The Red Sky Over Hawaii by Sara Ackerman Review is here. This novel is a beautiful, heartfelt read that adds so much to the historical fiction genre.
Lana Hitchcock is headed home to Hilo to see her ailing father. She is ready to return after being away for a long time and also anxious to get away from her estranged husband. With a plan to reconcile her with her father, Lana arrives too late, losing all hope to set things right after all those years away.
She goes to his house only to find out his neighbors, the Wagners, own it as he sold it months ago. This leaves Lana at a crossroads wondering what to do. However, everything changes when the following day, Pearl Harbor happens. The Wagners are arrested by the FBI and taken into custody due to their ethnicity. This leaves their young German daughters Coco and Marie without parents, and Lana refuses to let them stay in the hands of Dutch London.
Lana derives a plan to leave in the middle night and head to the remote rain forest of Kilauea volcano. She brings everything she can, including the Wagner’s huge dog, Sailor, Gin and Tonic the geese, and her Japanese neighbor Mochi and his son Benji. The entire drive Lana holds her breath, and when they arrive, she is faced with more struggles. It takes everything Lana has to hold her makeshift family together and keep them safe.
Yet, when Major Bailey comes into her life, Lana must question what she soon forgot, which is the unknown and unexplained magic of the volcano holds. Lana and Grant cannot deny what this otherworldly force is doing between them. But with Lana harboring civilians, her feelings can be dangerous. It gets even more complicated when she finds who’s arrived at the detainment camp nearby. Will Lana discover the meaning of love and family? Will the people she’s been harboring get discovered forcing Lana to have to face deadly consequences? Read Red Sky Over Hawaii to find out.
This novel was one of the best historical fiction novels I’ve read lately. The story was gripping, and the characters were well rounded. What I loved best is this is a story from a point of view I haven’t seen before. I loved reading a different angle from the World War II era. To have characters that weren’t necessarily at Pearl Harbor and have them outside of it was written beautifully by Ackerman. What others on the island had to face, especially people in these detainment camps is something again I hadn’t seen before and truly enjoyed.
It was a different angle and a different story that needed to be told. Overall, I definitely recommend reading this historical fiction novel.