“The Lion in the Lei Shop is a rediscovered treasure of a book that I cannot recommend highly enough. Written with insight, restraint, and flashes of humor, the story of April and Marty is the story of mothers and daughters, friendship, war, love, loss, the reliability of memory and the triumph of the human spirit. I could not put it down.” – Helen Bryan, bestselling author of War Brides
A dramatic chapter of American history comes vividly to life in this evocative tale of a mother and daughter navigating the aftermath of the attack on Pearl Harbor.
On a beautiful December day, young Marty Langsmith’s life explodes into flames. Evacuated with her mother, April, to the mainland, Marty’s new world is haunted by nightmares of the lion in the lei shop, a creature fabricated by a neighbor that’s said to devour happy children. Meanwhile April, powerless to shield her daughter from the devastation of the Japanese attack and the painful uncertainty of life without her deployed army father, is caught between her own longing for the past and her hope for the future.
Spanning the tumultuous war years, The Lion in the Lei Shop is a poignant, illuminating tale of two women bound by love and sorrow, twin sentinels mourning the loss of a nation’s innocence and struggling to build a new life without the father and husband they fear may never return.
Book Lust Rediscoveries is a series devoted to reprinting some of the best (and now out-of-print) novels originally published from 1960 to 2000. Each book is personally selected by NPR commentator and Book Lust author Nancy Pearl and includes an introduction by her, as well as discussion questions for book groups and a list of recommended further reading.