This book is set in the late 1800's, it takes place in Hawaii. It's about a girl named Rachel, the book starts when she is 5 years old and waiting for her father to get home from his latest trip as a sailor. Rachel has 2 brothers and an older sister, Sarah. Rachel is daddy's girl and he brings her dolls from all of his travels. She has an uncle Pono, her first run in with leprosy is seeing the boat full of people headed to the leper colony on the island of Moloka'i. She doesn't understand as a 5 year-old girl the reasons that those people are being forced to leave, she also doesn't understand why they are separated from others and not allowed to touch or even be near their loved ones. Within the next year, her uncle Pono is discovered to be a leper and also sent away. And not very long after that Rachel herself is found to have leprous sores. She's removed from school and her family to a small hospital where she finds her beloved uncle. But being with her uncle is not to last as he's sent to Moloka'i to join the other lepers. But Rachel is not far behind. I really wanted to like this book. It was recommended by a good friend, but I found the language and descriptions of certain things to be quite crude, especially for the time period it's supposed to be set in. I like learning things about history and had already learned a bit about the leper colony, I think I would have rather read a biographical book about the same subject. Another strike for me against the national bestseller's list!