Category: Cultural Heritage

_+ #atozchallenge _+ 26 Days | 26 Essays [epic journey] Today is Letter “E”. Hint: The World is a Melting Pot

Posted Saturday, 5 April, 2014 by jorielov , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 8 Comments

A to Z Challenge Day 5 Letter E I am involved in a world-wide globally connected blogosphere challenge where each blogger who signs into the participant linky is quite literally confirming their express desire to blog straight [except on Sundays!] for *26 Days!* whilst writing *26!* most intriguing & thought-producing alphabet essays! Or, to be comically inspiring, randomly cheeky, and otherwise delightfully entertaining! The bloggers who have signed into the challenge are from all walks of blogosphere life: book bloggers united alongside lifestyle gurus; writers of all literary styles nudged up against travelogues; the gambit runs the full course of each and every theme, topic, subject, and genre you could possibly light your heart with joy to broach in a blog! And, the curious bit to the journey is where your posts lead you as much as where other blogger’s posts inspire you! It’s this fantastic community to celebrate the spirit within the blogosphere as much as the spirit of connection amongst the bloggers who might not have crossed paths with each other otherwise. After all, the road map for blogs is as wide and large as the actual world outside the nethersphere of websites, pixels, and memes! Walk with us whilst we discover a bit about ourselves, our blog, & each other!

I am blogger #552 out of 2279!

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{ should be noted: @aishacs posted a multi-post Interview
on the blog Story & Chai
about diversity in literature; Part II, Part III, Part IV }

Originally I was going to focus on E P I C F A N T A S Y for Letter E, except to say, that throughout the twitterverse and the book blogosphere I was finding encouragement to draw light on another equally as important discussion of interest E Q U A L I T Y in L I T E R A T U R E! I grew up in a moderately sized city to the extent that the world was outside my door, the essence of the melting pot in vivid colours and dimensions was all around me. I loved the multicultural heritages I grew up near and I enjoyed the conversations I had with those who could help me understand traditions, cultures, and religions outside of my own. I have many fond memories speaking to Native Americans for instance whether I was at a bookshoppe or at an arts & crafts festival. I loved finding ways to engage with people who could dynamically shift my point of view and endear me to how our differences bridge the gap to how we are all interconnected and related.

Although I grew up in a house full of European descent (for the most part; mostly Briton though), the inertia of connectivity of other cultures was always encouraged and sought out. When you live in a city of any size, you get to see a beautiful cross-section of everyone who lives within the city itself. Whilst your riding the bus or walking down the boulevard you are greeting people as you come across them, accepting them as you speak to them, and within those brief moments of conversation you begin to grow curious about their own stories. Stories in which they grew up sharing within their own families and stories in which they grew up reading inside the books they cherished as bedtime companions.

I always celebrated then when I found multicultural characters in the stories I was personally reading as well as settings outside the norm of the net in which is regularly cast. E Q U A L I T Y in L I T E R A T U R E does not end nor begin on having different perspectives in ethnicity or nationality, as it also is inclusive of the ideal for a balancing of all characters and the lives in which they lead. This can include single | divorced | grandparent | foster parenting, adoptive or step-parent families, LGBT families and individuals; learning difficulties as well as those who are living with a medical handicap, illness, or affliction. Immigrant stories of people and families changing their stars for a life in a new country; biracial and multi-ethnic families. Whilst going further to extend past religious differences and spirituality freedoms to include a cross-section of all representations of a person’s beliefs as much as the differences in how we live, eat, and breathe. Full equality is giving the writer the will to focus on the characters they can personally identify with and as thus, can endear the reader to draw connection with as well. For every well-written story there is a reader who is aching to read a story which has transcended the living reality mantra of the earth being a melting pot and has taken the theory into practice in literature. I hint about my views about all of this under “My Bookish Life“.

