Plot: This work offers a different angle on World War II, one that integrates both a romantic storyline as well as a thoroughly researched staging of an incomparable historical event. While providing verisimilitude, Miller also supplies engaging drama and forward momentum, allowing for the reader's full immersion in the circumstances.
Prose/Style: The candid, visceral prose style enhances Miller's storytelling. The pacing, central conflict, and sense of great immediacy is a testament to the author's superior skills.
Originality: The most original aspect of this story lies in its setting. The choice to stage the work at a greatly pivotal moment in history, is a brave and ambitious one, executed with grace, sensitivity, and intelligence.
Character Development: Both the primary and secondary characters possess distinctive and resonant voices, while dialogue demonstrates nuance and authenticity. Historical fiction readers with a passion for World War II will be captivated by the story of Richard Jackson and Emiko. However, the most memorable sections are those that tell the stories of survivors--and the haunting impact of the profoundly traumatic event at the story's core.
Date Submitted: August 18, 2019
“Miller …astutely captures the burden of a disgraced nation now under the governorship of a people it deeply distrusts and fears. The author’s command of the historical period is masterful, and he powerfully depicts the consequences of military loss as well as victory…Miller’s nuanced rendering of the moral complexities of the occupation is compelling, as when the United States and Japanese governments cooperatively supply American troops with sex workers—mainly to prevent instances of rape, MacArthur explains…An exceedingly intelligent exploration of World War II–era Japan…” — Kirkus Reviews