Books Set In Hawaii

BookSummaryClub Blog Books Set In Hawaii
brown wooden bookshelf and book lot

Have you ever noticed how difficult it is to find a good list of books set in Hawaii? The truth is, many of the books you see in Hawaii are often depressing and critical; they only inform you about politics, times of war, tourism, and their local environment.

If you want to escape to a tropical island haven, explore some of our recommended books set in Hawaii; they will transport you through spicy romance, fantastic imagery, and delicious cuisine.  Nothing is perfect for summer reading than having a good book set with you in Hawaii.

A book is the best form of escapism; with it, you can travel to another time, any part of the world, and experience another culture. 

There is a rich variation of Hawaii or Hawaiian novels, but sadly, very little is known to readers worldwide. 

Everyone dreams of visiting Hawaii to sip mai tais, explore the dramatic mountains, and enjoy white sandy beaches, but not everyone understands the Hawaiian culture and history. 

Reading these novels on our list of books set in Hawaii is a great way to ensure your trip is culturally sensitive, ethical, and personally rewarding. 

One surprising thing nobody informs you about visiting Hawaii – is how frustrated the locals are with culturally unaware visitors.

Luckily for you, you can become a better and well-informed visitor. 

List Of Good Books Set In Hawaii

a book shelf in a library filled with books

Whether it’s a romance novel full of historical fiction or Island vibes that draw readers into the island’s tumultuous past, these books set in Hawaii are what you need for a summer vacation. 

You can enjoy all these books from the comfort of your beach house; what can be better than that?

Before diving in,  find the perfect spot, pour yourself any tropical drink, kick your feet up, and enjoy this book set in Hawaii. 

1. House Of Many Gods By Kiana Davenport(Historical Fiction).

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House of Many Gods: A Novel
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House of Many Gods: A Novel
  • Audible Audiobook
  • Kiana Davenport (Author) – Jolene Kim (Narrator)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 11/01/2022 (Publication Date) – Audible Studios (Publisher)

This novel is from the best-selling author of Song of Exile and Shark Dialogues. The author paints a spectacular portrait of a native Hawaiian family battling poverty and the uprising of military occupation of their sacred soil. 

A girl is raised by her extended family in the scarcity-stricken coast west Wai’anae of Honolulu; she eventually defies all odds to become a physician. 

Her job takes her to a place called Kalla’i, where she meets a Russian filmmaker passionate about documenting the ecological horrors of the world.

His passion has taken him far from his motherland and across the Pacific.

2. Honolulu By Alan Brennert(Historical Fiction). 

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Honolulu
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Honolulu
  • Audible Audiobook
  • Alan Brennert (Author) – Ali Ahn (Narrator)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 03/13/2009 (Publication Date) – Recorded Books (Publisher)

This book is a richly imagined story about a young girl called Jin. In 1914, Jin left her country(native Korea) behind, where women & girls are so little valued, and searched for a new and better life.

Jin imagines marrying a wealthy gentleman but ends up with a poor laborer who takes out his frustration on his new wife, Jin. 

Jin is devastated and decides to find her way in a new world. This exciting book documents Jin’s journey and changing environment; it also shows the beautiful yet remote parts of Hawaii. 

3. Island Of Sweet Pies And Soldiers Written By Sarah Ackerman.

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Island of Sweet Pies and Soldiers
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Island of Sweet Pies and Soldiers
  • Audible Audiobook
  • Sara Ackerman (Author) – Carly Robins, Devon Hales (Narrators)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 02/13/2018 (Publication Date) – Harlequin Audio (Publisher)

1944, when the combat heightened in the Pacific, Violet Iverson and her daughter Ella navigated their life after her husband, Ellas’ dad, disappeared.

Violet relies on her friends when rumors begin swirling around about where her loyalty lies in a war-torn Hawaii. This book is one of the best mysteries set in Hawaii; a lovely story that will keep you glued to your seat.

