Thursday, February 23, 2012

Review - Hana-Lani by Christine Sunderland


Old Nani-lei lives in Hana-lani, her family home in rural Hawaii. She looks after her grandson Henry, 52, and his daughter Lucy, 6, who have returned to Maui from Berkeley after the death of Maria, Henry's wife. Henry and Maria, both professors, had been working on A History of Ethics, and now the grieving Henry struggles to finish it.

City girl Meredith Campbell, 36, fast-paced, self-centered, and beautiful, believes her body will ensure her happiness. After losing her job and finding her lover unfaithful, she flies to Maui, sure he will follow... but her plane crashes near Hana-lani.

As their worlds collide in a natural world both beautiful and dangerous, Henry will be forced to act on his words, and Meredith will come face-to-face with her own life choices.


Hana-Lani is a beautiful story that captivates the reader instantly.  I was immediately drawn into the plot and could not wait to find out what would happen next.  When lives are thrown together and people are forced to reflect on themselves and the decisions they have made, they realize what it really means to be family.  Touching, romantic and deeply meaningful, Hana-Lani is a must read.  


Photo by Brittany Sunderland

Christine grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and graduated from San Francisco State University Cum Laude with a BA in English Literature. She attended the Squaw Valley Workshop and the Maui Writers Retreat where she studied under the acclaimed novelist Jane Hamilton.

Spending considerable time in Italy, France, and England, she has developed a keen interest in history, the ability of the individual to change events, and the power of belief. In her stories, she brings to life the effect of the past upon the present, the puzzle of perception, and the mystery of time. She is also fascinated by the miracles of life and the pleasure of the senses, from a flaming candle lighting the dark to a rose petal glistening with dew, from the cherry and berry in a fruity Chianti to the yeasty aroma of fresh baked bread.

Christine writes book reviews for and contributes to the Christian Post at She is a member of the California Writers Club and the C.S. Lewis Society, She supports Nazareth House Apostolate, a charitable work for children in Sierra Leone, Africa, First Resort, a pregnancy consulting clinic, and Children's Hospital in Oakland. She has served as Vice-President of the American Church Union, the publishing house of the Anglican Province of Christ the King. All of Christine's proceeds from her novels are given to children's charities.

Christine's stories are set in the present, but draw from the past. The trilogy of Western Europe include: Pilgrimage, in Italy, a story of grief and healing; Offerings, in France, a story of trust and faith; Inheritance, in England, a story of life and belief. Her fourth novel, Hana-lani, takes place in Hawaii and explores the demands of love.

Christine is currently working on a novel about Mary Magdalene set in Rome and Provence.

Visit Christine's website.

Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book review purposes, as well as a small stipend. All opinions expressed are 100% my own.

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