Alan Brennert, Author . St. Martin's $24.95 (360p) ISBN 978-0-312-36040-5

Brennert's mostly successful follow-up to his book club phenomenon, Moloka'i , chronicles the lives of Asian immigrants in and around Hawaii's early 20th-century glamour days. As the tale begins, readers meet young Regret, whose name speaks volumes of her value in turn-of-the-20th-century Korea. Emboldened by her desire to be educated, Regret commits herself as a mail-order bride to a prosperous man in Hawaii, where girls are allowed to attend school. But when she arrives, she finds her new husband is a callous plantation worker with drinking and gambling problems. Soon, Regret (now known as Jin) and her fellow picture brides must discover their own ways to prosper in America and find that camaraderie and faith in themselves goes a long way. Brennert takes perhaps too much care in creating an encyclopedic portrait of Hawaii in the early 1900s, festooning the central narrative with trivia and cultural minutiae by the boatload. Luckily, Jin's story should be strong enough to pull readers through the clutter. (Mar.)

Reviewed on: 10/20/2008
Release date: 03/01/2009
Hardcover - 610 pages - 978-1-60285-495-6
Open Ebook - 368 pages - 978-1-4299-7773-9
Paperback - 584 pages - 978-1-4299-5145-6
Paperback - 464 pages - 978-0-312-60634-3
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-4561-0887-8
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