Red Sky Over Hawaii by Sara Ackerman

Published: 2020 1. First lines 2. Cover: Harper Collins 3. Early morning view of Kilauea [Public Domain] via Flickr 4. Ainahou Ranch House [No Known copyright] via National Parks Service

Lana Hitchcock, estranged from her husband, returns to the Big Island from O’ahu where her father lived. After the attack on Pearl Harbour in 1941, the government starts detaining people of Japanese and German heritage, and Lana finds herself with two young girls in her care after their German parents are taken in for questioning. To keep them safe, she secretly takes them to a remote property in the Kilauea forests, passing them off as her own children. Eyes and ears everywhere, which makes it almost impossible to keep up the deception, especially when an officer from the nearby detainment camp takes an interest in Lana and the children.

“One thing I know about hopes and dreams is that they come on their own time.”

A pleasant and easy read, with interesting historical background. Historical Novel Society comments: “More storytelling of the show-don’t-tell variety and a keener editor’s eye for anachronisms (queen size mattresses were not yet introduced in 1941, “closure” was not a social psychology term until the 1990s, and 1980s for “person of interest” as a law enforcement phrase) might have made Red Sky Over Hawaii even more enjoyable. But vibrant characters of both the two and four-legged variety, a sympathetic heroine and an extraordinary sense of place provide wonderful hallmarks of this drama.” 


“Tiny red ‘apapane flitted through the trees around her, the whir of their wings one of her favorite sound.”

“They say the reason for time is so everything doesn’t happen at once. Meaning, if all our dreams came true at the same time, we wouldn’t be able to appreciate them.”

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