Today we're talking with Christine Sunderland, author of Hana-lani
FQ: You obviously know and love Hawaii. What is your connection with Maui?
I have had the opportunity to visit Hana, Maui and other locations in Hawaii many times over the last twenty years, and have been impressed with the welcoming spirit of the people, their sense of family, history, and faith I have found there.
FQ: Nani-lei is such a warm and inspiring character. Is she based on someone you are lucky enough to know?
Nani-lei is a blend of many elderly women I have been so very fortunate to know, primarily, I would add, in my church life. These women have given me so much and I continue to learn from these generations that go before me.
|Flying to Hana|
FQ: Meredith's experience at Hana-lani causes her to think about what truly matters in life. What is at the top of your list?
I would say family, faith, church, and making every day count, searching for what is true and not merely fashionable or politically correct.
FQ: Meredith's story is too familiar these days. In what ways can all of us be like Nani-lei and her family, bringing hope to those who, like Meredith, are alone?
I think we can all slow down and take the time to listen to and love one another. We begin with our family members – husband, wife, children. Then we consider friends and those who cross our path day to day. Every person is worthy of respect and love, and the gift of time, of paying attention, is probably the greatest gift to those alone. Of course giving one's time means sacrificing one's own time, being a little less selfish, a little more self-less.
|Wananalua Congregational Church|
|Fagan's Cross, Hana|
FQ: Do you share Henry's love of poetry? Which poets, along with T.S. Eliot, do you admire?
I love the poetic more than poetry itself – the phrase or metaphor that catches some otherwise indescribable truth about our humanity. I admire greatly Gerald Manley Hopkins, Shakespeare, Elizabeth Browning, among others. The Psalms are wonderful expressions of man's yearnings and angst as well as joyful and thankful moments. Poetry helps express who we are, gives us voice. My sister Barbara Budrovich is developing into a fine poet, catching unique family moments we experience as women and mothers.
FQ: Without giving away the ending of the book, I will say that it was not the “happily ever after” ending I was expecting. Did you know as you were writing the novel that it would end this way?
|Hasegawa General Store, Hana|
To learn more about Hana-lani please visit our website and read the review at: Feathered Quill Book Reviews.