Tour Review: The God’s Of Heavenly Punishment

Book: The God’s Of Heavenly Punishment by Jennifer Epstein
Format: Review request and review copy sent by Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.
Genre: Historical Fiction, WWII
Rating: heartheartheart
Book Pro’s: Rich prose, each character is utterly fleshed out and brilliant.
Book Con’s: Lullish moments, it dragged on for a chapter or two.

About The God’s Of Heavenly Punishment

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.

About the AuthorMichelle Diener

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


So let me start off by saying this, The Gods of Heavenly Punishment caught me off guard. When offered a copy of this book for review I was interested you could say. Nothing about it screamed WOW or adventurous but I was interested. Yes.
Then I started the book. It started off well, Epstein is a brilliant writer who is able to make characters seem so very alive- it’s almost magical how she does it. Then the book became amazing. My favourite chapters were those done through Yoshi’s perspective or Billy’s. Basically, if it involved Japan and their presence in World War II, I was hooked.

This is my first WWII book. Weird huh? My Dad is a WWII freak and as a result I refused to touch the subject my entire life. I basically ignored a very large part of history and this book made the subject come alive for me. What I particularly enjoyed was the honesty and brutality of each chapter and each individual. When it comes to war, there is always a dominant perspective or story being told, but here, each story is its own force, each story has its own valuable weight. Epstein didn’t sugar coat anything, and the book is stronger because of it. By the end I was left speechless. Brilliant. You must read this!



About Claire (BWB)

It's Claire (aka Quirky) from Bitches With Books, an online book blog that serves up a healthy dose of book reviews, lists + literary madness.
This entry was posted in Book Reviews, Historical Fiction, Literature and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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