|(Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!)|
One summer night in prewar Japan, eleven-year-old Billy Reynolds takes snapshots at his parent’s dinner party. That same evening his father Anton–a prominent American architect–begins a torrid affair with the wife of his master carpenter. A world away in New York, Cameron Richards rides a Ferris Wheel with his sweetheart and dreams about flying a plane. Though seemingly disparate moments, they will all draw together to shape the fate of a young girl caught in the midst of one of WWII’s most horrific events–the 1945 firebombing of Tokyo.
Exquisitely-rendered, The Gods of Heavenly Punishment tells the stories of families on both sides of the Pacific: their loves and infidelities, their dreams and losses–and their shared connection to one of the most devastating acts of war in human history.
Hmm. Where to start? This book isn't exactly an easy one to write about, because so much happens and so many characters are involved. Its the sort of story where you learn about every one's perspective regarding one HUGE event. In this case, that MAJOR event was WWII - so, yeah, there is a lot to get through. We have the before, during, and aftermath of the horrors surrounding war, along with the American and Japanese peoples personal opinions and experiences. The writing is rich, layered, and emotional - it engages you, grips you, and destroys you. I mean it, you are spent after reading this book. How could you not be, when the author takes you on such an emotional roller coaster ride? I found myself shutting my eyes when I came to certain parts, because I didn't want to imagine the horrific things I was reading about. And other times, I couldn't help but tear up and sob over the pain that overwhelmed these characters.
The Gods of Heavenly Punishment by Jennifer Cody Epstein is a wonderfully written book that manages to capture a multitude of voices and portray them all in such a realistic manner. The politics, peoples, and circumstances that consumed the world at that time are represented in this epic novel. I would most definitely recommend this book to all fans of historical fiction, specifically those with a predilection for anything having to do with WWII. You will devour this book in one sitting and be haunted by it days after - that's how I've been ever since reading this fantastic story. I absolutely loved The Gods of Heavenly Punishment!!
Here's the TLC Book Tour schedule for: The Gods of Heavenly Punishment