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E Q U A L I T Y in L I T E R A T U R E for me is reading the world through the lens in which we live. Our world is a beautiful melting pot of cultures, traditions, religions and individualism. Why not celebrate those differences by painting living testaments of our lives as a portrait through the characters we breathe to life in novels? Giving back a bit of the grace in which we are free to live?
by Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story

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Access to Different Kinds of Literature via Color in Colorado

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Books on the Underground; Books on the Subway; Jorie Loves A Story: Booking the Rails

I recently reviewed a book for my Booking the Rails Feature where I highlighted Wonder by R.J. Palacio who wrote this beautiful book about a boy whose face is altered from other children yet the light of his heart uplifts everyone who meets him. The beauty of the novel itself is showing the grace of living your life as true to who you are on the inside as to reflect back to those who perceive you through prejudicial eyes the joy in being authentically yourself. The barriers people build up between each other can be brought down one by one if we endeavour to understand what alienates us and be determined to draw out empathy and compassion as a first response rather than fear, ignorance, and indifference.

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August has a keen philosophical intuitiveness about himself, the dynamics of his family, and his personal living environment around him. He seeks to find solace out of uncertainty and squalls chaos with simplistic truths which etch out the stigmas of which society oft-times places on individuals who are in some shape or form ‘different’ from the ‘norm’. And, the sad truth is that normalcy is in the eye’s of the beholder! To be normal is quite definitively the ability to be wholly true to yourself, your internal resolve of spirit, and in knowing who you are without the prejudgements and negative thoughts of others assembling into your heart. August has instinctively dry humour to convey his thoughts about life, dispelling any unease to meet him because he breaks the ice by simply being himself! He draws you into his sphere by engaging you in a way you were not expecting! No pretense. He’s simply ‘August’, who prefers to go by ‘Auggie’, the brother of Via and the boy who wants to live like a regular ten-year old entering fifth grade!

– quoted from my review of Wonder by R.J. Palacio

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Each book I am selecting to highlight as part of my Booking the Rails feature will be a story which will challenge convention and/or the ideals of story-telling and branch out into new horizons for both my readers and those who find the books on the trains. I want to start a conversation on those posts of giving dialogue and conversation to topics and subjects that will benefit from having a light shined on them. It’s my own wink and a nod to creating a new pathway back into the culture of being ‘bookish’ and ‘conversational’ with each other. Rather than merely nodding in agreement or staying silent altogether. More of my thoughts on this are contained on my visit to The Star Chamber Show : Episode 16. (archived & easy to listen too)

Carol Antoinette Peacock & Pepper
Carol Antoinette Peacock & Pepper in the author’s office. Peacock Family Album.

Previously, I showcased the adoptive story of Carol Antoinette Peacock whereupon her story entitled: Red Thread Sisters embarks on the journey of adopting children from China. This is one of many yet to appear on Jorie Loves A Story, as one of my sub-focuses on my blog will be positive adoptive stories for those who are considering foster adoptive options as well as international, open, and other avenues towards adopting children into their family home. I wanted to find authors who give a positive testament of the emotional keel a child or teen experiences prior to adoption as much as the transitional period after they are adopted. (if the story broaches both time periods) What I appreciated about Ms.  Peacock’s writings are her honesty in leading with her heart and her own adoptive story in which the Red Thread Sisters stems from at its core.

