The Last Aloha was recently reviewed for Honolulu Weekly! See what they had to say below.
Drama in old Hawaii
Gaellen Quinn’s first novel explores the shifting tides of loyalty and passion in late-19th century Honolulu. With a sharp eye for detail and what one feels is a very good ear–or at least a very convincing one– for the cadences and tones of both the haole and Hawaiian aristocracy of that period, Quinn offers a tale of discovery and intrigue that holds the reader’s interest almost from the first page.
Laura Jennings arrives in Honolulu from San Francisco to live with missionary relatives. She is curious about the ways of this unfamiliar land and is quickly chagrined to find her hosts among those plotting against the kingdom. Leaving her relatives behind, Jennings falls in with the royal family and is soon at the center of fast-moving events. The familiar trope of naïve-young-woman-finds-nobility-among-the-savages-and-learns-something-in-the-process lurks dangerously near the surface for the first few chapters here, but gives way to a more nuanced portrait of a kingdom’s final breaths.