This book was amazing! Such a wonderful novel intertwined with Hawaiian history during the 1920's and 1930's. Loved the authors style. His first book Moloka'i is also outstanding!
If you love reading books about different cultures, this is a great book. It's historical fiction, so you get a great story surrounded by the history of another time. I've read both "Molokai" and "Honolulu" by Alan Brennert, and I was very pleased by both. In fact, both books had me wanting to learn more about Hawaiian culture. Definitely a book worth reading!
This was a beautiful story of coming-of-age with your innocence dashed by disappointment, but forging ahead for new beginnings. I enjoyed journeying with Jin/Regret as she made her way from Korea to an unexpected adventure of a life in pre-and post-Depression era Honolulu. This was a very satisfying story, rich in emotion, and life lessons - and it had a very satisfying ending, which I love!
The only thing I didn't like was the way the story seemed to be heavy-handed with some of the industrial info, politics of the times, and even the detailed fashion materials talk made my eyes glaze over a couple of times, but that aside, I really enjoyed this story, and will definitely count Alan Brennert among my auto-buy authors.
After reading, and loving, Molokai'i I was slightly disappointed in this book. It is just as well researched as Molokai'i, but it's missing the rich imagery and attention to detail. It is still worth a read because it tells a forgotten story of the cruelty non-white immigrants to Hawaii endured and their resilience as they worked to shape the state into what it is now.
I read the book in an entire day. It flowed so easy. I learned so much about history that I didnt know.
Our story starts out in Korea, that has been taken oven by the Japanese. Our Main character is named Regret, as female children are not valued. Regret longs to read, and go to school, but life in Korea doesnt offer much for women except to eventually be a daughter in law. Being a daughter in law is like a slave or a kicked dog. No honor, no love, no life. Regret begins a journey, where her Aunt helps her to learn to read via a teacher. Her father beats her when he finds out. Her teacher tells her she is a GEM, and Regret starts going by the name Jin.
Then an idea is presented to her by missionaries that Korean Men in Hawaii need wives. Regret and her friend, Sunny start this process. The take photos, and are promised a great life, and the opportunity to go to school. On the 9 day boat ride, They meet, Beauty, Jade Moon, and Wise Pearl. When they arrive in Hawaii of course these men are not as wealthy, handsome or as young as the picture of them.
The rest of story is a great adventure as Jin, takes the bad in life and turns things around for herself. This fictitious book is interwoven with some real people and real events. Through all the ups and downs, we see the women really make the most of their lives and their friendships.