Shelf Control #241: Island of Sweet Pies and Soldiers by Sara Ackerman

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Welcome to Shelf Control — an original feature created and hosted by Bookshelf Fantasies.

Shelf Control is a weekly celebration of the unread books on our shelves. Pick a book you own but haven’t read, write a post about it (suggestions: include what it’s about, why you want to read it, and when you got it), and link up! For more info on what Shelf Control is all about, check out my introductory post, here.

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Title: Island of Sweet Pies and Soldiers
Author: Sara Ackerman
Published: 2018
Length: 394 pages

What it’s about (synopsis via Goodreads):

When her husband mysteriously disappears and rumors swirl about his loyalties, a mother must rely on the remarkable power of friendship in war-torn Hawaii.

It’s 1944, combat in the Pacific is intensifying, and Violet Iverson and her daughter, Ella, are piecing their lives back together one year after her husband vanished. As suspicions about his loyalties surface, Violet suspects Ella knows something. But Ella refuses to talk. Something—or someone—has scared her.

Violet enjoys the camaraderie of her friends as they open a pie stand for the soldiers training on the island for a secret mission. But even these women face their own wartime challenges as prejudice against the island Japanese pits neighbor against neighbor. And then there’s the matter of Sergeant Stone, a brash marine who comes to Violet’s aid when the women are accused of spying. She struggles with her feelings of guilt but can’t deny the burning attraction—or her fear of losing another man when Stone ships out for Iwo Jima.

Set amid the tropical beauty of Hawaii, Island of Sweet Pies and Soldiers offers a fresh perspective on World War II as it presents timeless depictions of female friendship, the bond between a mother and her child, and the enduring power of love even in the darkest times. 

How and when I got it:

I bought a used copy online after reading another book by this author.

Why I want to read it:

In 2019, I read Sara Ackerman’s (then) newest book, The Lieutenant’s Nurse, and loved the Hawaii setting and the author’s approach to telling the story of ordinary people at Pearl Harbor in 1941. Once I was finished, I discovered this earlier novel, and had to check it out as well.

The Island of Sweet Pies and Soldiers is also set in WWII Hawaii, which absolutely attracts me in terms of setting and time period. The mix of intrigue, family drama, and a focus on female friendship make this sound like it could be a great read.

And hey, I’ll just straight-up admit that Sara Ackerman’s books have gorgeous covers and I think I’d want to read them no matter what, just so I could look at how pretty they are and dream of returning to Hawaii some day!

What do you think? Would you read this book?

Please share your thoughts!


Want to participate in Shelf Control? Here’s how:

  • Write a blog post about a book that you own that you haven’t read yet.
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