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3.7 out of 5 stars7
3.7 out of 5 stars
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on 14 September 2013
This was a really good book. I read a number of the reviews before deciding to borrow it and I'm very glad I chose it. I started out awarding the book four stars but during the drafting of this review, I have given the extra star after all.

The book is written from two points of view: that of Marty, who is a young child when the war first touches and shatters her comfortable and happy life with her parents in Hawaii, and that of her mother, April. Marty's descriptions and explanations for that drama and the subsequent events are so appropriate for her age, even though they differ (sometimes greatly) from those of her mother in alternate chapters. I found I wanted to know the other point of view and they both gave each other's story clarity. Marty couldn't know the reasons why various things happened, including the lengthy absence of her much-loved father, because those were adult reasons and decisions, beyond the range of such a young child.

In addition, she was frightened by a mythical story about the lion in the lei shop, which affected her so much, as these things often do with children (far more than adults can imagine sometimes) for many years.

I think the book flowed well and the alternating viewpoints added to the interest, rather than subtracting from it. We recall events and make sense of them in our own way because we are all different.

As a whole, the book is a good reflection of the plight of women and children caught up in war situations. This one was set in the USA but the experiences could well apply to many parts of the world. It reflects sadness, frustration and learning to cope and grow stronger and is well worth the time to read.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 10 May 2013
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
First published in 1970, "The Lion in the Lei Shop" consists of a mother and daughter looking back thirty years to the bombing of Pearl Harbour and the weeks, months, and years which follow. Starbird, who lived on a Hawaiian army base during the war, recreates the claustrophobic atmosphere on the island among the army wives as fear, confusion, and enforced intimacy create fraught conditions.

Marty is a sensitive child, prone to confusing her hopes and fears with reality, and her narration intersects with and sheers away from her mother's telling of the same events. "The Lion in the Lei Shop" is slow-going at times and, despite some sparky characters, is ultimately quite depressing. It does, however, give a moving insight into the moment America realized it was at war and subsequent life on the home front.
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on 22 June 2013
I was expecting a story of courage & bravery etc in a frightening unknown situation. Fiction based around fact. The story is told from the perspective of mother & daughter which is the only good thing about the book comparing how they remember things differently, but all they do is moan the whole way through. Ise found myself wanting to scream at them to "shut up!!" The good things were totally skipped over, there was no bravery & definitely no embracing of anything. The book completely drained the life out of me. There was only one likeable character , Honey
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on 31 August 2015
really enjoyed it. found all the characters interesting and could warm to them. I liked the way it started from a child's perspective of being
scared by a neighbour's son telling her a lion lived in the lei house. Well written and gained a perspective of how terrifying it must have been to be suddenly attacked in peace time for the civilians living in Hawaii. An interesting read.
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on 17 July 2013
The story told from two peoples point of view was at times confusing, but after a couple of chapters it became intriguing to notice the differences and made it more plausible. We all remember things in a different way and it gave a, lot of detail about the people caught up in Pearl Harbour. I enjoyed it.
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on 26 August 2013
I found this book hard going, can't say I thoroughly enjoyed it, I plodded on to the end not quite sure how the ending would be. I'm glad I finished it and it had a nice ending.
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on 20 July 2014
Loved this book.
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