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Great Island reads! Check out our 5 favorite new Hawaii books.


4. “Anshu: Dark Sorrow”
by Juliet S. Kono
Bamboo Ridge Press, 328 pp., $18

Based on historical events, Anshu tells the story of a pregnant, unmarried Hilo teenager, Himiko Aoki, who is sent to live with relatives in Tokyo in 1941, right before the outbreak of World War II. Once in Japan, her Japanese-American identity quickly clashes with the country’s cultural norms. The conclusion of the Pacific War at Hiroshima ushers in an even more poignant struggle for Himiko—this time, simply to survive. Anshu is an excellent first novel from Hilo-born Kono, who teaches composition and creative writing at Oahu’s Leeward Community College and has published two books of poetry, Hilo Rains and Tsunami Years.

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