Delve into history and Armchair travel to Hawaii with these fabulous historical fiction books set in Hawaii.
Hawaii is unlike any other place on earth from the ocean views and beautiful weather to it’s very fascinating history. Luckily there are great historical fiction books set in Hawaii that delve into the history while telling stories that will just suck you in and transport you to paradise.
I’ve gathered a list of books you’ll want to check out. So, if you’re looking for an unputdownable book, take a peek at some of these choices. Your TBR list will thank you!
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Historical Fiction Set in Hawaii
These book choices cover many different parts of Hawaii’s history, from the leprosy colonies to Pearl Harbor (and the books in the next section cover even more of the history.) You’ll definitely find several to add to your TBR list!
Moloka’i by Alan Brennert
If I’m looking to read some historical fiction set in Hawaii, the first author I’m going to reach for is Alan Brennert. All of his books are fantastic!
Moloka’i is the story of Rachel Kalama, a young girl with a whole lifetime of dreams before her. But, every thing changes when a mark appears on her skin and she is taken from her family to quarantine in a leprosy settlement on the island of Molokai’i. Her world becomes a lot smaller and she doesn’t get to chase her dreams, but she does find a life worth living among the hardships..
If you enjoyed this book and want to continue this story, pick up Daughter of Moloka’i for the story of Rachel’s Daughter.
Honolulu by Alan Brennert
Another great choice by Alan Brennert is Honolulu. This is the story of Jin, who came to Hawaii as a young “picture bride” from Korea in 1914. (Picture brides were the practice of Hawaiian immigrants using a matchmaker to choose brides from their native country.)
Her marriage wasn’t what she she was promised and she has to make her own life. Nonetheless, with the help of three of her fellow picture brides, she is able to grow and prosper. And, along with Jin’s story, Honolulu grows from a small territorial capital to a large city. This is a fascinating story told alongside the history of Honolulu.
Red Sky Over Hawaii by Sara Ackerman
Sara Ackerman is another author who has written several historical fiction books about Hawaii. Her stories will give you both romance and history while also being an enjoyable read.
In Red Sky Over Hawaii, you’ll meet Lana who travels to the Big Island to reconcile with her estranged father. She arrives too late to see her father and not long after arriving, Pearl Harbor is attacked. Lana’s life (and everyone else’s) is changed in an instant. After the government starts arresting suspected sympathizers of both Japan and Germany, Lana escapes to her father’s hideaway in the remote rain forests of the Kilauea Volcano along with two young German girls and a Japanese fisherman and his nephew who were all friends of her father.
Lana learns more about her father, discovers that family can come from the most unexpected places, and romance can blossom anywhere.
Diamond Head by Cecily Wong
Diamond Head is a sweeping family drama which follows the Leong family from China to Oahu from the Boxer Rebellion to Pearl Harbor and finally 1960s Hawaii.
The story starts with the murder of patriarch Frank Leong. The family history and all its loves and tragedies are told against the backdrop of Frank’s funeral. You will go back and forth in time while reading, but the story is very easy to follow.
The parable of the red string of fate, the cord that binds one intended beloved to her perfect match, and all of it’s knots provides the backbone to this family’s story. This is an excellent choice if you love a family saga.
More Historical Fiction Books Set In Hawaii
If you’re looking for even more great books, here’s a list to check out.
Do you know of any more Hawaii historical fiction books that I should add to this list? I’d love to check them out!