Aloha, readers! Several times a day customers walk into our store asking “Do you have James Michener’s ‘Hawaii’?” “Of course we do!”, we reply. We also point out his “Tales of the South Pacific” which of course was made popular by a musical/movie as well (“South Pacific”)…and has continued to be performed in live-action stage performances (such as the ongoing “South Pacific” at the Kauai Beach Resort). But what we have found (by the comment of many a customer) is that many readers are not aware that there was actually a sequel penned by Michener to “Tales…,” aptly entitled “Return to Paradise.:
In “Return to Paradise,” not only do we, as the reader, get the opportunity to see how things unfolded from the events we left behind after “South Pacific.”
“Return …” brings us to other tropical lands such as Fiji, Guadalcanal, New Zealand, and even Papua New Guinea, while providing a beautiful read through his skillful interweaving of reality and fiction.
Worry not, dear reader, as Michener was a master of wordcraft, “Return to Paradise” can be read as a stand alone novel, as well!
For those unfamiliar with Michener’s works (or even “South Pacific” as a film) and only seeking sheer adventure in the tropics, this is certainly a fun and exciting read. In fact, there has been a movie made from one of the stories set in New Zealand in Return to Paradise.
As a special bonus, thriller author Steve Berry wrote a wonderful introduction which is a fascinating retrospective that is as insightful as Michener’s works themselves. And a heads up! When Steve Berry was in our store, not only did he kindly offer to sign all his books in our stock, he bought several books about Hawaii in preparation for his next novel!
Ed and Cynthia Justus are owners of The Bookstore in Hanapepe.