Wahine, The Romance of an Hawaiian Girl
At the command of Queen Ka’ahumanu to deny the old native religion, the ali’i obey immediately. The kahuna become criminals (and remain such for the next 150 years). This leaves no one to lead the commoners over this very difficult transition to an extremely conservative Calvinism. These changes force Lehua to recognize her kulena (responsibility) to lead that is thrust upon her.
An eighteen year old Hawaiian ali'i (noble) girl becomes a woman during this time of great cultural change. Her entire way of life crumbles around her. As it does, we learn about the rich Hawaiian culture and the losses suffered when white merchants and planters exploit the land. Ignorant Christian missionaries, bent on the ‘White Man's Burden', replace the kapu (taboos) of the kahuna (holy men) with the ‘fear of God‘ and subsequently disrupt the spiritual, political and, even agricultural, lives of the Kanaka (natives).
Families separate, self-destruct and form new liaisons across cultural divides under external pressures. Lehua plays a major role in this transition as she and her ohana (family) live their lives and loves against the backdrop of a dying Polynesia. Lehua and her part-Hawaiian paniolo (cowboy) lover find each other amid these clashes and finally wed amid the scenic glory of a Kaua’i valley.
About Gene J. Parola (Hawaii Author)
Gene J. Parola, a cultural historian, retired from Koç University in Istanbul, Turkey and returned home to Hawai’i to delve into Island history. “Lehua, Ka’ao a ka Wahine,” his Prize Winning Historical Novel, is the first of a trilogy that has kept him in research for most of ten years. Mr. Parola has been published in two volumes of short stories by “Bamboo Ridge Press, Journal of Hawaiian Literature and Arts” and in the anthology, “Voices from the Universe”. He has written on the revolution in publishing in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, and for the Island retirees magazine, ‘Generations’. He has published two mystery novels ‘The Devil to Pay’, a seagoing fiction based on a less well known Kennedy assassination theory, and ‘Old Sins, New Sinners’, based on his years in the Middle East. He also has three collections of short stories. “Portraits of a Young Artist in Istanbul” from his collection, “The Little American Blonde” won an Editor’s Choice Award from AuthorStand in June, 2012. In addition there are “The Pearl Harbor that Didn’t Happen’ and ‘The Professional’ available as e-books. Mr. Parola is a ‘blue water’ sailor of five of the seven seas, a wood sculptor, a public speaker, and a grandfather of three. He lives with his author wife, Shirley T. Parola, on Oahu.