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There are two sayings throughout “Red Thread Sisters”, as well as in the personal letter attached in the afterword by the author herself,… one is a meditative pause of ‘light reflected as brightly lit as lunar lanterns’, and the second is the poignancy behind the entitlement of the book itself, ‘of the delicate red thread that unites all of us in a shared common bond, where those who cross our path are meant to be in our lives, and despite the appearance of the thread’s nature, will hold steadfast and strong perpetually’. The book gives pause to any woman considering motherhood through adoption and any father choosing his path of fatherhood through adoption, because it touches on the raw emotions that are silently withheld from the adoptive parents, by children who live in constant fear that something they do or say or not do even will be grounds for them to return back from whence they came. To become un-adoptable simply because they didn’t live up to the adoptive parents expectations. It’s also a book that examines adoption from the reflections of the children themselves, as they struggle to yield and bend with a new rhythm completely different from the one they were used too whilst at an orphanage, group home, or foster home. They have to learn its okay to make mistakes, to learn and grow through their experiences, and that a forever family isn’t co-dependent on perfection but rather with honesty, heart, emotion, and love. May we always keep ourselves lit from within with a light of hope as powerful and strong as lunar lanterns, to advocate for adoption and the expansion of our hearts and worlds when a child in need of a family, finds one in those of us willing to open our hearts and homes to them.

– quoted from my review of Red Thread Sisters

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One author where I found a strong sense of giving E Q U A L I T Y in L I T E R A T U R E a new definition of purpose is Laura Resau. Her blog is linked to my sidebar where the RSS feeds join the mixture towards the bottom. I have been making purchase requests for her books at my local library each chance that I can as well. The tricky bit is to remember which book of hers I read first: What the Moon Saw OR The Indigo Notebook!? I have taken it upon myself to read all of her novels, but I am still in the middle of accomplishing this goal! I have also read Star in the Forest.

Laura Resau
Photography Credit: Tina Wood Photography

Laura Resau is the award-winning author of seven highly acclaimed young adult and children’s novels– What the Moon Saw, Red Glass, Star in the Forest, The Queen of Water, and the Notebooks series (Delacorte/Random House). She draws inspiration from her time abroad as a cultural anthropologist, ESL teacher, and student. Loved by kids and adults alike, her novels have garnered many starred reviews and honors, including the IRA YA Fiction Award, the Américas Award, and spots on Oprah’s Kids’ Book Lists. Praised for its sensitive treatment of immigration and indigenous people’s issues, Resau’s writing has been called “vibrant, large-hearted” (Publishers’ Weekly on Red Glass) and “powerful, magical” (Booklist on What the Moon Saw). Resau lives with her husband, young son, and beagle in Fort Collins, Colorado. She donates a portion of her royalties to indigenous rights organizations in Latin America.

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The Indigo Notebook Book Trailer by the Author Laura Resau

The Indigo Notebook Page on Laura Resau’s site

[ after the 1:00 mark the song continues to be enjoyed by audience ]

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The Indigo Notebook by Laura ResauResau has the natural ability of fusing the indigenous culture of Mexico and Ecuador into her novels in such a wonderfully skilled way, that whilst I was reading The Indigo Notebook I instantly flashed back to my own memories of traversing through the interior of Mexico in and around the Federal District and the Yucatán Peninsula! One of these days I want to collect her books for my own personal library, but what I appreciated about my local library is being open to bring in authors who write multicultural stories for a young audience who could benefit from the life lessons and story contained within her pages! As I start to re-read over the books I have already read and progress forward into the ones I haven’t yet had the pleasure of reading, I will be writing down my thoughts on my blog! I am always hopeful that through the sharing of my own lamentations about the writers and books which speak to me to the point of being moved emotionally, I will in one small way impact another reader’s life.

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E Q U A L I T Y in L I T E R A T U R E : A sampling of Books to Read

{ books I have predominately found through my local library }

UPDATE: per rifflebooks.com errors I’ve moved this list to my #LibraryThing
(as I will be reading these selections throughout [2019] part of my #BeatTheBacklist challenge)

E Q U A L I T Y in L I T E R A T U R E : New Authors on the Horizon

A full list of the book covers & stories is on Riffle: (share at will!)

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Equality in Literature & Diversity in Literature : walk hand in hand – July 2014

Reaching past our own heritages and our own living environments gives us a wider world view and depth of understanding. We become wholly in-tune with the harmony of the world’s spirit by embracing all the lovely and unique differences which shape our identities. We grow out of love and we give back love each time we endeavour to forge a bridge between our culture and the culture of someone else. We give our spirit a bit of a lift by the joy of celebrating the history of people who live as passionately as we do and whose traditions are as rooted in their culture and families as much as our own. Lessons of connectivity and of friendship will always abound when two souls are willing to make a connection.

