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The Divine Wind [Paperback]

Garry Disher
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

July 1 2004
In the pearling town of Broome in Western Australia, against the backdrop of World War II, a young man and a young woman fall in love. Hart is the son of a pearling master, Misty the daughter of a Japanese diver. Can their love survive as Japan enters the War and Misty encounters prejudice and hate?
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product Details

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

"You could say that this is a story about friendship, and the betrayal of friendship, and friendships lost and regained," notes the narrator of this often elegant but just as often elusive novel from Australia. Set in the seaside town of Broome in northwestern Australia, it opens in 1946, when Hart Penrose son of a pearl lugger and a race-conscious Englishwoman begins looking back at his complicated relationship with Mitsy Senosuke, daughter of Japanese immigrants. He thinks about the years before the war, especially his 17th birthday, when he falls in love with Mitsy and worries about Jamie Kilian, a rival for Mitsy's affections. Disher offers plenty of drama: Hart's mother returns to England; Hart is almost lost at sea in a cyclone but is saved by Mitsy's father, who drowns; an Aborigine is framed for assault; the war breaks out; Jamie enlists but Hart, injured from the accident at sea, cannot. The Japanese residents of Broome come under suspicion as the Australians increasingly fear invasion, and Hart's loyalties are tested, especially when his sister Alice, an army nurse, is reported missing after Japanese bombers attack her ship. While Disher (The Bamboo Flute) does a superb job of recreating the tensions of the period, the central bond between Hart and Mitsy feels flimsy, more stated than demonstrated, and Mitsy herself doesn't come to life. Despite the subtitle, this is less likely to engage readers looking for a love story than those with a strong interest in the setting. Ages 14-up.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Grade 9 Up-Winner of a young adult literature prize in Australia, this novel tackles mature themes of love and prejudice against the backdrop of World War II. Its circular structure begins and ends in 1946 as Hart is waiting for Mitsy, the young Japanese-Australian woman he loves, to return to him following the war. As he backtracks and describes their life in the small coastal town of Broome on the eve of and during the early years of the war, readers grow to understand how complicated Hart's life is. Mitsy is his sister's best friend and the daughter of one of his pearling-master father's divers; despite the ups and downs in their relationship, her family remains closely connected to his even as they experience loss, racism, and internment. Notable for its vivid sense of place, its complex characters, and an abundance of action, this book will be most appreciated by readers familiar with history, who will notice the many similarities between the way that some people in the United States and Australia thought of and treated their native peoples, and in the treatment of the Japanese during the war.
Ellen Fader, Multnomah County Library, Portland, OR
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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First Sentence
In the Register of Aliens the Sennosukes were listed as Imazaki, Sadako, and Mitsu, but those names were too foreign to our ears, and so Imazaki was soon corrupted to "Zeke" and "Mitsu" to Mitsy-although Sadako, Mitsy's mother, was only called Sadako, for some reason. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Richie's Picks: THE DIVINE WIND Dec 17 2002
THE DIVINE WIND: A LOVE STORY is a tense and riveting read set on the northwest Australian coast at the dawn of the Second World War. I don't care that its fiction--I will be clenching my fists for days as I recall the results of the havoc wrecked by the insanity of the adult world upon the story's three young central characters: Hart, who narrates the story, his sister Alice, and Alice's best friend Mitsy Sennosuke--a girl of Japanese parents.
Before moving to California as a young man, I had never heard of the Japanese internment during World War II--nope, it wasn't ever mentioned in the history books they used back on the East Coast in my youth. So, I am not at all surprised to learn from THE DIVINE WIND that a similar "procedure" took place in Australia. Nor am I shocked by the manner in which the Australian white supremacists in the book treat individuals of the various nonwhite groups. But the way in which those prejudices and the War engulf the three young people and totally screw up what should have been their idyllic young lives brought me to the verge of utter despair as I read page after page of Hart's touching love story:
"I fell in love with Mitsy in the darkness of the tin-walled cinema in Sheba Lane, where cowboys roamed the range and airmen spies slipped away from foreign countries in the light of the moon, and great white hunters saved beautiful women from maddened rogue elephants.
"In the daylight, Mitsy was a separate being, slim and restless and full of jokes and mischief like Alice, but when the lights were dimmed and the screen glowed with lovers and heroes, she would grow quiet and still, and settle in her seat, and imperceptibly shift until her shoulder and knee touched mine.
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2.0 out of 5 stars The Divine Whine Oct. 28 2002
By A Customer
The Divine Wind is a beautifully written book, there's no doubt about that. The descriptions and setting is written wonderfully. However, the plot is way too similar to "Snow Falling on Cedars", has rather dull undeveloped characters, love with hardly a mention of the actual falling in love and a selfish and self-absorbed main character (Hartley Penrose) you dislike after a few chapters- who unfortunatly narrates the entire thing. The plot dragged on and on and on. Perhaps Disher would make a better poet.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Like SNOW FALLING ON CEDARS for teenagers May 21 2002
By A Customer
This is first and foremost a love story in the tradition of Romeo and Juliet featuring star-crossed lovers seeking happiness in the face of great odds. And it's a good, juicy, romantic love story at that.
But it's also fascinating to hear about World War II from such an unfamiliar perspective. I didn't know that racial tensions were high in Australia at the time, just as they were here.
Gary Disher holds a mirror to our own feelings as people, and our own experiences as a country.
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1.0 out of 5 stars The not so Divine Wind May 15 2003
What kind of a name is MITSY? And by the way what kind of a name is DISHER? We have been forced to study the Divine Wind in english and we hope this love story (if you can call it that) isn't a re-enactment of Disher's childhood. The characters in this book are undeveloped, the romance is cold and boring, the scene is as well set as a rubics cube. How can this book be compared to Romeo and Juliet? Overall leave romance to the experts.
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3.0 out of 5 stars The Devine Wind: A love story Aug. 27 2003
By A Customer
The story had great details about the setting and descriced the character beautifully, but it was hard to fallow the plot and who were the characters, i wish there was an ending so we could find out what happens to the characters still living. Other wise--- great book that kept me reading.
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