"Island of Sweet Pies and Soldiers" - Sara Ackerman
Initial Response: Friendship and Loyalty make a True Paradise
First Sentence: "Mr. Macadangdang showed up with a truck full of cocunuts this morning." - Sara Ackerman
From the Reader: I was extremely blessed growing up with a mother who pulled my brother and I out of school a month each year to live on the Hawaiian Island of Maui. While away she would home school us with such enthusiasm and vigor that we would be ahead of our classmates by the time we returned to Minnesota! Because of this I am drawn to Hawaiian themed books, the spirit of Aloha is always present and helps me during the cold Minneapolis months! I picked up this book last winter during my vacation on Maui and fell in love immediately. The novel is full of character, bravery, mystery and aloha. I am also a sucker for WWII Historical fiction, so this was right up my alley!
FUN FACT: The main character originally grew up in Minnesota before moving to Hawaii. This fun bit of information really hit home for me, being a Minnesota girl myself! (every pun intended)
Best With: Iced tea with lemon. It is my mothers favorite beverage and goes so well with this warm and fulfilling story.
Recommend to: Travelers, vacation seekers, historical fiction lovers (like me! no shame!) grandmothers, military wives and mothers and bakers.
Ideal reading spot: I started this novel in the perfect place, Hawaii. I realize Hawaii is a far off destination so a cozy chair at home or a sunny park will do just fine.
Category: Chances of Rain: Although mostly sunny, the book does bring into light the awful circumstances brought to the Japanese population in Hawaii during WWII. This paradise was no safe haven from the ruins of war. However, it also shows the persistence of good character and love that has no boundaries in an excellent story that I fell in love with.
On the Pages: Set in the beautiful tropical islands of Hawaii, we follow the story of Violet and her daughter Ella. This mother and daughter are trying to find peace during the war and the disappearance of Violet's husband one year prior. War waits for no man as Violet and her friends must find ways to provide for their families without support of their spouses. Through struggle, mystery, discovery and friendship this unlikely family forms a bond that no war can break.
Finale: In times of struggle and hardship the best cures are friendship, kindness and the art of being humble. The book reminds me that no paradise (physical or mental) is truly perfect. I personally must work on finding contentment with my imperfect world, understanding that by doing good by others, I can make my own paradise wherever my feet are.
With Aloha: Holland, a very busy bee