One of the books I have oft spoken about online via my blog and my Twitter feeds is “The Golem and the Jinni” by Helene Wecker, which is an atmospheric enriched narrative which crosses the divide between mythology and immigration. She digs deep into the setting of her novel to shift between New York City and the old world in which the Golem and the Jinni originated from. She has a deft hand in revealing human emotions and convictions out of characters who are everything except human! What endeared me to the text is her gift of story-telling to not only enchant you with a magical kinetic plausibility but to give you a full score of characters who are each on their own individual journey towards self-discovery. It’s in this inherent quest to understand both origin and worth in a world set against the tides of where their destinies are taking them, Wecker infuses her narrative with a connection of heart.

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Each were set on a course to learn and grow out of their experiences in a place neither expected to be. They each succumb to their inherent natures, but I feel only one of them is able to change the other for the good. Because one of them is stronger than the other as far as knowing how to make good on what has been turned for the bad. Their journey leads not to a resolution of sorts to overcome their individual obstacles towards true freedom, but rather too a junction point that leads them to question everything they felt they knew thus far along. And, in that conclusion the reader has to sit back and ponder the true meaning behind “The Golem and the Jinni”, for was it a journey of theirs that you took or an inward journey of understanding the limitations of humanity?

– quoted from my review of “The Golem and the Jinni” by Helene Wecker

I am hopeful that more readers will seek out E Q U A L I T Y in L I T E R A T U R E by choosing titles by all authors of all backgrounds who celebrate our united spirit within the global society of nations and nationalities.

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Not enough multicultural books? via Color in Colorado

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Thank you for joining me on DAY 5 | A to Z Challenge!

I am a girl named Jorie who loves a story!
I am a bookish library girl on a quest for literary enlightenment!
I am predominately self-taught and library educated!
I am Mademoiselle Jorie!
Thank you for joining me on this journey!

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This marks my fifth post for the:

A to Z ChallengeFun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Which authors do you feel reflect the beauty of E Q U A L I T Y in L I T E R A T U R E? Which authors who are newly published OR have books which will soon be forthcoming would you recommend to be added to the “on the horizon” category of this post!? Which books have captured your heart whilst enveloping you in another person’s shoes and culture?! How do you feel progress has been made to give ever writer a voice and each story the gift for expanding our horizons?

UPDATE: 1 May, 2014: In the weeks since this post was first published I have participated in #diverselit & #WeNeedDiverseBooks movements on Twitter. I also created the tag #EqualityInLit to reflect my personal view and feelings towards diversity and equality in literature. You will denote a new category indexed on Jorie Loves A Story E Q U A L I T Y in L I T E R A T U R Ewhich speaks to the heart of how this blog post inspired me to make my views a bit more well-known.

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{SOURCES: A to Z Challenge Participant & Letter C Badge provided by the A to Z Challenge site for bloggers to use on their individual posts & blogs to help promote the challenge to others.The photograph of Carol Antoinette Peacock was given to me by the author and used with permission. Laura Resau photograph, author biography & book cover for The Indigo Notebook used with permission by the author. The book trailer by Laura Resau had either URL share links or coding which made it possible to embed this media portals to this post, and I thank them for this opportunity to share more about this novel and the author who penned it. Tweets were embedded due to codes provided by Twitter. Post dividers provided by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2014.

