I admit that I knew nothing about leprosy or Molokai before reading this book. I was leary to read it because human suffering is just not what I consider a 'feel good' kind of book.How wrong I was! Yes, the book was at times heartbreaking. But it was overshadowed by the hope that humans can find during desperate, challenging, or hopeless situations. Just a wonderful novel about the strength people find deep inside to cope. It was so informative and at the same time became so engaging that it was hard to put down. The journey that Ruth led through life was just inspirational, and I would consider it a great book to read if you are feeling sorry for yourself! The author transported me, through his writing, to this small island and continued to lead me through all of the obstacles and endeavors of a life that could have or should have been so small. This life was made great and worthwhile because of the attitude and strength the author gave to the main character and other characters involved.I can't say enough good things about this book. If you haven't read it yet, don't hesitate. You won't be sorry!