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.
In this evocative and thrilling epic novel, 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.
This is a bonus book. There is two stories combined in one. The story of the Americans and the Story of the Japanese. Some of the stories in this book are very heavy topics, infidelity, post traumatic stress, and war crimes, to name a few. The book also is about survival and courage to live and move ahead with your lives. World War II is one of my favorite eras to read about and this book was unlike any other I had read before. There is a lot of history being shared throughout the pages, a lot of it I had never read of before in a World War II book.
I was anxious as I read each chapter to see how the stories would weave together. I enjoyed getting to know all the characters and loved each of their stories individually. I kept trying to put the pieces together and just didn’t always get the clues. The book kept me reading knowing that I had to figure it all out.
Jennifer Cody Epstein is an author that I will be looking for more from. If you enjoy World War II era books this is a unique book that I will recommend you read.
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