If you’re like me, practically nothing.
But after reading Moloka’i by Alan Brennert (what I’d probably call historical fiction), I know much more about the disease.
Moloka’i is the Hawaiian island where lepers are sent once diagnosed in the 1900s.
I really enjoyed the story of Rachel, a spunky girl who is diagnosed with leprosy and sent away to live in quarantine on the island. Plus, the cover of the book is beautiful.
I loved the historical aspects of the book, the real information about quarantine, and Rachel. I like how, while leprosy was a big part of Rachel’s life, it was also just a part, and that Rachel was so much more than her disease.
But I was kind of sad as Rachel grew up. I did like her as an adult, but I liked her so much more as that child who loves to break all the rules. I guess I wish the book focused more on her life as a child, and less as an adult.
I did some research on the disease, too, and I’m glad to know that “leper colonies” are unnecessary now and that leprosy is treatable and maintainable with the proper treatments.
Does this sound like a book you’d be interested in?