The spirit of aloha is found in Hawaii's fresh ocean air, the flowers, the trade winds . . . the natural beauty that smooth the struggles of daily life. In 1922 Honolulu, unhappy in the adoptive family that's raised her, Dolores begins to search for that spirit early on-and she begins by running away at sixteen to live with her newlywed friend Maria. Trying to find her own love, Dolores marries a young Portuguese man named Manolo His large family embraces her, but when his drinking leads to physical abuse, only his relative Alberto comes to her rescue-and sparks a passion within Dolores that she hasn't known before. Staunch Catholics can't divorce, however; so, after the Pearl Harbor attack, Dolores flees with her two daughters to California, only to be followed by both Manolo and Alberto. In California, Manolo's drinking problems continue-and Alberto's begin. Outraged that yet another man in her life is turning to the bottle for answers, Dolores starts to doubt her feelings for Alberto. Is he only going to disappoint her, as Manolo has? Or is Alberto the embodiment of the aloha spirit she's been seeking?
The poignant and atmospheric tale captures the pre-World War II diversity of Hawaiian culture, a melting pot of religions and ethos... Evocative and engaging, with a protagonist determined to keep the aloha spirit in her heart. -Kirkus Reviews Linda Ulleseit has written a heroic tale of family, friendship, loss, and redemption. With undeniable beauty, she captures the courage of a young woman and community stunned by unforgettable tragedy. She writes with humility, grace, and a quiet brilliance as she portrays young Dolores's search for family and the generous, hardworking heart at the center of The Aloha Spirit. -Milana Marsenich, author of Copper Sky and The Swan Keeper The Aloha Spirit is heartbreaking and hopeful, with a story as rugged and beautiful as the landscape. Linda Ulleseit has written a wonderfully immersive story, with prose so vivid I could practically feel the ocean breezes on every page. -Martha Conway, author of The Underground River Aloha means many things, not the least of which is love, but at seven years old, Dolores, given away by her father to an Hawaiian family, felt abandoned. Linda Ulleseit has written poignantly of aloha and the importance of the extended family. -Cecilia Johansen, author of The Canoe-Maker's Son and founding member of the Hawaii Writers Guild Linda Ulleseit takes you on the journey of Dolores' life, from the sun-soaked Hawaiian Islands where she experiences hardship, loss, love-and learns the true meaning of family; to California where she starts a new life, only to find that her troubles have followed her. Through her perseverance, a strong connection to family, and her undying faith in God and Aloha, Dolores finally finds peace and happiness-and the true love of her heart. -Kari Bovee, author of The Annie Oakley Mystery Series and The Grace Michelle Mystery Series