Claudia Wyler is a young navy wife living in Hawaii in 1941, striving to be the perfect helpmate to her ambitious husband. She believes devoutly in the dictates of “The Housewife’s Pledge” and embraces the gender roles, social mores, and cultural norms of pre-feminist America. She seeks guidance in The Newlywed Cookbook and Woman’s Home Companion, and finds solace for her failings in the weekly delivery of Life magazine.
Spanning wartime Hawaii to mainland America in the 1950s, Hula Girls presents one woman’s unique perspective on love between men and women, independence and relationships, and the values that continue to fail her. When events overturn her world and she is left without the protections afforded women of the time, Claudia enters a downward spiral of degradation in a struggle for life that becomes a poignant story of obsession, sacrifice, and a mother’s love.