A magic prison

Master Thesis


Permanent link to this Item
Journal Title
Link to Journal
Journal ISSN
Volume Title

University of Cape Town

When Megan’s aged and addled father goes missing in Lahaina, Maui, where he has been living most of his adult life, she must decide whether and how she should help to find him. As a child, she knew him only through their two weeks together each December; as a young adult, she had to deal with the consequences of his alcoholism and her stepsister’s accusation that he molested her. Now Megan is fortyone, married to Steven and the mother of a young daughter, Jess; but she is her father’s only child and her stepmother needs her help. As Megan returns to Maui she recalls her Christmases with her father. Both good and bad memories are evoked as she searches for him: from the delights of snorkelling, the horrors of a cock fight, and the stories of the locals, to the beauty of the tropical landscape. We follow her as she visits the once-isolated community of Hansen’s disease sufferers at Kalaupapa, on Molokai; tracks down her stepsister where she is working at the landmark Pioneer Inn, and walks through the historical sites of ancient Lahaina, once the home of Hawaiian royalty. We discover what it is like to work at a commercial luau and how she became a chef on Kauai.

Includes abstract.|Includes bibliographical references.