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Hawaii, 1944. The Pacific battles of World War II continue to threaten American soil, and on the home front, the bonds of friendship and the strength of love are tested.
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.
|Product dimensions:||5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.00(d)|
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Vividly descriptive and evocative of life and the challenges presented in wartime: Violet and Ella Iverson are existing day to day with grief and fear as constant companions. A year from her husband’s disappearance, questions are many yet answers few. The lush landscapes, omnipresent heat and frequent rain, fears of invasion and the sudden transformation of friends and neighbors to a nebulous and feared “them”, the multiple layers of questions, answers and quandaries build this story into a rich tapestry and testament to the many stories of the ‘homefront’ and life during war. Told in two points of view: Violet’s adult perspective as a relative newcomer struggling with grief and her own place and her daughter Ella, a child of the islands and more native than one might expect. Violet’s struggle to move forward with unanswered questions about her husband, her own frustrations and worry for Ella and her changed behavior, and the influx of strangers (soldiers) into their relatively quiet lives, more apparent with her housemate Jean’s need to find a love of her own keeps her busy, if not confident in the steps she is taking. Ella’s moments are worries about her secrets, her love for her cat and her desire for more animals to befriend. Her moments share an innocence and purity of observations that are well beyond her years. A sweetness that is damped by fears and the time, but never quite silent. Her rescue of the chicken Brownie, and her knitted dress, the instant rapport with the lion cub, seeing him as a cat – a big cat without a purr-box, all show her heart and kindness. The pacing here is varied: fast moving against barely breathing: highlight the moments the young marines are using to live each moment fully before deployment to some unknown fate, the instant rapport with Ella and each animal, and the friendships and romances that start to grow and become more important as time passes. The gradual recognition of personal strengths, questions and determination to stand strong for themselves and those who rely on them becomes the rail on which the story progresses: each character becoming realized in moments of illumination, each moment of recognition brings a new step along the path to the resolution of many unanswered questions and concerns. A read in one siting title, the story adds bits and pieces together to make a picture: one that will stay long after the last page. I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via Edelweiss for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
What a magnificent story! It was heart wrenching and exciting and everything a great book should be. The author made you become part of the story, reading it she made you feel you were living it. I rarely read actually historical event or stories that are based on real events. I prefer fiction because true fiction is just a story is not real, no one really died, men didn’t stupidly kill each other because of some ideal. I was so moved by the characters; Ms. Ackerman your characters are three dimensional, which is my highest compliment. If I can picture the characters as alive actually living in the environment you’ve built in your story that is the greatest accomplishment an author can achieve. Please write more I love your style. I’m not going to tell you about the story, I promise the summary accurately tells you what book is about, I’m telling you it is well worth your time to read, you will become embroiled and not stop till you’re finished, I know I didn’t
What a wonderful novel to read. I fell in love with the cover and after reading the synopsis, I knew this was something I needed to read. I didn’t expect the novel to be such a calm and enjoyable read. The novel takes place on Hawaii during WWII. A group of soldiers have arrived for training on the island, where they meet a group of women who are making the best of the situation. It’s a novel filled with racial tension, romance, friendships, war and family life. Violet’s husband went missing one day and even with her monthly visits to the police station, to keep the case active, there is no news on Herman’s whereabouts. Ella wants to attend the Japanese School so Violet asks Setsuko if it would be possible for her daughter to attend her school. Ella will be the first white student in the school but this is short-lived as soldiers soon embark upon the island and close it down. It’s sad that Ella’s is again brokenhearted but when she takes to the soldier’s mascot, she finds happiness once again. Their mascot is a lion named Roscoe. Violet has noticed this change in Ella and she feels it is because Herman is missing. Violet misses Herman too and she tries to bring Emma’s spirit up as much as she can. Ella takes to Roscoe yet Violet is scared of this beast being with her daughter. The soldiers try to calm her fears but Violet needs time to adjust. Violet and her friends enjoy having the soldiers on the island, they feel a sense of security with them there as the war rages on elsewhere. Inviting the soldier over, the women get to know them and friendships and relationships evolve. The soldiers know their time there is brief for the battlefield is calling them. They make promises to return in one piece when their duty is over. Violet battles her own war of waiting for news about Herman and her feeling for a soldier named Parker. Ella is hiding something from everyone, a secret that is so private she leaks nothing out until the very end of the novel. As the soldiers prepare and head out, I have to wonder if their promises are real or if this island is just a stopping ground full of their false promises. It was a wonderful and entertaining novel that captures another side of WWII. I liked how the author showed the tension between the individuals living on the island and the war. Where once the Japanese residents resided with their neighbors peacefully, the war is now causing conflicts among them. I enjoyed the novel’s relationships and how they progressed in the novel. I really enjoyed the authors writing. There was a relaxing feel to the novel as I read. I really enjoyed this novel and I look forward to reading other novels this author writes.