This Blog is Dedicated to our dear friend Karen.
When she left this life she left a hole in our hearts as well as several to be read books.
We, her friends, will read these books for her.
This blog will be a sort of book club for us to post our thoughts and feelings about the stories and feelings we have of Karen while we read.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

#215 Honolulu by Alan Brennert


As I just titled this blog post it hit me this book was written by a man, that's amazing, as the story was told by a Korean woman.  Never once did I think a man might be telling this story.

Karen and I both had this one on our to-read list as it was from our online book club we participated in together.  One round of reading everyone in the book club picked a book where they were from or had lived and one of the members chose Honolulu.

Neither one of us got around to reading it that month for whatever reason so when I saw it was still on her to-read list I knew I should read it. 

The story is about a girl, born in Korea to a family that only wanted sons.  Her father named her "Regret".  She wanted to make her father proud of her so thought she would surprise him and learn how to read, however, when he did find out he was more disappointed in her and expressed his disappointment with a slap across the face.  This was just the start of her life.  Once Regret got a taste of education she wanted more.  She found out about Hawaii and how men were sending for Korean women to be their picture bride.  She was told the women in Hawaii were allowed to have an education and would have more rights so she signed up and became a picture bride amongst several friends.  Once she moves to Hawaii we are introduced to many more characters and the challenges Regret had to face only escalated.  However, she endured these trial and grew and became an amazing woman. 

I learned so much by listening to this book (I chose to listen instead of reading it) such as what Korean women had to face, what is considered the norm in this culture, the early times of Hawaii and the injustice the natives must have felt at that time and so forth. 

Honolulu was a very good book.  It is long and every character and story we learn what happens to them. No page is left unturned.  (heehee!)  One will not leave the book with questions as there is closure, however, if committing to read this one, it is not a light read.  Take ones time and enjoy the rich history and culture that comes out through the pages.


  1. i am one of Karen's cousins and noticed a couple books I have on my list to read also. Is there anyway of seeing her book list?
    God Bless!

  2. Are you on goodreads? If so, that's how we have her list. If not, join goodreads and read along with us. It's a great way to keep your books organized and know what you've read and what you plan to read. Karen will love having others read along with her.