Author: Celestine Vaite

Publisher: Time Warner Books

Release Date: February 2006

Blue Ribbon Rating: 4.5

Format: PRINT

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Materena Mahi is so thankful when she is finally blessed with a daughter.  A beautiful little girl to whom she can befriend, and pass on all the wonderful, and much needed wisdom that was passed down to her from her mother.  Being a native of Tahiti, she is filled with the love of island and its traditions, and can?t wait to make sure her daughter feels the same.  What times they will have together!

As Leilani grows from a precocious child into a turbulent teenager, Materena can?t help but wonder why God has chosen to give her a child who is nothing like her!  She is so assured, and the questions she asks!   Who needs to know what the medical term for the neck is?  Or who started the French Revolution?   She should be asking about the old days, Tahitian words of wisdom, and how to properly clean the bathroom.  Out of the thousand questions a day that Leilani fires at her, you would think one of them would be something she could answer!


Materena watches with pride as her brilliant daughter grows and learns, but at the same time she is struggling with the decisions her daughter is making.  During this growth process, Materena decides to make a few changes herself.  She is proud to be a woman who has something to say, and maybe Leilani will not be the only one making a difference.


FRANGIPANI by Celestine Vaite is an incredible tale that we can all relate to.  The relationship between Materena and Leilani will make you laugh and bring you to tears.  Set in Tahiti, FRANGIPANI has a tropical flare, and an insight to life on this beautiful island that is steeped in tradition.  I encourage everyone to pick up a copy of this one of a kind novel.

By Romance Junkies Reviewer: Nadine St. Denis

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