Romance, Hawaiian history and spirituality intertwine in Gita’s first novel.
Centered on a couple’s romance and life together, Gita’s book subtly informs readers about Hawaiian history and finding faith—whatever form it may take. The story begins when Jonathan, a wealthy, big-shot banker for his father’s company, takes a vacation to Hawaii to escape his miserable job and oppressive parents. There he meets Oliana, a full-blooded Hawaiian beauty. The plot development is sudden: Their relationship quickly progresses and they get married before he leaves for the continental U.S. Occasionally, the story tells readers rather than shows; while well written, additional detail and buildup could improve the early sections of the book. Even so, the couple’s love and passion is on full display. Oliana teaches her new husband much about Hawaiian history and religion, but after moving to Houston with him, she has a difficult time adjusting to a ritzy lifestyle; she also feels suppressed by her possessive mother-in-law and cold father-in-law. Likewise, Jonathan soon becomes consumed by work, and the passion they shared slowly dwindles. When Oliana returns to her first love—Hawaii—Jonathan searches for and discovers the true meaning of love, happiness and spirituality. Many married readers will be able to relate to Gita’s novel. Despite an engaging story line and a well-rounded supporting cast, the novel could benefit from more description and dialogue to fully flesh out the story line. In covering Hawaiian religion, Christianity and Buddhism, the novel draws attention to spiritual discovery, emphasizing the age-old adage “money can’t buy happiness.”
A refreshing blend of romance, history and religion that entertains as it informs.