Sad, but so satisfying to read. You will be immersed in history. It gives you a good picture of plantation life and the co-mingling of cultures and ethnicities in Hawaii during the early 's. Jul 19, Rachel rated it it was amazing Shelves: asian-american , hawaii. Her older sister Aki follows in , and eldest sister Anah in Although the girls' mother Sumi and beloved brother Charles promise to visit, on the one visiting day each month, the Madeiros girls are the only patients who receive no one.
As far as Tomas and eldest son Thomas are concerned, the girls are dead, and Tomas doesn't allow either Charles, now liv In , Tomas Madeiros sends his youngest daughter Leah, stricken with tuberculosis, to a Catholic orphanage in Oahu's Kalihi Valley. As far as Tomas and eldest son Thomas are concerned, the girls are dead, and Tomas doesn't allow either Charles, now living as a virtual slave to his father's extended family, nor Sumi who is half-mad with grief to visit. Anah, at age 8 a surrogate mother to her two younger sisters, repeatedly promises that they will all go home one day.
When first Leah and later Aki die, their spirits stay with Anah, Leah to beg to be taken home and Aki to torment Anah for her "lies. This isn't an easy book to read.
There is brutality on every single page and Yamanaka doesn't shy away from the graphic. But there is also goodness and compassion, despite everything. It's not a happy story, but it is hopeful and redemptive. This is Yamanaka's fifth and probably best novel. She has an uncanny ability to convey a fully formed character in just a single line of dialogue, and her prose is elegant but highly emotional, in the sense that you shouldn't read this book in public unless you want strangers to come up and ask you why you're crying.
Induced pluripotency: history, mechanisms, and applications
I would recommend Behold the Many to anyone, with the caveat that much of the dialogue is written in Hawaiian pidgin. It's not difficult to understand; even if you're not familiar with pidgin, you get most of it from context, but it does require a little extra effort from the reader, so you kind of have to be in the right mood. Sep 30, McKenzie rated it really liked it. Behold the Many , set in Hawaii from to , tells the story of Anah, a half-Japanese and half-Portuguese girl who is sent to an orphanage along with her younger sisters after all three get tuberculosis.
Anah's beloved mother and brother seem to forget her there, and when her sisters die, she is alone in the world except for their vindictive spirits, who punish her for surviving and lying to them about their family coming to bring them home. Yamanaka's depiction of the ghost children is bot Behold the Many , set in Hawaii from to , tells the story of Anah, a half-Japanese and half-Portuguese girl who is sent to an orphanage along with her younger sisters after all three get tuberculosis.
Yamanaka's depiction of the ghost children is both terrifying and unbearably sad, and I was fascinated by the way she wove this supposedly "pagan" belief into the strict Catholicism of the nuns who run the orphanage. All the cultural elements of this novel were interesting, especially since I have not read before about the bitter prejudices between the various ethnic groups who settled in Hawaii.
The Mysteries of Life
While Anah's story does start out depressing and slightly disturbing which was one reason it took me so long to read this , the entrance of Ezroh, Anah's best friend and future husband, brings positive changes to Anah's life and to the novel. I loved Anah and Ezroh's courtship, but was disappointed by the way Yamanaka picked up and dropped characters out of the narrative at her convenience.
After Anah and Ezroh get married, his previous positive characterization is completely altered, as Yamanaka only focuses on one aspect of their married life, one which makes Ezroh look like an oblivious pig. The last third of the novel, focused on Anah's difficulties with pregnancy and childbirth, was also terribly sad, but Yamanaka does not shy away from depicting the realities of life for Anah, a woman of undesirable ethnic heritage, even after she finds a home of her own. While this is a slightly depressing, dark, and emotionally difficult novel because of the subject matter, it is beautifully written and executed.
My review cannot do Behold the Many justice, and as one of the most unique novels I have read, I recommend it. Mar 16, Rashida rated it it was amazing Shelves: herstory , favorites , historical-fiction , magical-realism.
This book brought me back to reading after going through years in school where extra curricular books were not an option. I remember being utterly transported and engrossed.
The writing is so lovely, yet dark. It was at turns frightening and others exhilarating. This was a great example of how a writer can write about sad things without depressing the reader, while still allowing us to feel so deeply for the characters we are getting to know. Aug 05, Julie Oxendale rated it really liked it. Deeply affecting not just because of the array of characters all of whom seem to be wounded, but also because of the history and world Ms. Yamanaka takes us into. This is a brutal Hawaii far from tropical beaches and gentle tradewinds.
Dec 16, Alicia rated it it was amazing. Behold the Many is set in Hawaii and is the story of Leah, the child of a Portuguese father and Japanese mother. When she and two younger sisters get tuberculosis they are sent to a Catholic orphanage to recover but are, for all intents and purposes, abandoned. After the two sisters die, Leah is visited by her sister's ghosts, all of the other children who died at the orphanage and most horrifyingly her incredibly abusive father who continues to molest his ghost children.
These ghosts continue t Behold the Many is set in Hawaii and is the story of Leah, the child of a Portuguese father and Japanese mother. These ghosts continue to haunt her into adulthood and when she starts to miscarry she slowly loses touch with the love in her life. This was an incredibly painful book to read and will stay with me for a long time. The characters in this novel are so tortured that it is easy to believe that they are cursed even into the afterlife. Aug 09, Betty Palcsak rated it really liked it.
I finished this book at last and it will stay with me for a long time. It seemed to take me forever to write but I liked the main character so much, I had to finish it. It is a bit difficult to read because the author writes in broken English--pidgin, Japanese, and Portuguese--and the story is heavy young sisters who are sent to an orphanage in Hawaii because they have TB and their parents cannot care of them.
Father is Portuguese and an abuser and Mother is Japanese--interracial marria I finished this book at last and it will stay with me for a long time. Father is Portuguese and an abuser and Mother is Japanese--interracial marriages were frowned upon. The focus of the story is one of the sisters and her thoughts and actions. At times the writing is like poetry.
Aug 06, Gianna Mosser rated it really liked it Shelves: fiction. I think I set myself up for a little disappointment here, because Blu's Hanging is still one of the best books I ever read. I didn't get the dimensions between siblings and family as much in this work, and I am sure that distance was intended to demonstrate the frailty of life and how emotions couldn't be spared in the face of tragedy after tragedy. But it was still hard to relate.
Add to that some ghostly conversation turns, and I felt a little lost at moments in the narrative. But Yamanaka is I think I set myself up for a little disappointment here, because Blu's Hanging is still one of the best books I ever read.
Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
But Yamanaka is still amazing and it was well worth the read. Feb 22, Ken23 rated it it was amazing.
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I'm reading this book for a second time and it feels just like the first time. Though it is a novel, every bit of it is poetry. The story follows a girl as she grows up through Hawaii's plantation days. We follow her through her battles of tuberculosis, a hellish orphanage, friendships, puberty, love, marriage, racism, and motherhood.