Hawaiian Sunrise (1999)
Author: Lauraine Snelling
Maddy’s ex-husband is imprisoned for drug use, but he swears he’ll get out and find her. In order to protect herself and her nine-year-old son, Nicholas, she reluctantly returns to her father’s ranch on another Hawaiian island. She hasn’t spoken to her father in years and is shocked to see him so taciturn and bitter since her mother’s death. Maddy gets a job waiting tables and starts to do some farming as well. After their herd of cows is poisoned by an illegal chemical dump, she buys pigs to raise for luaus and also starts growing coffee again. In the midst of all this, Maddy struggles with her own memories of her abusive ex-husband, terrified he’ll find her. Nicholas is also struggling to accept the love of his mother and to shake the memories of his father’s abuse. Kam Waiano, a handsome native Hawaiian and Christian, is attracted to Maddy. Maddy however has sworn off men and is ignoring the God of her childhood. As Kam and his extended family gently help Maddy with the farm work and with Nicholas, Maddy is more attracted to him. Eventually, her ex-husband is killed when he tries to escape prison, and Maddy feels free enough to fall in love with God again and with Kam.
Geographical Setting: family farm on Hawaiian islands
Time Period: contemporary
Would appeal to a reader of Christian romance novels interested in a strong female protagonist who is overcoming adversity in her life in the form of single motherhood, fighting God, and learning to trust men. The setting on a Hawaiian farm is unique and described well. The way Maddy’s past as an abused wife has influenced her present life is carefully researched and presented. Maddy’s conversion and the tenets of Christianity are not as overtly presented as in other books.
Similar Authors: Lori Wick
Red Flags: none