Related Articles:

Diversity Solutions with Sherri L. Smith (author of “FlyGirl”) – (mayaprasad.com)

Why I Write About India – (mayaprasad.com)

Diversity in Kid’s Books – (nytimes.com)

Booklist 2014 (for multicultural literature) – (campbele.wordpress.com)

Exploring Diversity Through Children’s & Young Adult Books: Background Reading – (cynthialeitichsmith.com)

Embracing Diversity in YA Lit – (slj.com)

Comments via Twitter:

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Posted Saturday, 5 April, 2014 by jorielov in A to Z Challenge, Adoption, Book Cover Reveal, Book Trailer, Booking the Rails, Bookish Discussions, Bookish Whimsy, Brothers and Sisters, CFHS The Society, Children's Literature, Coming-Of Age, Conservation, Cultural Heritage, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Debut Author, Debut in United States, Debut Novel, Epistolary Novel | Non-Fiction, Equality In Literature, Family Life, Fantasy Fiction, Genre-bender, Guest Spot on Podcast, Hard-Boiled Mystery, Historical Fiction, Historical Thriller Suspense, Interviews Related to Content of Novel, LGBTTQPlus Fiction | Non-Fiction, Literary Fiction, Memoir, Meteorology, Nanowrimo 2008, Non-Fiction, Orphans & Guardians, Quaker Fiction, Readerly Musings, Septemb-Eyre, Siblings, Sociology, Southern Belle View Daily, Teenage Relationships & Friendships, The Dystopia Challenge, The Rocketeer, The Typosphere, Time Travel, Time Travel Adventure, Travel Narrative | Memoir, Vignettes of Real Life, Wicked Valentine's Readathon, Writes of Passage, Wuthering Heights, Young Adult Fiction

*Blog Book Tour*: The Gods of Heavenly Punishment by Jennifer Cody Epstein

Posted Monday, 13 January, 2014 by jorielov , , 6 Comments

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The Gods of Heavenly Punishment Tour via HFVBT

The Gods of Heavenly Punishment by Jennifer Cody Epstein

Author Connections: Facebook | Site | Blog

Converse on Twitter: #GodsOfHeavenlyPunishment | #GodsOfHeavenlyPunishmentTour
OR Tweet @JennCodyEpstein

Published by:
W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.
, 11 March 2013 [hardback] | Page Count: 384
13th January 2014 [paperback]
| Page Count: 400

Available Format: Hardback | Paperback | E-book 


Acquired Book By:

I participated in the blog book tour for the hardback edition of “The Gods of Heavenly Punishment” by visiting the various stops on the original HFVBT route! Whilst making my rounds, I entered to win a copy of the novel! Whereupon I received such wonderfully brilliant news that I had indeed won a copy via Unabridged Chick’s blog in October of 2013! I received the book direct from the publisher without obligation to post a review.

Afterwards, whilst seeing there was a new tour for the paperback release of the same title, I requested to be placed on the tour! I decided that it was one book I hadn’t wanted to wait to read and being on a tour would be quite lovely! I was selected to be a stop on “The Gods of Heavenly Punishment” Virtual Book Tour, hosted by HFVBT, in which I am reading the hardback edition rather than the paperback. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Inspired to Read:

I originally came to know of this novel through reading one of my bi-weekly newsletters of “Shelf-Awareness for Readers”, whereupon I had entered to win a copy of this book in March of 2013 sending my entry directly to the author Ms. Epstein as requested. I did not receive a reply as the contest win went to someone else. However, I shared my thoughts, observations, and feelings about Japan inside my entry which went to the heart of why I was inspired to read the story contained within. These were those thoughts:

I have known about the effects of the World War on Hiroshima and Okinawa, exclusively through girls that I befriended who lived there, even if over the years, our friendships have all but faded. The girl in Hiroshima grew into a woman who had to marry, and I noticed that in marriage she wasn’t able to write as much, so we lost contact. I will never forget her kindness and her acceptance of what had happened, as she didn’t have conflict but rather a lot of peace! She was the one who originally told me about the Peace Crane project and of the statue. Through my friend in Okinawa I saw a different side of the war, one where the Japanese were welcoming to our soldiers and men, and how thankful they were for their presence.

