First off, I love this book. I know that we are not supposed to say such simple phrases, but there is so much information and so many different stories told by McMillen through the characters that I find it hard at times picking one aspect of the book to discuss. Each character has a purpose and a story. Each character taught the reader something new about the Kahuli family. Each one showed a different insight to the secret of truth being revealed.
I find that Sam Kahuli and Sarah Christian are similar throughout Georgia Ka’apuni McMillen’s School for Hawaiian Girls. Sam and Sarah both hold a secret. They both feel pain for a lost love one. Many times throughout the novel Sam manipulates Sarah to do things, i.e. let Moani into Trinity and blackmail her in the meantime. Sam states that he would reveal the truth of Daniel killing Lydia and Sarah hiding the secret all these years if she did not let Moani into the school. (216) Sam is very conniving, but so is Sarah. She found Lydia’s clothes as well as Daniel’s clothes in the school bag and she chose to burn them. Sarah wanted to forget history just as much as Sam. Both characters use their own ways of changing the course of history, they both rewrite it to benefit themselves. Sam travels to Maui and offers money to keep his identity away from Lydia’s child. He demands that he is never contacted and his name his left unknown. (220) He does not want to deal with the possibility of the little girl being his own flesh and blood, being the father. Moving to Sarah, she changes history by covering up the murder evidence for her brother. She is aware that her brother screws up and does not make the right decisions, but she wants to help him. Sam and Sarah both want to forget about wrong doings.
Sam and Sarah are both trying hard to care for their families and in doing so, that means hiding them from the truth. They have tried to forget the horrible memories of the past and rewrite their family history to tell a different story. There are two great statements by Sarah involving her relation to Sam and the pain that they both feel:
“ As for Sam and I, there is pain no matter my response to the girl. If I say nothing I hurt him, because I hurt the girl. If I provide the answers she wants to hear, I still hurt him because I subvert him.” (224)
She also states, “Sam’s pain. My pain. There is no distinction any longer. I saw the faintest glimmer of this when he came to my office this morning. A thin margin of pink light surrounded his brown-black pupils-behind them a soul soaked in anguish.” (225)
I find Sarah to be incredibly intelligent. She has become aware that she and Sam share a pain that will never go away. She is the only one that can see his pain. Throughout the novel only Sam and Sarah talk about the relationship Sam had with Lydia, no one else is aware of their connection. She sees the hurt in him that was caused by the death of Lydia and that is how the two relate. They both mourn over lost love ones and memories of trying to forget the true history of the accounts of Lydia, Sam, and Daniel.