I’ve gotten some feedback that the beginning of Finding ‘Ohana is a little slow, and that it gives too much away too soon. So I’ve written a short alternate opening. I’m still deciding if the voice works with the rest of the book, but I thought I’d post what I have here:
I had been to funerals before, but not like this. Never like this. Everyone else on the boat and riding the waves around it, everyone but me, was in aloha wear: a white background covered in bright blue Hawaiian flowers. Even the ocean matched them. But I was wearing the black and white memory of a time when I had been happy.
The boat rocked gently on the waves, like a baby’s basinet. A few people around me closed their eyes and reveled in the salty breeze. They looked as though they were relaxing. As though this were just another day at sea. As though they had not just lost a person that had held them together like glue.
I suppose they still had each other to hold them together. They were a family, and to them that meant they could never be alone.
The boat lurched more vigorously than usual, and I gripped the edge to remain upright, although no one else seemed affected. The boat returned to its rocking, gentle as a cradle. I held on, knowing that if I let go I would fall, cradle and all.
Ihupani started the funeral by reminding us all why we were there. But I knew why. We were there because of me. Because I wanted to have a baby.