Thank you so much to the author and MIRA Books for sending this lovely book my way – all opinions are my own.
Violet Iverson and her young daughter, Ella, are piecing their lives together one year after the disappearance of her husband. As rumors swirl and questions about his loyalties surface, Violet believes Ella knows something. But Ella is stubbornly silent. Something—or someone—has scared her. And with the island overrun by troops training for a secret mission, tension and suspicion between neighbors is rising.
Violet bands together with her close friends to get through the difficult days. To support themselves, they open a pie stand near the military base, offering the soldiers a little homemade comfort. Try as she might, Violet can’t ignore her attraction to the brash marine who comes to her aid when the women are accused of spying. Desperate to discover the truth behind what happened to her husband, while keeping her friends and daughter safe, Violet is torn by guilt, fear and longing as she faces losing everything. Again.
“If we learn to love our own lives, a magic doorway opens and our dreams become real.”
I might be biased but I’m in love with this book! Hawaii is one of my favorite places to visit so the vivid descriptions of this gorgeous setting made me feel like I was there. The story takes place during WWII and Violet’s husband has vanished, leaving her and their ten-year-old daughter, Ella, alone in war torn Hawaii. Violet makes pies for the soldiers stationed on the island and develops some wonderful friendships. But Violet senses her daughter has a secret and isn’t willing to talk about it.
There is mystery, intrigue, friendship, love, loss, racial divide, the tragedy of war, and last, but certainly not least, A LION. I LOVE THE LION! I really enjoyed reading the perspectives of Violet and Ella. Violet is such a realistic and smart character that she had me completely immersed in the story. Ella’s chapters were so innocent, heartbreaking, and had me flipping through the pages. Ackerman’s writing is lyrical and lovely; she writes historical fiction with such ease I can’t believe this is a debut novel. It’s so refreshing to read about WWII from this unique point of view, inundated with the Hawaiian people and culture. The setting itself is its own character and makes this worth a read. If you enjoy historical fiction written in a majestic place with thoughtful characters, then this is the book for you!
My rating is 4.5 / 5 stars!
Click here to purchase on Amazon.