Novel about Hawaiian royalty arrives in time for Plantation Days

KOLOA — Princess Ruth Ke‘elikolani was described as a formidable presence in 19th Century Hawai‘i.

She forms the central character of “Princess Ruth: Love and Tragedy in Hawai‘i,” a historical novel about Hawaiian royalty, by Kalaheo writer Jo Ann Lordahl.

Lordahl, who has published nine non-fiction books, two novels, seven poetry, four romances and written a play, “Four Women Speak” and a screen play, “Live Oak Plantation,” according to her website, said she utilized CreateSpace for her latest novel because of its ability to have the books available on Amazon and Kindle.

The Kalaheo writer, who volunteers with the National Tropical Botanical Garden, said eventually she plans to have copies of the Princess Ruth novel available at the NTBG gift shop, but after only receiving her copies Wednesday, said copies are available at the Talk Story bookstore in Hanapepe and will be available through the Koloa Plantation Days celebration wherever they allow the books.

Her initial copies were available during the Hapa Trail Walk, Saturday, Lordahl offering autographs as well as discussions about the royal princess whom she said is a descendent of the Kamehameha family and was one of the richest women in Hawai‘i.

“She was the last of the Kamehamehas,” Lordahl said. “She gave a lot of what she had to Bernice Pauahi.”

During the four years it took for Lordahl to research the novel, she said she’s included more than 200 end notes as well as a comprehensive book list drawn on for historical facts.

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• Dennis Fujimoto, photographer and staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 253) or dfujimoto@


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