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The Wind Is Not a River (2014)

von Brian Payton

MitgliederRezensionenBeliebtheitDurchschnittliche BewertungDiskussionen
2903171,810 (3.81)22
"Following the death of his younger brother in Europe, journalist John Easley is determined to find meaning in his loss. Leaving behind his beloved wife, Helen, he heads north to investigate the Japanese invasion of Alaska's Aleutian Islands, a story censored by the U.S. government. While John is accompanying a crew on a bombing run, his plane is shot down over the island of Attu. He survives only to find himself exposed to a harsh and unforgiving wilderness, known as "the birthplace of winds." There, John must battle the elements, starvation, and his own remorse while evading discovery by the Japanese. Alone at home, Helen struggles with the burden of her husband's disappearance. Caught in extraordinary circumstances, in this new world of the missing, she is forced to reimagine who she is--and what she is capable of doing. Somehow, she must find John and bring him home, a quest that takes her into the farthest reaches of the war, beyond the safety of everything she knows."-- Dust jacket flap.… (mehr)
  1. 00
    The Thousand Mile War: World War II in Alaska and the Aleutians von Brian Garfield (srdr)
    srdr: Excellent non-fiction treatment of WWII in the Aleutians.
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Such a treat!

John Easley, still recovering from the loss of his brother, is determined to find out what is really going on in the Aleutian Islands, which had been attacked by the Japanese, in 1943. He is kicked out when he tries to get in as a journalist, so he finds another way. The small plane he is on crashes and he finds himself on one of the windswept, lonely islands, alone. With little in the way of survival equipment he tries to stay alive and not get caught by the Japanese, who have captured the small village nearby.

Meanwhile, his wife Helen tries to find out what happened to him, as she has not heard from him in some time. She becomes obsessed with finding him, against advice of many others.

It is interesting enough to discover what was new to me, the fact that the Japanese had invaded U.S. territory during WWII, and to learn more about the Aleutian Islands and their small number of inhabitants. To follow what it might take to stay alive in the snow there, to learn about the news blackout, to track both John and Helen in their individual quests, made this a suspenseful and compelling story. The writing is clear and unsentimental, the characters well developed and believable. A winner. ( )
  slojudy | Sep 8, 2020 |
This is an incredible story - a story that stayed with me long after I read the final page. I laughed, I cried and I prayed that Helen and John would find each other again. John really surprised me at times, and the strength he found to survive against all the odds was inspiring. I liked the fact that Helen and John weren't painted as a perfect couple - they had their fair share of disagreements but Helen didn't hesitate in setting off across the country to find John. You could even feel that she was close at one point - they perhaps saw the same eagle and I felt that their meeting was just around the corner but Helen got shipped out of Alaska and I began to despair again. But like the Easley's, I didn't give up hope.

The beautiful writing paints a vivid picture of a desolate landscape and Brian Payton really gives a voice to the people of the Aleutian Islands, a place I'm ashamed to say I'd never heard of. He also shows a different side to the Japanese soldiers as we're often so quick to think of their brutality in prisoner of war camps.

An amazing story of love, survival and the tragedy of war.

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. ( )
  Michelle.Ryles | Mar 9, 2020 |
The book is extremely well written. Each chapter is compelling, and I found it hard to stop until I had finished.

( )
  grandpahobo | Sep 26, 2019 |
This historical fiction captures events during World War II that were held in great secrecy from the American public: a Japanese invasion of the Aleutian Islands off the coast of Alaska. A reporter, John Easley, is shot down while traveling with American troops flying over the bleak and inhospitable island chain. He is unable to communicate with the outside world and considered missing-in-action by the military which are not publicly acknowledging any combat involvement with the Japanese near Alaska. This is a situation not passively accepted by his wife. The story follows both Easley's battle for survival and his wife's heroic search. The story is riveting and so true to actual events you may want to read further about the Japanese attempt to invade the US territory of Alaska. The nonfiction book, "The Thousand-Mile War: World War II in Alaska and the Aleutians" by Brian Garfield is a great follow-up read.


Karen J. / Marathon County Public Library
Find this book in our library catalog.
( )
  mcpl.wausau | Sep 25, 2017 |
I enjoy reading books that are set in World War II, and The Wind Is Not A River by Brian Payton had the added enticement of being about the battle for the Aleutian Islands that I knew nothing about previously. This was deliberately kept from the public at the time as the government did not want the people of the Pacific Northwest to know that the Japanese were close to obtaining foothold that would allow them to sweep down upon continental North America from Japan. This is also a survival novel, as one of the main characters has his plane shot down on a Japanese controlled island and is trying to stay hidden and live off the land.

The Wind Is Not a River is also a novel of love and commitment as one character struggles to survive and his wife struggles to find him. John Easley is a freelance journalist, he has come to Alaska both to find meaning in the death of his brother and to report on what is happening even though he had previously be ordered to leave. He and his wife argued before he left for Alaska and this haunts both of them. Helen, the wife, decides that she must find her husband and bring him home. And unfortunately I found this part of the story quite improbable and it raised so many questions that I found the momentum of the story suffered.

The author writes beautifully and most of this novel held me spellbound, but the awkward sub-plot and a weak ending caused me to feel a lack of connection to both the characters and the story. I so wanted to love The Wind Is Not A River as it did keep me enthralled most of the way through but I just couldn’t quiet that nagging voice inside that had unanswered questions. ( )
  DeltaQueen50 | Sep 11, 2017 |
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"Following the death of his younger brother in Europe, journalist John Easley is determined to find meaning in his loss. Leaving behind his beloved wife, Helen, he heads north to investigate the Japanese invasion of Alaska's Aleutian Islands, a story censored by the U.S. government. While John is accompanying a crew on a bombing run, his plane is shot down over the island of Attu. He survives only to find himself exposed to a harsh and unforgiving wilderness, known as "the birthplace of winds." There, John must battle the elements, starvation, and his own remorse while evading discovery by the Japanese. Alone at home, Helen struggles with the burden of her husband's disappearance. Caught in extraordinary circumstances, in this new world of the missing, she is forced to reimagine who she is--and what she is capable of doing. Somehow, she must find John and bring him home, a quest that takes her into the farthest reaches of the war, beyond the safety of everything she knows."-- Dust jacket flap.

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