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Divine Wind: A Love Story

by Garry A.  Disher

Published by U.S. edition: Arthur A. Levine Books/Scholastic, 2002
153 pages
ISBN: 0-439-36915-0
price: $15.95

Ages 15 and older

Hart has been in love with Mitsy Sennosuke for years but he's never told her. As the war in the Pacific begins to mount, his unspoken feelings become tainted by suspicion, guilt, and remorse in this novel set during World War II in Australia. Because Mitsy and her parents are Japanese, they are looked upon with some hostility as soon as the war begins, despite their longstanding presence in their coastal community. Mitsy's father, Zeke, has worked as a pearl diver for Hart's father for years. In the midst of raging storm, Zeke saves Hart's life and then is lost at sea, leaving Mitsy and her mother alone in an increasingly dangerous town. Eventually, even Hart finds himself wondering about Mitsy's family, betraying her trust and devastating what has finally become an intimate relationship. Hart's sister, Alice, is itching to leave the town, and her initial plan of escape includes marriage to a rancher, but she abandons that plan after seeing his cruelty toward an aboriginal named Derby Boxer-a cruelty that plays out as systemized racism when Derby is put on trial for an assault he didn't commit but for which he makes a convenient scapegoat. Garry Disher's complex novel reveals the many forms of destruction that war can create, at the same time it is a certain indictment of racism in both its overt and subtle forms. CCBC categories: Fiction For Young Adults; Historical People, Places, And Events.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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