Skip to main content

Reading Group Guide

Discussion Questions

Island of Sweet Pies and Soldiers

1. What did you think Ella was afraid of? Did you have any theories as to who or what was threatening her?

2. In the 1940s, for a single woman like Violet, traveling from Minnesota to a tiny island in the Pacific was quite a big deal. Do you think you would have been up for an adventure like this? And might you have said yes to Herman's proposal or returned home?

3. At the government's urging, many Hawaii residents left for the Mainland soon after Pearl Harbor, but Violet and Herman chose to stay. With so much fear and uncertainty, would you have wanted to stay or go? And why?

4. Violet couldn’t let herself fall for another man until she was certain of what happened to Herman. Do you understand her decision, even though Herman might have betrayed her?

5. Would you put yourself in potential danger of being arrested in order to protect your neighbors and friends against prejudice, as Violet did with Setsuko?

6. What might you have done to make a difference for the soldiers before they sailed into battle?

7. Do you think Ella is resilient enough to move past her trauma? How do you think you would have handled the knowledge had you been in her shoes?

Island of Sweet Pies and Soldiers
by Sara Ackerman

  • Publication Date: February 13, 2018
  • Genres: Fiction, Historical Fiction
  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Mira
  • ISBN-10: 0778319210
  • ISBN-13: 9780778319214