Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Lion in the Lei Shop, by Kaye Starbird

Disclosure: I received a free copy of The Lion in the Lei Shop by Kaye Starbird from Amazon Publishing via GoodReads First Reads.


The Lion in the Lei Shop tells the moving story of a military family whose lives are transformed by the air raids on Pearl Harbor and the events that follow. Of the two viewpoints used to tell the story, the young daughter, Marty, is the more compelling narrator, while her mother April's parts of the tale come across cold and matter-of-fact at times. It is perhaps unnecessary for the mother to repeatedly discredit her daughter's memories of certain events, since the separate narratives of the same incidents clearly establish already that each character remembers things rather differently. Because the two tellings overlap more so than intertwine, the plot does not move along as smoothly as it might, and the second telling does not always add much in terms of perspective. The tiny details, from food to clothes to personal relationships with the loveably quirky cast of minor characters, help make this novel as vividly real as a memoir.


Fans of The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet will also enjoy The Lion in the Lei Shop.

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