Book - 2009
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From the bestselling author of the "dazzling historical saga" ( The Washington Post ), Moloka'i , comes the irresistible story of a young immigrant bride in a ramshackle town that becomes a great modern city "In Korea in those days, newborn girls were not deemed important enough to be graced with formal names, but were instead given nicknames, which often reflected the parents' feelings on the birth of a daughter:  I knew a girl named Anger, and another called Pity.  As for me, my parents named me Regret." Honolulu is the rich, unforgettable story of a young "picture bride" who journeys to Hawai'i in 1914 in search of a better life.Instead of the affluent young husband and chance at an education that she has been promised, she is quickly married off to a poor, embittered laborer who takes his frustrations out on his new wife. Renaming herself Jin, she makes her own way in this strange land, finding both opportunity and prejudice. With the help of three of her fellow picture brides, Jin prospers along with her adopted city, now growing from a small territorial capital into the great multicultural city it is today.  But paradise has its dark side, whether it's the daily struggle for survival in Honolulu's tenements, or a crime that will become the most infamous in the islands' history� With its passionate knowledge of people and places in Hawai'i far off the tourist track, Honolulu is most of all the spellbinding tale of four women in a new world, united by dreams, disappointment, sacrifices, and friendship.
Publisher: New York : St. Martin's Press, 2009.
ISBN: 9780312360405
Characteristics: 360 p. ;,25 cm.


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May 22, 2019

Enjoyable and interesting read. A moving story that is also educational in many little tidbits of things...example the use of cotton thread when sewing silk, how ginseng is farmed and how Hawaii is truly a "melting pot" of cultures. Although a novel, many actual events within the time setting is included giving the reader a sense of public sentiments. I could hardly put the book down as the story moved quickly along without a lot of "fluff"

Jan 29, 2019

I read Mr. Brennert's earlier book, "Moloka'i", and thought it was great. I feel the same way about this book. He is a wonderful storyteller/writer with great understanding of the underlying history and culture(s).

This is the story of a "picture bride" who escapes from the oppressive, patriarchal culture of early 20th century Korea. She comes to Hawaii and encounters more suffering and oppression, but has the resilience and wits to endure. Much of the book is grim, but there is also happiness to be found.

Sep 30, 2018

A very interesting book and a good story that takes the reader from Korea to Honolulu and introduces key events and people of the history through the saga-type story.

Aug 04, 2018

Excellent read.

May 16, 2016

HONOLULU is wonderful historical fiction set during the first half of the 20th century. With strong female characters, author Alan Brennert skillfully weaves real persons and events into the storyline. The reader will gain new appreciation for the peoples and forces that helped shape present-day Hawaii. Issues of race and immigration are proven to be as contentious then as they are now. I highly recommend this book if you’re planning a trip to the Islands - it greatly enhanced my recent visit - or are just looking for an easy, summer read. A good choice for book groups, as well.

May 16, 2016

I loved this book as much as I loved Brennert's Molika'i. His ability to capture the experiences of many Honolulu,s early residents through the eyes of one Korean picture bride shows his skill as a writer.

Jul 29, 2014

Loved this book - learned about some of the history of Hawaii.

Sep 22, 2013

Rich in detail and emotion, Honolulu is good historical fiction. As Japan occupies Korea in the early 20th century, old customs still prevail. Young women have no hope for escape from isolation, first in their familial homes and, later, in the homes of the husbands to whom their parents arrange marriages. Education -- even learning to read -- is the realm of men only. Hoping to escape this fate, young Jin signs on as a “picture bride” to become the wife of a young, handsome, well-to-do Korean man living in Hawaii. Of course, such promises turn out to be false, and Jin quickly finds that she has escaped the oppression of her homeland for a different, life-threatening oppression. Jin relies on the help and kinship of her fellow picture brides and others to escape and create a meaningful life for herself in beautiful Honolulu, which is transitioning from tiny U.S. outpost to burgeoning melting pot and tourist mecca.

JCLChrisF Apr 19, 2013

This historical fiction highlights personal struggle and the friendship of women woven within the fascinating past of beautiful Hawaii.
An easy read, always recommended for those seeking just a good story and a great pick for book clubs

Sep 29, 2012

Good story about a Korean woman's
life after becoming a picture bride for a man in Hawaii. Read in Bethany.

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Feb 22, 2011

tessyjay thinks this title is suitable for 25 years and over


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