The Gods of Heavenly Punishment
by Jennifer Cody Epstein '88
“The Gods of Heavenly Punishment is a page-turner thanks to its high-stakes adventure, torrid love affairs and characters so real they seem to follow you around.” – O Magazine
- Learn more about the author
- Listen to the conversation with Jennifer Cody Epstein '88 and Tim Van Compernolle, professor of Asian languages and civilizations
- Read an excerpt
- Read a review by Sue Dickman '89
- Join the discussion
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- the Tokyo fire bombings of 1945.
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 as she seeks safety, love, and redemption.