4. The Descendants By Kaui Hart Hemmings. 

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The Descendants
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The Descendants
  • Audible Audiobook
  • Kaui Hart Hemmings (Author) – Jonathan Davis (Narrator)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 10/01/2010 (Publication Date) – Blackstone Audio, Inc. (Publisher)

Fortune changes for the King’s family, one of the state’s largest landowners, and the descendants of Hawaiian royalty. 

The two daughters of Matthew King-  Scottie, a feisty 10-year-old, and Alex, a seventeen-year-old, are recovering from drug addiction. Their thrill-seeking and charismatic mother, Joanie, lies in a coma after a boat accident.

Her husband, Matthew King, gathers friends and families of his wife to say their final goodbyes as she will be taken off life support. 

A challenging situation arises but is made worse by another sudden discovery that someone hasn’t been informed -the man with whom Matthew King’s wife Joanie has been having an affair.

5. Still Life With Woodpecker By Tom Robbins. 

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Still Life with Woodpecker: A Novel
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Still Life with Woodpecker: A Novel
  • Tom Robbins (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 277 Pages – 04/01/1990 (Publication Date) – Bantam (Publisher)

This book is sort of a Love Story that starts up inside a pack of Camel cigarettes. It explains the difference between outlaws and criminals, reveals the moon’s purpose, and examines the conflict between romantic individualism and social activism. 

This book also paints a portrait of modern civilization that includes exiled royalty, influential Arabs, and pregnant cheerleaders. Lastly, it also deals with all the major problems of Redheads. 

6. Paradise News By David Lodge. 

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Paradise News
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Paradise News
  • Lodge, David (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 304 Pages – 06/01/1993 (Publication Date) – Penguin Books (Publisher)

An agnostic theologian, Bernard Walsh, has a professional interest in heaven. He travels to Hawaii with his reluctant father to visit his estranged but dying sister. To Bernard Walsh, Hawaii feels nothing like paradise but more like purgatory.

He is surrounded by a free-loading anthropologist, quarreling honeymooners, and numerous tourists searching for their paradise. 

His father is whisked off to a hospital after an accident, which leads Bernard Walsh to regret ever coming to Hawaii. That is until he meets something he has lost hope of finding- the astonishing possibility of true Love. 

7. Moloka’i By Alan Brennert. 

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Moloka’i
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Moloka’i
  • Audible Audiobook
  • Alan Brennert (Author) – Anne Noelani Miyamoto (Narrator)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 02/05/2010 (Publication Date) – Recorded Books (Publisher)

A spirited seven-year-old Hawaiian girl, Rachel Kalama, has dreams of visiting faraway lands just like her father, a merchant seaman. 

Then, one fateful day, she notices a rose-colored mark on her skin and watches as her dreams fade away. Rachel is sent to Kalaupapa, far from her home and family; she stays in the quarantine leprosy settlement on the Moloka’i island.

Here, where her life was supposed to end, instead, she finds out it’s only just the beginning. 

8. East Wind Rain By Carolyn Paul. 

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East Wind, Rain: A Novel
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East Wind, Rain: A Novel
  • Paul, Caroline (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 288 Pages – 04/10/2007 (Publication Date) – William Morrow Paperbacks (Publisher)

1941, December, the inhabitants of Niihau, mostly Hawaiian natives, lead a simple life. They all work on the ranch of Niihau’s haole owner, who keeps his Island and everyone isolated from the outside world devoid of electricity, cars, and phones. 

Then, a plane crashes on the island, and the villagers rescue the pilot, unaware that he has just attacked Pearl Harbor. 

War has come to Eden, undoing its tranquility slowly and broadening the cracks in the troubled marriage of Irene and Yoshio Harada Niihaus, the only Japanese-American couple.

The war will test everybody’s loyalties and all they believe in. The paradise, once within their reach, falls victim slowly to its isolated innocence.

In Conclusion; 

With picturesque beaches, volcanic landscapes, and a relaxed way of life, these recommended books set in Hawaii will capture your body and spirit. 

You can start with the heartbreaking story of Moloka’i and follow it up with the others. I hope you enjoy reading our recommended list of books set in Hawaii.

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