Unfamiliar Fishes is the history of Hawai'i. Or at least the history of Hawai'i from the point when Americans/missionaries decided to start sticking their nose in.
Sure, all missions are inherently patronizing to the host culture. That's what a mission is - a bunch of strangers showing up somewhere uninvited to inform the locals they are wrong. But it's worth remembering that these women, and the men they married so recklessly, believe they were risking their own lives to spare strangers on the other side of the world from an eternity in hell.It's not only about the missionaries, though it is a lot about these people that traveled half way across the world. And they did some good things, like helping to develop a written form of the Hawaiian language. It's also about the Hawaiian royalty who perhaps weren't always the best (see rules governing what women could and couldn't do, down to not being allowed to eat bananas and just a whole bunch of incest).
She also mentions the Rainbow Drive-In, which we ate at during our trip and it was delicious. Oh and if you're wondering, while I don't understand the genius of macaroni salad with pretty much everything, I have come to appreciate it.
|Seriously, so good|
Lafayette in the Somewhat United States
The Partly Cloudy Patriot
Take the Cannoli: Stories from the New World
The Wordy Shipmates
Title quote from page 9
Vowell, Sarah. Unfamiliar Fishes. Riverhead Books, 2011. Kindle