Red Sky Over Hawaii by Sara Ackerman, Narrated by Jennifer Robideau
Published June 9th 2020 by Mira, Harlequin Audio
This is the first book I have read by Sara Ackerman, but it won’t be my last. She has a beautiful and descriptive writing style that I loved. This story might take place after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, but this is the story of the people who lived on the Big Island in Hawaii and what they dealt with and how their lives changed after that event.
Lana Hitchcock has flown over to see her father in the hospital. She arrives to find out that she is too late and he has already died. Heartbroken, she heads to his house to figure out what to do. Her marriage is over, and she is now alone. Arriving at Jack’s house, she meets his neighbors, the Wagners. She has a couple of meals with them and quickly gets to know their two girls. When they are arrested, the police receiving an anonymous tip that they were nazi sympathizers, Lana takes the two girls and head to her father’s hideaway in the forest near the Kilauea volcano. She also takes two other neighbors and friends of her fathers who happen to be Japanese. The story is about their life there, the things they deal with, their relationships and how they develop, the role pets and the wild horses play in their lives and a bit of a romance. There are serious issues of racism, turning on friends, mistrust during wartime, chosen family rather than blood, and living under the shadow of war and attack. The descriptions of the rain forest of Kilauea volcano was beautiful. I enjoyed Lana’s character. She was strong, smart, determined, protective and lovely. She was a heroine to those she stood up. I will say I liked the ending and was happy that it was happy. This book gives the reader a lot to think about regarding the country’s actions during this war. I recommend this one to those who enjoy historic fiction that is not too dark.
I did a read/listen with this book. The audiobook was narrated by Jennifer Robideau. This is the first book I have listened to by this voice actress and I really enjoyed her performance. She had great intonation and expression. The voices she gave the main characters, including the children were well done and easy to recognize while listening to the story. I would recommend speeding up the reading a bit, as I found parts of it a bit too slow. Otherwise, a well narrated book that added to my enjoyment of this story. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book upon request. The rating, ideas and opinions shared are my own.
About the Book (From Goodreads): Inspired by real places and events of WWII, Red Sky Over Hawaii immerses the reader in a time of American history full of suspicion and peril in this lush and poignant tale about the indisputable power of doing the right thing against all odds.
The attack on Pearl Harbor changes everything for Lana Hitchcock. Arriving home on the Big Island too late to reconcile with her estranged father, she is left alone to untangle the clues of his legacy, which lead to a secret property tucked away in the remote rain forest of Kilauea volcano. When the government starts taking away her neighbors as suspected sympathizers, Lana shelters two young German girls, a Japanese fisherman and his son. As tensions escalate, they are forced into hiding—only to discover the hideaway house is not what they expected.
When a detainment camp is established nearby, Lana struggles to keep the secrets of those in her care. Trust could have dangerous consequences. As their lives weave together, Lana begins to understand the true meaning of family and how the bonds of love carry us through the worst times.