Ingenious Pain is one of my favourite books, so when I spotted that Andrew Miller had written a book set in Japan, a country I love reading about, I was very excited.
The book is set in Tokyo during WWII and focuses on Yuri, a young man who is unable to fight due to ill-health. He becomes friends with a French trader and his family, but as the war progresses this friendship causes him to have to make some difficult decisions.
As with all books written by Andrew Miller the writing is very good – it is simple, but effective. The book is well researched and explains the lives of the Japanese during the war well. My only criticism would be that it lacks the Japanese atmosphere that I love to read about – I can’t picture the sights, sounds and smells of 1940s Japan – this is a minor problem though. The characters are all well developed and believable, and the plot, although not having a fast pace, is engaging.
The lives of Japanese civilians during WWII isn’t something I’ve read about before, so seeing things through their eyes gives a whole new layer to the European war stories we are so used to reading.
I admire Andrew Miller for branching out into a new area and being able to create such a diverse range of books. I will continue to keep an eye out for his new releases and this book will ensure he keeps his place on my list of favourite authors.
Have you read any books written by Andrew Miller?
Have you read books set in Japan during WWII?