The June Book Club meeting was held at the home of Marijo Medcraft. We sat on the patio and watched the birds flit about as we discussed the book Molokai by Alan Brennert. The book tracks the history of Rachel Kalama who is taken from her home and family at the age of 7, when signs of leprosy are discovered on her body. In the late 1800s, the Hawaiian King decreed that all people with the contagious disease of leprosy had to be quarantined from the general population. This decision was made due to previous experiences with smallpox, cholera, influenza, tuberculosis, mumps and diptheria. The Hawaiians had no immunity to these diseases, so were decimated when infectious diseases were brought to the island. Lepers were sent to a small isolated peninsula on the island of Molokai called Kalaupapa. The only way in or out was by boat or later, by airplane. The book describes life in the leper colony, and the challenge of living with little freedom or control over your circumstances. The book also highlights the strength of the human spirit in the face of adversity. It is memorable historical fiction, and is followed by "Daughter of Molokai", which continues the story through the daughter of Rachel, who was born on Kalaupapa.