Book Beginnings: Honolulu

Book Beginnings Fridays is a weekly event hosted by fellow Oregon blogger Gilion at Rose City Reader.  The purpose is to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires. Please remember to include the title of the book and the author’s name.

This week I started reading Honolulu by Alan Brennert.  Those of you who've been reading my blog for awhile know that I consistently recommend Brennert's other novel, Moloka'i, one of my absolute favorite books of all time. I've been wanting to read Honolulu for quite some time, but I think I've been putting it off because  I just KNOW I'll have a huge book hangover after reading it, and I'll be sad there are no more Brennert books set in Hawaii to read (his other books are set elsewhere). But this week, I felt the desire to engulf myself in this book, and it's been everything I've hoped it would be.  Here's the first sentence:

"When I was a young child growing up in Korea, it was said that the image of the fading moon at daybreak, reflected in a pond or stream or even a well, resembled the speckled shell of a dragon's egg."

I'm already halfway through this book, and completely in love!Here's the synopsis:

8119809Honolulu 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.

Happy Friday and Happy Reading!!


  1. Fascinating! I love the Hawaiian setting and the time period too. This sounds like a book I'd enjoy reading.
    My Friday post features THE SNOW CHILD.

    1. I finished it this weekend--it is SO GOOD. I am always trying to find more books set in Hawaii!

  2. This sounds fascinating! This author is new to me but I love the sound of this book. I'll definitely have to add it to my TBR.

    1. Both this book and his other book, Moloka'i, are absolutely fantastic. Highly recommended!

  3. Love the cover. This books sounds like something I would like.

    Thanks for sharing, and I hope you are having a good Sunday.

    Silver's Reviews
    My Book Beginnings

    1. I totally agree about the cover! It's gorgeous! And a fantastic book too!


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