Moloka'i, by Alan Brennert

Moloka'i is the life story of a young Hawaiian girl named Rachel Kalama, who contracts leprosy, (later known as Hansen's disease,) at the age of 8. It is a rich tale, at times both grotesque and beautiful. Much of the story takes place on Kalaupapa, the leprosy settlement on the island of Moloka'i. Those who are afflicted with leprosy are quarantined there, with no medical aid beyond what the priests and nuns who volunteer there can provide.

This story is based on true events, with some of the characters being based on real people. Some true accounts are woven in, painting a vivid picture of what life was like for those suffering from leprosy at the beginning of the 20th century. Mr. Brennert pulls no punches when discussing the hardships faced, including what leprosy can do to each and every part of the body. For this reason, I can't recommend this book for any but adults, as some content is simply very mature. However, it is so well written that I can't help but recommend to any adult who finds the premise intriguing. I gained a new perspective on the actual historical events woven in throughout the story that I knew of, and learned of many more. Wonderful read.