Top positive review
An excellent read!
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.