Damien and Dutton: Two Josephs on Molokai

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A biographical novel by Howard E. Crouch.

One day in July 1886, Joseph De Veuster, now known to the world as Father Damien, stood on the shores of Kalaupapa on the island of Molokai waiting for the steamer bearing the human cargo of misery — victims of leprosy banished from their homes and loved ones — to be spilled on to the shores of this small peninsula at the tip of Molokai, to live out the rest of their lives in isolation and without hope.

Coming down the gangplank was a young man in a denim uniform who strode to Damien, held out his hand, and said that he was Joseph Dutton, an American veteran of the civil war and that he had come to help. With their handclasp, a bond of friendship was forged only to be broken three years later with Damien's death. For 44 years, Dutton stayed on to continue his apostolate and to do penance for an earlier life of drunkenness and debauchery. He died at the age of 88. Their graves are close to each other on Molokai as they both wait for eternity.

This biographical novel is based on the true events that these two Josephs shared. There were tears and laughter, triumphs and failures but their sacrifices will live on for all to know and hopefully to emulate.

Hard cover. 324 pages. 5.75 inches by 8.75 inches.

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