On Kaua‘i: Meet Author Malia Mattoch McManus of "Dragonfruit"
September 8, 2018 –
Kaua‘i Museum and Daughters of Hawai‘i welcomes Malia Mattoch McManus to share her new book "Dragonfruit". Reminiscent of James Michener’s Hawai‘i, Dragonfruit delivers an exquisite tale of love, heartbreak and indomitability of spirit that, like a lush native vine, winds around and through Hawai‘i’s turbulent history between 1891-1900.
As the heiress to a plantation fortune, Eliza Dawson occupies a privileged place in the opulent court of Hawai‘i’s King Kalakaua. But her secret plan to marry the son of an opium tycoon collapses when political crisis forces him to China. Pregnant and desperate to keep her child, Eliza must wed an opportunistic rancher on the remote island of Moloka‘i.
After a devastating fire, Eliza makes a daring escape to Honolulu on the eve of the American overthrow and joins the clandestine fight to restore the Hawaiian monarchy.
When a mysterious figure from Moloka‘i reveals powerful secrets, only one man can help Eliza find the truth-her first love. But soon, their search for answers threatens to unravel the life she’s rebuilt in a dramatically changed Hawai‘i.
Dragonfruit is both a vivid portrait of Hawai‘i in a time of historic upheaval and the story of a woman shaped by love, betrayal, and the intoxicating power of the past.
Malia Mattoch McManus was born and raised in Kailua, Hawai‘i. After a decade reporting and anchoring local news in Honolulu, Malia began researching Dragonfruit. Parts of her own family arrived in Hawai‘i in the 1800’s as both ship captains and sugar plantation workers.
Dragonfruit is Malia’s second published book but first novel. She also wrote The Hawaiian House Now and continues to write and report for Hawai‘i publications. She lives on O‘ahu with her family.
Portrait by tracywrightcorvo.com