Soul stirring and compelling sum up this reading experience, as the outstanding Meg O'Brien outdoes herself with this unforgettable new mystic tale. If you are looking for a unique and powerful read, this is the book for you!

Suspense author Kate McKenna is taking her first vacation in years. She chose Hawaii for several reasons, one being that her late mother was a native Hawaiian. Kate doesn't know if her mother's relations are even alive. Her vacation takes a twist when the exposed film in her camera is stolen. When Kate spies a man following her, she demands to know what he did with her film. Dan Kala denies any knowledge of her film, but does ask her out.

Kate and Dan are working toward an intimate relationship when he pulls back. Determined to confront him, Kate drives to his home. Knowing more than he is willing to say about recent events, Dan is both concerned and resigned to Kate's sudden appearance.

Both Kate and Dan are stunned by Kate's likeness to a portrait of the ill-fated Hawaiian Princess Nahi'ena 'ena. Nahi'ena'ena lived in the 1800s and, according to tradition, married her beloved brother Kamehameha III. The Princess died shortly after giving birth to a still-born child. Once at Dan's house, Kate starts having visions that lead her into the life of Nahi'ena'ena.

Kate has another shock when she discovers her mother's family is nearby and is waiting for her. According to Kate's grandparents, the family has been cursed by one of their ancestors, whose evil powers extend into the present.

(May, 320 pp., $5.99)

Reviewed by: 
Jill M. Smith