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Chapter Twelve

Chapter twelve begins in 1908. Rachel, Emily, and Lani watch a horse race where Francine rides against two men. Francine wins six races in a row. The other girls show the progression of leprosy, but Rachel shows few outward signs of the disease. Rachel's biggest concern at this time is the teasing she endures about being a virgin. She decides to have sex with Nahoa, but she finds the experience less than fulfilling.

Rachel has heard that another patient was recently released from the settlement after his symptoms of leprosy went away. Rachel hopes that she too will be released if her symptoms continue to decline, and she gets tested by Dr. Goodhue frequently.

Rachel receives parcels and letters from Henry. Henry wishes that he could contract leprosy so he could live with Rachel.


Sister Catherine learns that her mother committed suicide, and this causes her to further question her religious beliefs. Rachel also experiences loss. One morning Rachel discovers that Haleola died in the night.