Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Gods of Heavenly Punishment by Jennifer Cody Epstein (Book Tour)

A lush, exquisitely rendered meditation on war, The Gods of Heavenly Punishment tells the story of several families, American and Japanese, their loves and infidelities, their dreams and losses, and how they are all connected by one of the most devastating acts of war in human history.

Fifteen-year-old Yoshi Kobayashi, child of Japan’s New Empire, daughter of an ardent expansionist and a mother with a haunting past, is on her way home on a March night when American bombers shower her city with napalm—an attack that leaves one hundred thousand dead within hours and half the city in ashen ruins. In the days that follow, Yoshi’s old life will blur beyond recognition, leading her to a new world marked by destruction and shaped by those considered the enemy: Cam, a downed bomber pilot taken prisoner by the Imperial Japanese Army; Anton, a gifted architect who helped modernize Tokyo’s prewar skyline but is now charged with destroying it; and Billy, an Occupation soldier who arrives in the blackened city with a dark secret of his own. Directly or indirectly, each will shape Yoshi’s journey as she seeks safety, love, and redemption.


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Publication Date: March 11, 2013
W.W. Norton & Company
Hardcover; 384p
ISBN-10: 039307157X





 Following 3 separate story lines where I wondered how they were related to one another, the author did a wonderful job of making the stories mesh together.  I found this to be a very emotional book, having never read any HF that has taken place in Japan before.  This book also took place in the US, between the years 1935 - 1962 before, during and after World War II.  

I won't summarize the story for fear of accidently leaking spoilers.  But this is a story that I found very captivating, the author has a nice way with words.  I was able to visual so much in my mind, which of course brought the story to life.  Each new chapter gave a different perspective of the affects this war had, not just on the families but the country also.  This novel was really an eye opener for me, most of my reading about WW II has taken place in Europe.  Reading from the Japanese side was not only interesting, but heart breaking as well.

There was alot going on in this book, but in the end it all came together.  A new author to me, one that I would like to read more of.


Jennifer Cody Epstein is the author of The Gods of Heavenly Punishment and the international bestseller The Painter from Shanghai. She has written for The Wall Street Journal, The Asian Wall Street Journal, Self, Mademoiselle and NBC, and has worked in Hong Kong, Japan and Bangkok, Thailand. She lives in Brooklyn, NY with her husband, two daughters and especially needy Springer Spaniel.

For more information, please visit www.jennifercodyepstein.com
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