I realise not everything that happened has a happy ending, as my friends are the same age as me, thus, we’re a few generations removed from the original events, and perhaps, as time is a healer of hearts and minds,… maybe its due to time that their memories are different than those who lived through everything first hand. I was reading my Friday edition of Shelf Awareness, and once more I felt a stirring inside me to know this particular story,… Japan has been on my mind + heart for years,… even in childhood as my grandparents loved Japanese art and culture, as much as I was drawn to everything else that encompasses the country. I have always found the Japanese to be hearty, fiercely strong, and devoted to faith, family, and survival. They have a genuine happy spirit about themselves, and they appreciate all of life, but most especially the joys and the unexpected bliss that unravel as we live.

Having said that, I never heard of the plight of Tokyo, in the war! I only know of what Tokyo is facing today, and how much it grieved me {and the rest of the world} that this nuclear meltdown was causing such added strife and sorrow…. I even feared for my friends’ I have long since lost, as I knew they were in and around the general prefects of Tokyo.

I would be honoured to read this story and open my eyes to more of the real picture of what residents of Tokyo and the rest of Japan have not only lived through but have had to overcome. There are always two sides to every story, and as time folds back on itself and shifts forward, I do find that not every element of historical truth is known until a writer has the courage to pen the story that needs to be heard. Thank you for being one of the brave ones and thank you for giving us a story to change our perspective and deepen our empathy.

{note} The contest ran in a Tuesday edition, but I waited until Friday’s edition to respond.

Whilst I was entering to win the book on Unabridged Chick’s blog I had this to say after having read Audra’s review:

I murmur your thoughts on this section of literature,… I am drawn into war stories myself, especially those stories that etch into the heart of the two couples struggling to keep their connection & make sense of everything that is happening around them. I don’t believe everyone who reads this part of literature is necessarily advocating for war, rather instead, they are appreciative of the stories that speak to the human heart and the bond that threads through us all!

I liked how you expressed the book unique style of settling the story into your mind and leaving it there a bit wantonly afterwards! You gave me the impression that the characters I’d find inside will stir my heart and leave me museful after I encounter them! Always an inclination I am in search of!


Synopsis of the Story:

The Gods of Heavenly Punishment by Jennifer Cody EpsteinOne 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.

Author’s Biography:

Jennifer EpsteinJennifer 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 Jennifer Cody Epstein’s website and blog.  You can also find her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter.


A measure of innocence, ahead of stark cold reality:

Epstein opens her novel through the lens of projecting the innocence of youth, as evidenced by the opening sequences of introducing the reader to Cam and Lacy. Two university co-eds enjoying a date at a carnival in 1935, far ahead of the pending World War, of which I had suspected had a precursory quality about its delivery. To give a measure of innocence ahead of the stark cold reality which would settle in once the events of the attack on Tokyo were fully realised and turnt inward in the story. She juxtapositions straight into Japan, where we meet Billy the budding photographer whose confidence could use a nudging. Yoshi is the tender-hearted six-year-old whose Mum Hana is at a cross-roads of examining her life’s choices and the wayward path her life has taken her. Reflections on choices she erred in believing were true only to be turnt to falsehood by the man she laid her mistrust. Yoshi is a precocious child whose mastery of three languages rises her above her young years with a maturity she has not yet discovered inside her.

Hana is married to Kenji, a man she hadn’t quite chosen to wed and one who wasn’t quite her equal match. She questions the merit of their marriage as much as the depth of his understanding of her. She was carted off to different countries so frequently in her growing years, she is a woman of the world rather than the traditional Japanese wife he was expecting her to become. She held herself with a different countenance than others in her generation, and strove to keep her individual identity intact. Her state of premonitions in regards to overwhelming grief and tragedy keep an edge inside her which hasn’t a release of calm to give.

