Princess Ka'iulani Heart of a People, Hope of a Nation
She was a beautiful little girl with coal black hair, huge sparkling eyes and the title of Heir Presumptive to the throne of Hawai'i. She rode a snow white pony named Fairie along the beach at dawn with her governess by her side and enough retainers following along to take back all the shells she fancied keeping. Her Uncle, Papa Moi, was king and lived in the large palace downtown; her mother, aunt and uncle each had glee clubs that vied in competition during long gala evenings at her beautiful estate called 'Ainahau. Her mother was ali'i, her father a wealthy Westerner. Everyone loved her.
Then, when she was nine years old, everything changed.
Her mother took sick and began wasting away of a mysterious illness. On the day of her death, she called her young daughter to her bed. "I have seen your future very clearly," she said. "You will leave these islands for a very long time. You will never marry. And you will never be queen."
When Ka'iulani died, allegedly of a broken heart, at age 23, her mother's prophecies had all come true. But what her mother had not seen was the beautiful, courageous young woman her daughter would become--how, while still a shy schoolgirl she would stand on the world stage to fight for her people, her culture and her islands. How she would remain true to her faith and her principles even when faced with unfathomable loss, and how she would offer love and forgiveness to those who had slighted her--both politically and in her own family.
Ka'iulani's story is one of a girl faced with the most difficult circumstances imaginable, who grew into a truly beautiful woman, in every sense of the word.
from The Honolulu Advertiser
Linnea's beautiful new biography of Hawaii's last princess is a first-rate introduction to Hawaiian history...Royal family politics are covered as well, including the jealousy directed toward the princess by her aunt, Queen Lili'uokalani, and unconfirmed rumors of Ka'iulani's romance with her cousin, Prince David Kawananakoa...The author's sources include newspaper reports, translated journals and Ka'iulani's personal letters. Nearly 100 black-and-white photographs bring the story to life...To read this book's version of Ka'ulani's life, suitable for middle-school-age readers and adults alike, is to fall in love with the young princess all over again.
from Honolulu Week
Sharon Linnea's biography of the beautiful Princess Ka'iulani does much to capture life in Hawai'i during the late 1800s...an 8-year-old could easily get into the book without much confusion, and people much older would find the facts and details as interesting as any juicy novel...If one is reluctant to read history, have no fear, for Linnea colors her pages with stories, letters, insight and pictures which both illustrate and provide a diversion from the depressing state Hawai'i faced during the years prior, during and after Ka'iulani's life. The period of her life--only 23 years--was a poignant and important time in Hawaiian history, and the book concerns itself with this, while also explaining clearly and fairly pivitol events in Hawaiian history.--Stephanie Laemoa
I am Native Hawaiian and was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii within minutes of Iolani Palace. Much of my culture was lost and our land taken away. Many books were written some accurate and some not so accurate. This book was wonderfully written and with love, as the author did her many years of research. I say this because the true essence of Princess Kaiulani was depicted, our people, and culture. But most of all, the tragic lost of our monarchy, our queen, and our princess. The pictures and writing is wonderful, it is a easy reader book for children but made for everyone. This book is the most accurate, most informative, and most compassionate book I have read by any author on this subject. To get a condensed version of our history this would be the book to share.
I appreciate the author's writing and grace she took to write such a wonderful book on our beloved Princess Kaiulani and our people. The love and tragedies our people went through, however, will never take away our spirit. That is where the word "Aloha" came from. Love, compassion, and spirit. This is something our princess had for her culture and people. This is something shared amongst all Hawaiians today. We may be a culture that had lost a lot but we will never be forgotten. The pictures are wonderful and bring me back as a little girl visiting the palace on a school field trip. I felt loss and sadness as I walked through the palace, the same way I felt as I read this book. I couldn't help but cry through most of this book, I felt the same sadness and loss. To the author.... Mahalo Nui Loa! Malama Pono!