Children of a Fireland by Gary Pak

Children of a Fireland by Gary Pak

Pak’s novel captures the reader from the very start, invoking an image of a sleepy, rural Hawai’ian town so palpable that you can almost feel the moist breeze on your skin. I felt like I could insinuate myself into the locals’ street corner conversations, as if I were invisibly there, listening in on every bit of small town gossip. I was entranced from start to finish.

The story is a mystery, that, as it unfolds, creates ruptures in the town’s moral fabric. And that’s what it’s about: small town life, relationships between people, the things that matter and the things that don’t and how we get these things confused. There is also a paranormal twist to the tale, which feels normal and realistic — Pak’s nod to the axiomatic superstitions of island life.

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