Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.
Booksparks is at it again with another....
It's time for another FABULOUS #PopUpBlogTour thanks to the wonderful folks at Booksparks who are eager to put YOU right there with the best of the best of recently released titles. Take today's for example...you might have seen it in the blogosphere already (there was a problem with my copy arriving, but it's here, it's read, and TADA!) being toted as the perfect match "for fans of The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah". While I've not read that particular work or author at this time (though they are on in my TBR list), I can say it's a work of Historical Fiction set in WWII times that offers a unique perspective. Don't believe me? Read on....
About the book...
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.
An intriguing look at WWII from some on the other front line, filled with unexpected dangers, the sweetest of romance, the tenderness of friendship, and a whole lot of heart. Did I mention there's a lion and a chicken?
In more detail....
Once upon a time, Violet's world was turned upside down not once but thrice. First, she was swept off her feet by Herman, a man of good standing and noble intentions, whisked away to the islands, and a life was built around the friendship turned more with Ella as the wonderful "byproduct" of their home grown love. The second time was when that same said stalwart figure in her life...disappeared without a trace...and the only one who knows something isn't talking. So, who's playing mum? That'd be Ella, but despite KNOWING she's holding something back, she doesn't have proof nor the desire to disrupt her daughter's life any more than it has been already, so she buries the speculations, covers the uncertainties, and tries to move on with some semblance of normalcy while still humbly searching for answers. The thrice world rocking event was a bit more complicated...
This mile marker involved more than a moment, but ultimately life changing and far reaching events. Violet's heart was reawakened by truth, tragedy, and a sweet second chance romance that reminds her that life is for the living, the past belongs in the past, but neither one says we need to leave behind those we love. We could feel her pain for all that happened, but as much as it was about her, little Ella (such a sweet, strong, and wonderful young lady!), and what may be, it was also about the stories of all those surrounding them during some of our nation's darker times. WWII wasn't for the faint of heart, and discrimination and prejudice are nothing new (then or now) in every day life let alone times of war, but seeing it from the battlefields is one thing, seeing it from the families is another. Hawaii was home to so many of Japanese descent and tensions were running high causing the line between friend and foe to blur beyond recognition. It was heart wrenching to see people called into question merely because of the color of their skin, their heritage, or chosen cultural interests...and then watching the lives of the family members left behind bend twice over as they wonder about their fate, pray for their return, and hope things turn out all right. It'll give you pause at the very least, and perhaps a modicum of humility enabling you to not take your freedoms for granted.
All in all, though I wobbled between fascinated and merely interested as I was reading, by book's end I found the story making room for itself in my heart. Getting to know Ella and Violet, Roscoe and Parker, Jean and Setsuko, and all the others, will warm your heart, and remind you that family is more than blood, but those you choose to hold close and never let go.
About the author...
Sara Ackerman is the author of Island of Sweet Pies and Soldiers. Born and raised in Hawaii, she studied journalism and earned graduate degrees in psychology and Oriental Medicine. When she's not writing or practicing acupuncture, you'll find her in the mountains or in the ocean.
Special thanks to Leila at Booksparks and the Harlequin team for the chance to bring this title to you as well as the ARC for review! (THANKS!) For more information on this title, the author, the publisher, or the promotion team, feel free to click through the links provided above. This title is available now, so be on the lookout for it on a bookstore shelf or virtual retailer of your choosing.
Until next time, remember...if it looks good, READ IT!