I received a free copy of The Gods of Heavenly Punishment from Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours for my honest review.
About the Book:
About the Author:
WWII is a popular time period for historical fiction right now but I must acknowledge that Ms. Epstein takes her reader to a different time and place than most of the books I have read lately. It was very interesting to read a novel taking place in Japan as the US starts its offensive and retaliation for Pearl Harbor.
I have to admit to a sad lack of knowledge of the who/what/where etc., of WWII and of the Eastern front in particular. This is good for me as a reader of a novel because I don't come into it knowing all that will come to pass as I do when I read a Tudor book. This book actually starts a bit before Pearl Harbor as we get to know the circle of people that will form the core characters of the entwining stories. But this is Yoshi's story in as much as we meet and learn so much about the others - almost too much as the start of the book does drag a bit.
That being written, once Japan is firebombed - I did not know of this horror, but then there is much horror in war and I must say, thankfully I remain ignorant of much of it - but now, thanks to the quality of Ms. Epstein's writing I don't think I will ever forget it. Why, when the result of these acts come to pass and we learn of the individual suffer, does War still occur? A question for the ages, eh?
Yoshi is a compelling character - I was captivated from the start. War changes everyone. I'll leave it at that. Some of the other characters were not as interesting to me - her parents were not very likable but they were complex. There is much conflict in any story of war and at the time, here in the US the Japanese were the enemy with a capital E no matter the individual. Look was we did to Japanese Americans. It's always important to remember the person, the mother/brother/sister/wife outside of the State that is the enemy. Ms. Epstein does that for us very well in her novel.
War books are never easy to read and this one was no exception but that is never an excuse to not read them.
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Disclosure: I received a free copy of The Gods of Heavenly Punishment from Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours for my honest review. I received no compensation for this post.