Bird of Another Heaven by James D. Houston

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From the acclaimed author of Snow Mountain Passage comes this richly evocative novel that follows a half-Indian, half-Hawai'ian woman and her complex relationship with the last king of Hawai'i.

When talk show host Sheridan Brody finds the journals of his great grandmother Nani Keala (aka Nancy Callahan), he uncovers a mythic, unknown tale. Nani, a shy girl from a remote Indian village, met the Hawai'ian king, David Kalakaua, on his grand progress by train across the United States in 1881, eventually returning with him to Honolulu. There, as his young ally and protégée, ever more assured and charming, she played an integral role in his attempt to revive the monarchy and spirit of his people and, eventually, witnessed the mysterious circumstances surrounding his downfall. Deeply engaging through its vivid portrayal of California and Hawai'i at the end of the nineteenth century, Bird of Another Heaven is a masterful portrait of an era long past.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

About James D. Houston

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James D. Houston is the coauthor with his wife, Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston, of the bestselling Farewell to Manzanar, and author of six other novels, including Continental Drift, Love Life, and The Last Paradise. His nonfiction works include Californians and In the Ring of Fire: A Pacific Basin Journey. He lives in Santa Cruz, California, in the house where Patty Reed spent the last years of her life.
Published March 20, 2007 by Anchor. 354 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, History. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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The pivotal event here is the recovery of a missing sound recording of the Hawaiian monarch’s voice, made during his American visit: a priceless historical artifact, and a literal incarnation of his culture’s worship of communal values and respect for its dead—a plaintive reminder that “all our s...

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Publishers Weekly

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After his fictional treatment of the Donner Party (Snow Mountain Passage ), Houston's superb ninth novel details the life of Sheridan "Dan" Brody, a young Northern California radio host intent on discovering the origins of his shrouded family heritage.

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Entertainment Weekly

B+ Originally posted Mar 16, 2007 Published in issue #926 Mar 23, 2007 Order article reprints

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