August, 1945. Japan has been defeated in WWII. The country lies in ruin. Satsuko Takara and her teenage brother Hiroshi lost their parents, and each other, during the firestorm that devastated Tokyo. Hal Lynch, a haunted U.S. reconnaissance photographer, is now a photo journalist in Japan, where he stumbles upon a shocking story and is determined to bring it to light. Osamu Maruki a dissolute writer and Satsuko's former lover, has returned from the South Pacific a broken and changed man. Their stories converge and spin outward in this dazzling debut.