This book about missionaries with their first Hawaiian contact was life altering to me.As a haole woman on the islands, I connected with these women across time.Some of the things they did embarrassed me (their ethnocentrism and pride) others I understood (leaving behind familiar lands to serve God).I was touched by the love of couples, expressed through journals (the missionary whose wife died, and a decade later he noted the anniversary of her passing and how much he missed her) and the kindness of the people (climbing the cliffs to bring the tiki idols that were then taboo).I was also touched by the courage of some of these couples, humbling themselves for "arranged" marriages so that they could serve the people of the islands.
Although I do not agree with everything the missionaries did, or said, I could understand their motivations, admire their courage and empathize with the culture intersections that shaped their lives.Redefining themselves, defining their families and establishing a culture that continues to affect Hawaii today, these women made sacrifices and learned hard lessons as they lived in the island paradise that remembers them, both strengths and weaknesses, today.