James D. Houston (author); A QUEEN'S JOURNEY; Heyday (Fiction: Historical) $14.95 ISBN: 9781597141635
Byline: Karen Ackland
A beloved queen overthrown by outside forces and a novel unfinished at the time of the author's death -- both evoke our sympathy and sense of injustice.
The story opens at a party in Honolulu Harbor in 1868, when the narrator, Julius, is introduced to the vivacious Lydia Dominis. Thirty years later they are reunited in Boston. In between she has become Queen Liliuokalani and, after a short reign, been forced to abdicate.
Even a former queen is news and Julius, a freelance journalist, begins serving as her press secretary, first in Boston and then on a visit to Washington DC. In Washington, the Queen meets with President Grover Cleveland and hosts a reception for wives of politicians. Julius intercepts a message threatening the Queen's life; she dismisses the danger, claiming to be protected by an old Hawaiian curse.
Like all good fiction, the book leaves many questions unanswered. Who is making the death threat? How is Liliuokalani involved in the plots to restore the monarchy? What is the curse Julius will hear her utter? These threads are introduced, but not yet woven together.
A Queen's Journey was planned by James Houston as the third book in a trilogy about California and the Pacific Rim. The first novel, Snow Mountain Passage, described the story of the Donner Party...