Marty Langsmith is only five years old when a strange thunder rolls across the Hawaiian sky and life as she knows it explodes into flames. With her mother, April, and hundreds of other women and children, Marty is evacuated from the ruins of Pearl Harbor and sent into a brave new world overshadowed by uncertainty and grief. Feeling abandoned by her deployed Army officer father in the wake of the attack, Marty is haunted by nightmares of the lion in the lei shop, a creature that’s said to devour happy children. But as the years pass, mother and daughter slowly begin to embrace their new life and make peace with the pain of the past. Spanning the tumultuous war years, The Lion in the Lei Shop deftly recaptures a dramatic chapter of American history.
Originally published in 1970 and reissued for a new generation of readers as part of renowned librarian Nancy Pearl’s Book Lust Rediscoveries series, this lyrical novel gives a rarely heard voice to the women and children of Pearl Harbor.