Scenes of Kaua'i                                                                    

                                          

Hawaii Like You've
Never Read about It Before
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Kapaa, HI 96746-1521

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Kauai born and raised, Bill Fernandez writes memoirs and novels set in the islands as he enjoys the ocean breezes in the old house his mother bought with her pineapple earnings. His early years exploring the ocean, making kites, paddling tin canoes made from roofing, and shining GI shoes are brought to life in his memoirs: Rainbows Over Kapa'a, Kaua'i Kids in Peace and WW Two, Hawai'i in War and Peace. In 1939 Bill's parents built Roxy, a large movie theater in Kapa'a, a center of entertainment for the thousands of GIs who came to protect against a feared Japanese invasion after Pearl Harbor.

The heroes of his novels are young Hawaiian men trying to figure out and surivive when Western capitalists and religion sweep over the islands in the 19th and 20th centuries. Hawaiians find themselves at the bottom of the plantation-dominated world on Hawaiian land. The struggles begin when a young hero is kicked off his inherited farm by rugged men with whips.

The Hawaiian islands are more than sandy beaches and stunning views. Ever since the Hawaiian Islands were first stumbled upon by Captain Cook, the native Hawaiians have struggled to adapt from their isolated lives to world politics of capitalism and expansion of Christianity. They learned quickly but succumbed to foreign diseases which left them unable to keep their power. Wooden clubs embedded with shark teeth were no match for metal weapons and ammunition. As you read the well researched stories, you will experience the frustrations and benefits of the complex history of the islands. Many know Michener's book: Hawaii, which was written in an era when historical materials in the Hawaiian language were not available, and many early sources were out of print. In recent years the sources have been translated and re-printed. To understand the island history, the viewpoint of native Hawaiian Bill is invaluable.

The most recent novels, Splintered Paddle and Conquest, are set in the tumultuous years of the late 18th c. when Kamehameha the Great began fighting island chiefs to unite the islands. Kalani Tana is the reluctant hero, sent to train as a warrior to keep his mother and sisters safe from slavery, who learns how to use Western guns, is repulsed by human sacrifice, treachery, and is rewarded with farmland when made a "black land chief". But domestic bliss ends with a firey attack. His hunt for the secret killers leads to Captain Vancouver, spying for Kamehameha, and the battle of Nuuanu at an Oahu cliff's edge. The author makes good use of his hobby, historic military battles.

A third novel in this Kamehameha series is The End of the Gods, expected to be in print by mid-2021. It is set in the era when the Hawaiians accept Christianity.

 

   


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