Lehua won the 'Best in Genre' Award by AuthorStand in December 2012. It became the second Award from that e-publisher for a Parola work. See 'Portraits of a Young Artist in Istanbul" in the collection, 'The Little American Blonde".
""Descendants", George Clooney's film captured the interest in land in Hawaii. Gene Parola's new book shows the upheaval that radically touched the lives and gives a solid understand to what Clooney was only able to touch on.... Clooney should grab this book and start filming before some other ambitious
Ray Pace, Editor, Honolulu Arts Beat.
"Lehua" is also a love story with nuances I will not spoil by telling them."
Paul Smith, Ed. Wise Grey Owl Pub.
Farnham, Surrey, UK
"The book is well written and dazzles with many colorful details of Old Hawaii and the rich tapestry of Kanaka culture, just before it was overrun by foreign influences."
Alez Modzelewski, Editor,
This story invites the reader into a world rarely discussed and often overlooked. As a teacher the possibilities for this book in the classroom are endless. Hawaiian studies, government policy, immigration, emigration, assimilation, and general cross cultural communication studies can all embrace this book. Use it as a thought provoking talking point or the center of a book study. For those of us outside of the classroom this story is a general good read. The writing is graceful and draws you through a coming of age story that is hard to put down. It is especially tasty for those who enjoy a well researched historical fiction.
I highly recommend it!
In the spring of 1819 King Ka me ha me ha I died after reigning over the first unified Kingdom of Hawai’i. His young son, Li ho li ho, became Kamehameha II, but effective control of the government was inherited by the old king’s favorite wife, Ku hina Nui (Queen Regent), Ka’a hu ma nu. That fall, Liholiho was forced to agree to the abandonment of the native religion: the lifting of the ka pu.
Five months later, the first contingent of Christian missionaries arrived. It was a death sentence to the 3000 year old Ka naka Ma oli (true people) culture in Hawai’i.
Lehua lia kahu’ama lio’aka lani pa’aka lo le (Lehua, the shiny haired questioner), the fictitious young noblewoman of this novel, comes of age at this trying moment in Hawaiian history. Her ancestry gives her the right, responsibility and ability to be her people’s leader, but with the lifting of the kapu, she is suddenly bereft of her divine reason to be.
Beset by doubt, alien temptations and a welter of rational, if frightening, options, she falls in love with a half-Hawaiian paniolo (cowboy) who, in rescuing her from kidnappers, takes her on a romantic Hawaiian road trip up and over the top of the highest mountain on Kauai.
Together, they confront an uncertain future astride the divergent forces that will ultimately doom her culture.
In 1893 local American businessmen overthrew the Republic of Hawai’i and traded the Islands to the U. S.