BookBrowse Reviews Honolulu by Alan Brennert

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Honolulu

by Alan Brennert

Honolulu
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Mar 2009, 368 pages
    Paperback:
    Feb 2010, 464 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Kim Kovacs

Buy This Book

About this Book

Reviews

An absorbing study of early 20th century Asian culture in Hawaii as seen through the eyes of a Korean woman

A well-written historical novel can so mesmerize readers that they come to feel they understand what it was like to live in a past era, as if they have truly experienced the sights, smells and cultures of a time and place beyond their personal knowledge. In Honolulu, author Alan Brennert succeeds brilliantly in this goal.

At first, the plot of Honolulu may seem overly familiar. Readers have encountered protagonists in similar circumstances on the pages of many recent bestselling novels (Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, Memoirs of a Geisha, the works of Amy Tan). Even after the main character reaches Hawaii, much of the plot is predictable. Brennert's writing, however, is so compelling that readers soon find they are unable to put the book down. Fortunately, its story departs from the expected after the first five chapters or so, after which it becomes an absorbing study of Asian ...

Back-Story
Honolulu grew out of Alan Brennert's research for his previous novel, Moloka'i.

"One of the most colorful periods of modern Hawaiian history was the so-called 'glamour days' of the 1920s and 1930s," Alan explains. "This was a time period I couldn't really explore in depth in Moloka'i, since my main characters were in isolation at Kalaupapa. Where Moloka'i was principally about Native Hawaiians, Honolulu is more about the immigrant experience in Hawai'i, and the origins of its unique multicultural society."

Members Only

BookBrowse's reviews and backstories are a members-only benefit. Full information is available on books for a limited time when they are featured as "Editor's Choices" - but that time has now elapsed for this book.

Join Today


Member Login


Library Patrons
Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: A Certain Age
    A Certain Age
    by Beatriz Williams
    Lovers of high-society gossip, there's a new set of players in town. A good 20 out of 23 of our...
  • Book Jacket: The Romanovs
    The Romanovs
    by Simon Sebag Montefiore
    The Romanovs chronicles the reigns of the 20 individuals who were considered members of that dynasty...
  • Book Jacket: Barkskins
    Barkskins
    by Annie Proulx
    Barkskins, by Annie Proulx, is not a book to read quickly. After a month of slow reading, I ...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Imperial Wife
    by Irina Reyn

    A smart, engaging novel that parallels two fascinating worlds and two singular women.

    Read Member Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Miss Jane
    by Brad Watson

    "Starred Review. Sensitive, beautifully precise prose. Highly recommended." - PW

    Read Member Reviews

Members review books pre-publication. Read their opinions in First Impressions

Book Discussions
Book Jacket
Spinster
by Kate Bolick

A bold, original, moving book that will inspire fanatical devotion and ignite debate.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Summer Stunner
Summer Giveaway

Win 5 books, each week in July!

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

W M T N, W C F All

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.

 
X

BookBrowse Summer Giveaway

We're giving away
5 books every
week in July!