advertizer-reviewDefinitive. It’s not often you can say that about any first novel. But Picture Bride is destined to become the definitive story of the Japanese-Americans experience, an epic multi-generation saga of a Japanese family meeting and defeating discrimination of Hawaii, a novel overflowing with drama, history, and characters you’ll be rooting for the minute you open the book. Impeccably researched and skillfully told.
William Martin, New York Times Best Selling Author of Back Bay, The Lincoln Letter, and The Lost Constitution
Picture Bride is an enthralling journey depicting the historical Japanese immigration to Hawaii. Haru’s adventure of strength, courage and ability to gracefully maneuver through adversity is truly inspirational.
Shelby Kariya, granddaughter 422nd Company E veteran.
Mike Malaghan takes readers to a historical ‘time-tunnel’ through the eyes of Haru, a ‘picture bride’ immigrant from a poverty stricken village in Japan to Hawaii. Picture Bride is not only an adventure filled story but also a great Hawaiian history book with the accuracy of an Encyclopedia.
Hiroko Falkenstein – author of War is not Cool at all, Fools!
Atmospheric! From Page 1, the reader of Picture Bride is drawn into a world hitherto known by only a few – a world richly textured in sights and sounds and vivid experiences. Mike Malaghan delivers the roller coaster life of Haru who grabs the reader by the emotional throat as she meanders through all the transformational events of Hawaii’s early years up to the eve of Pearl Harbor.
Dr. Keli’i Akina, President/CEO of Grassroot Institute of Hawaii
Mike Malaghan expertly draws on historical events during the three decades leading up to WWII to portray Japanese immigrant life in Hawaii. Picture Bride is an endearing family saga in an era that forged modern Hawaii—an era that must not be forgotten!
Lenny Yajima, President, Japan-America Society of Hawaii
It has been said that if history were taught in the form of stories it would never be forgotten. When you read Picture Bride, the story of Haru, an Issei woman, you will agree.
Dennis M. Ogawa, Professor, University of Hawaii at Manoa
An interesting story
Bishop Yoshiaiki Fujitani, Hongwanji Mission of Hawaii
With a cast of diverse picture brides and plots bristling with surprises, this book is an intriguing historical novel told in one bold forty-year drama. Mike Malaghan captures the sweep of Japan-Hawaii-America history in the early 20th century up to the night before Pearl Harbor …all through the compassionate but wise eyes of Haru, the teenage picture bride who once dreamed of raising children to die for the emperor but eventually raises children loyal to the Stars and Stripes in the face of a coming war with her former home.
Mary Ann Berry
Picture Bride is for anyone who loves a great story and wants to know the history of Hawaii’s first decades under the American flag, as seen from the perspective of immigrants who—in the face of discrimination—raised loyal children who would earn nine thousand Purple Hearts as part of the famed 442nd Regiment.
Mariko Miho, daughter of 552nd Artillery Spotter Kats Miho, Executive Director of Development, University of Hawaii Foundation
Mike Malaghan has authored a story for the ages. As a Nisei, I didn’t witness the horror stories of the immigrants from Japan to Hawaii, but my Issei parents had to overcome many similar situations after immigrating in the early 1900s. Picture Bride is a remarkable story of immigrants’ courage and perseverance, creating a future for their children in their adopted land, the United States of America.
Lawson Iichiro Sakai, Bronze Star Veteran, 442nd Regiment
Picture Bride is an authentic novel of the Japanese immigrant experience in Hawaii.
MIS Veteran and 442/MIS Historian
I am impressed with Mike Malaghan’s attention to historical detail. Seeing my mom’s life with the Shivers family recreated in this story made it all the more special.
Picture Bride is a tapestry of the immigrant life and the discrimination they endured at the turn of the 20th Century in Hawaii. Haru’s story is one of honor, duty, sacrifice and family woven into the hatred and intolerance cast upon immigrants who came to Hawaii with dreams of a better life. Hawaii was a melting pot of many cultures but not the paradise of today. It boiled over with strife created by the actions of the power elites to maintain dominance and control. The book is highly readable. Its originality lies in the author’s scrupulous research and amazing characters parading through the pages of Picture Bride.
Lester Kaneta, the son of Bride gracing the cover of Picture Bride.
Book Reviews| Features
‘Picture Bride’ examines trials of plantation-era Japanese in Hawaii
Review by Christopher Alm Special to the Star-Advertiser
November 20, 2016
Legacy Isle Publishing ($19.95)
Haru, the Japanese protagonist of Mike Malaghan’s first novel, “Picture Bride,” arrives in the faraway exotic land of Honolulu with nothing but her dreams and a marriage to a husband she has not yet met. “Such a beautiful island … but a discontented paradise,” she muses.
The novel is an epic saga that spans decades and continents in its portrayal of life in plantation-era Hawaii. By becoming a picture bride sent to Hawaii Haru escapes the fate many late-19th-century Japanese girls faced of being sold into prostitution across various parts of Asia by their impoverished parents.
Haru arrives in Hawaii in 1909. Her husband, Kenji, accepts the position of head Buddhist priest for the plantation community of Waimea on the Big Island.
Meanwhile, Haru and her fellow picture brides become a tempering force to the gambling and alcoholism that run rampant among the unmarried plantation workers.
Haru encounters many obstacles in her new home but never backs down from any of them.
She interrupts a pagan ceremony where a Japanese priest seeks to sacrifice a dog to exorcise a demon from a child; manages an entire housing settlement camp of striking plantation workers; and faces the ruling Caucasian minority’s war against Japanese language schools, which they feared would spread imperialist Japanese values.
Throughout all this, she reconciles her relationship with her husband and raises her children in a Hawaii, where showing Japanese pride isn’t always accepted. As Haru muses about the language schools, “no matter how we change the curriculum or even if we closed our schools, we still look Asian, we will still be Japanese.” Even her daughter Hiromi asks when she is just a child, “Okasan,why do they hate us?”
“Picture Bride” offers an accessible glimpse into Hawaii’s history, stories and events most locals have heard in passing but have never studied in depth. Although the events in the book take place about a century ago, many echoes of those conflicts survive today.
Haru represents a people who have little choice but to make the best of what they have for themselves and the future of their families. As Haru herself says, “If you’re willing to work hard, save a little money, and accept that you might fail but try anyhow, the American Dream is open to all races. The banks like my money as much as the Dillinghams.” (sic)
Malaghan’s novel makes a convincing argument that we cannot talk about Hawaii without discussing race, a vital portion of Hawaii’s history and legacy.