Honolulu by Alan Brennert

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Synopsis

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.

 

About Alan Brennert

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ALAN BRENNERT grew up in Edgewater, New Jersey, at the foot of the Palisades. He won an Emmy Award in 1991 for his work as a writer-producer on L.A. Law, and was nominated for two other Emmy Awards as well as a Golden Globe. He won a Nebula Award for his story "Ma Qui." The author of the national bestsellers Moloka'i, a "Bookies" award-winner for Book Club Book of the Year, and Honolulu, winner of Elle's Lettres 2009 Grand Prix for Fiction, he lives in Sherman Oaks, California.
 
Published March 3, 2009 by St. Martin's Press. 464 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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When Noh's actions become more than she can bear, Regret (now known as Jin) flees to Honolulu and begins a new life.

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The Washington Post

(Jin Eyre, anyone?) But in mooring this familiar character to the unique history of early-20th-century Hawaii, Brennert portrays the Aloha State's history as complicated and dynamic -- not simply a melting pot, but a Hawaiian-style "mixed plate" in which, as Jin sagely notes, "many different tast...

Mar 11 2009 | Read Full Review of Honolulu

Historical Novel Society

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MostlyFiction Book Reviews

Through Jin, we also experience racial tension between “locals” (including Hawaiians and Orientals alike) and the richer whites on the island.

May 22 2009 | Read Full Review of Honolulu

Bookmarks Magazine

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 quick...

Mar 16 2009 | Read Full Review of Honolulu

Reader Rating for Honolulu
85%

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