Friday, November 25, 2011

The Lymans of Hilo by Sarah Joiner Lyman

The Lymans of Hilo: A fascinating account of life in 19th century Hawaii by Sarah Joiner Lyman, 1979.
lymans cover
One day my husband was walking by a local bookstore and noticed this in their free bin. I looked at it but wasn't so sure I wanted to read it. I thought since it was by a missionary it would be pretty dry. I tossed it in the corner and promptly forgot about it for a few months.

Then we booked a trip to the Big Island for 2012 and I thought "don't I have some book with Hilo in the title?" I dug it out and googled it and saw that there is a Lyman Museum in Hilo you can visit. That sold me because I though if I liked the book, I might want to visit the museum while we are there.

Well, the book was pretty dry but interesting enough. Sarah married a man suddenly and 24 days later they were off on a boat to Hawaii in 1831from the East Coast. It is just amazing to me that people would just pick up and leave everything behind to go preach about the lord to the middle of no where.

The husband doesn't appear much in the journal, I think he was gone a lot. She was left behind to take care of the house and the 8 children (guess he did come back to visit).  They never visit the mainland again though many of their children moved there.

They look like a party, don't they?


It was interesting reading someones journal from their age of 25 until they died at age 80. There were some large gaps in the book where maybe there would be only 1 entry a year for the book isn't that long. They also included some letters she wrote.

It was fascinating to see how Hawaii had changed in that period for she does mention some of the politics.

It is a worth a read and since I have a special area in my Bibliotiki devoted to the South Pacific from a woman's perspective, I'll be keeping it around.

In a note related to the actual book but not the content. The book had some old recipes clipped and included in it. None related to Hawaii though neat to look at. They are from 1989, when I graduated high school but look so dated to me they could of been from the 1960's. It did make me think that clippings is just a bonus of a used book that you just can't get in an ebook.

clipping found in book