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Sharks in the Time of Saviors

Sharks in the Time of Saviors

As one of our previous Dandy Roll Book Club picks, this novel is on our must-read list! This debut novel uses magical realism to bring the folklore, legends, and superstitions of the Hawaiian Islands to readers. Washburn, who was born and raised on the Hamakua Coast of Hawaii, aims to "preserve and amplify the truth of our land" by honoring the Hawaiian authors who came before him.

In 1995 in Kailua-Kona, Hawai’i, seven-year-old Nainoa Flores is saved from drowning by a shiver of sharks. His family, struggling to make ends meet amidst the collapse of the sugar cane industry, hails his rescue as a sign of favor from ancient Hawaiian gods. But as time passes, this hope gives way to economic realities, forcing Nainoa and his siblings to seek salvation across the continental United States, leaving behind home and family.

With stunning physical detail and a profound command of language, Washburn’s powerful debut examines what it means to be both of a place, and a stranger in it.