My Review of The Gods of Heavenly Punishment:

The Gods of Heavenly Punishment begins slowly as though your about to enter a dance where the music is set low in order to intone and inflect the seriousness of the movements thus forthcoming. Epstein has mastered the gift of easing her audience into the heart of her tale by misleading their confidence in seeing how each of the lives in the story are surrounded in their own waves of normalcy ahead of the terror. You gently enter their lives as though you were the unspoken observer, cleverly intuitive and receptive to their most intimate of affairs. You glide alongside their shadows, taking in the truths they would rather etch away and instill in your own mind what their realities are preparing for them to yield. She is presenting a study of soliloquy of cultural traditions against the backdrop of sociological warfare.

By 1942, Cam is fully grown and awaiting orders for a mission he would take whilst hinted at those years ago at the carnival whilst his eyes were skyward watching the planes in the sky. His letter to Lacy diverge the ominous events still yet to come. The mingling joy of their days prior to his dispatchment were long since dissolved, whilst his fear of the unknown worked to overtake his last nerve. Epstein doesn’t shy or yield away from what Cam would be hearing and seeing as he was starting to live through the horror of what was on the edges of his sight. A fighter pilot would always be pitted against the odds which would extinguish a life without a passing thought as dogfights rendered logic elsewhere.

I am not sure how I came to feel the story inside would be a far different one than the one I encountered, but suffice it to say, my forethought of reason to read the novel was intermixed with the pages giving my eyes and mind far more to ponder than I could have felt possible. The raw realities of this slice of the World War was a bit more than I was willing or able to handle, which is why I had to force myself to read ahead. This is one instance where I honestly couldn’t carry forward with the story, as it was wrenching me on the insides to the brink that I was not able to feel anything but discomfort and misery. I always approach each novel I open with an open-mind and heart, but this one touched on more than I could overcome.  I honestly could not finish this one nor can I give it a full review of what the author intended to leave behind for readers to experience.

Fly in the Ointment:

Switching point of views was a bit awkward, as your feeling as though your re-reading the same passage without the foreshadow of why it would be repeated at all. The limited windows of revelation of how the other characters were taking in the scene on the porch when Yoshi came running the hill were off-set against the inability to sort through why full dialogue and action were truth and bone intact. The initial start of the novel gave the impression of the novel heading in one particular direction with a tone altogether different than the one that veers off around page 45. I had a strugglement in following the author’s guiding hand as pieces of the narrative felt a bit choppy to me rather than maintaining their flucidity.


Virtual Road Map for
“The Gods of Heavenly Punishment” Blog Tour:

The Gods of Heavenly Punishment Tour via HFVBT

Be sure to scope out my
Bookish Events badge created by Jorie in Canva
to mark your calendars!!
As well as to see which events I will be hosting with:

Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours - HFVBT{SOURCES: Author photograph, Book Synopsis, Author Biography, Book Cover “The Gods of Heavenly Punishment”,  tour badge & HFVBT badge were provided by HFVBT and were used by permission. Book Review badge provided by Parajunkee to give book bloggers definition on their blogs. Bookish Events badge created by Jorie in Canva.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2014.

Related Articles:

Absorbing and Thoughtful Interview with Author Jennifer Cody Epstein: Asian Culture, Women’s Rights, and Sea Urchin – (hookofabook.wordpress.com)

Interview with Jennifer Cody Epstein – (unabridged-expression.blogspot.com)

Celebrating the Paperback Release of Jennifer Cody Epstein’s The Gods of Heavenly Punishment – (womensfictionwriters.wordpress.com)

Jennifer Cody Epstein Shows Literary Excellence in Historical Fiction Novel Centered in WWII called The Gods of Heavenly Punishment – (hookofabook.wordpress.com)

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • Go Indie
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Posted Monday, 13 January, 2014 by jorielov in 20th Century, Aftermath of World War II, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Cultural Heritage, Fly in the Ointment, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Japan, Japanese History, Premonition-Precognitive Visions, Shelf Awareness, the Forties, The World Wars