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Informative,
Interesting,
Epic

8 reviews

Honolulu
by Alan Brennert

Published: 2009-03-03
Kindle Edition : 464 pages
9 members reading this now
20 clubs reading this now
14 members have read this book
Recommended to book clubs by 8 of 8 members
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 ...

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Introduction

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.


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Book Club Recommendations

Great history of Hawaii. We all learned a lot.
by kateboucher (see profile) 10/09/09
Our book club really loves it when a fiction book gives us a window into a part of history. We all learned something new about Hawaii's culture.

Member Reviews

Overall rating:
 
 
by mrstodd (see profile) 11/08/19

 
  "Lots of Korean and Hawaiian history that most don't know about."by missada (see profile) 09/07/16

It is so special to those who love Hawaii and for the ones that don't, they will love the book on it's own. Allen Brennert is great.

 
  "A Great Read lead to a Great Discussion"by awr115 (see profile) 03/21/13

Everyone in our book club thought this book was a winner. The fictional story of a Korean picture bride is interwoven into true life events of Hawaii during the early 1900s. This lead to a great discussion... (read more)

 
  "Honolulu"by marcid (see profile) 01/11/12

I enjoy historical fiction and learned about Korea and the Japanese occupation/influence which
was lacking from my school history lessons.
I enjoyed Brennert's other book, Molokai
A pleas


... (read more)

 
  "Inspirational and interesting"by MichelleJMcIntyre (see profile) 03/03/11

A story about a Korean women in the early 1900s who takes a chance in a new land called Hawaii. She's very brave and creative, overcoming great hardships. It was an interesting story. I was inspired to... (read more)

 
  "Honolulu"by prophet40 (see profile) 09/10/10

Although it is rather lengthy it goes into great detail about Honolulu in the 20's especially. Gives great insight into Korean life and family life. Many characters and great for book discussions.

 
  "Honolulu: A Novel"by Katha (see profile) 09/05/10

 
  "Honolulu by Alan Brennert"by kateboucher (see profile) 10/09/09

 
  "The Honolulu you probably don't know"by joyce2121 (see profile) 07/20/09

While the narrator is a Korean "picture bride" brought to Hawaii to marry a man she's never met, the story gives you a fasinating
look at life in Hawaii before statehood. From the plantatio
... (read more)

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