SUMMARY:When bombardier Micah Lund dies on a mission over Hiroshima, his spirit remains trapped in the land of his enemies. Dazed, he follows Kiyomi Oshiro, a war widow struggling to care for her young daughter, Ai. Food is scarce, work at the factory is brutal, and her in-laws treat her like a servant. Watching Kiyomi and Ai together, Micah reconsiders his intolerance for the people he’d called the enemy.
The BookViral Review: Genre – Historical Fiction
A powerful and riveting read throughout, In the Realm of Ash and Sorrow is sure to tug at the heartstrings as Harmon spins a tale of literary eloquence. With a haunting narrative that deals with manifestly personal and painful emotions it’s undeniably sobering at times and yet refreshingly devoid of trite commentary. It’s not an easy period in which Harmon has chosen to set his story in but it’s one he brings to life with consummate finesse. Capturing the incalculable pain and suffering of those living in Hiroshima before and beyond August 6th 1945 whilst bringing us a tangible cultural and philosophical perspective.
Rich in detail, it proves an original and persuasive telling that pulses with poetic flair, pulling readers into an ever immersive storyline as Harmon weaves an intricate tapestry of events. With heartfelt romanticism and timeless magic, he demonstrates a finely tuned ear for dialogue and an ability to create wonderfully vibrant characters that all but leap off the page. Effortlessly capturing the social nuances of his settings in flowing prose as his characters evolve. Not only in a material setting but in his original and stunningly rendered exploration of the void between life and death.
Underpinned by his understanding of Japanese folklore and mysticism he never loses sight of the characters, no matter how emotive their circumstances are. And it would be a hard heart that didn’t find a level of contemplation on which to dwell as Micah, Kiyomi and Ai journey beyond their corporeal forms.
A tremendously visual, enthralling and thought-provoking read, In the Realm of Ash and Sorrow is sure to win Harmon a host of enthusiastic followers and is recommended without reservation.