Monday, February 10, 2014

The Wind is Not a River by Brain Payton

The Wind is Not a River by Brain Payton - 309 pages

The Wind is Not a River is an epic novel of war, love, and survival all in one emotionally-charged story.  John Easely is a journalist who managed to sneak into the Aleutian Islands during World War II, a time when reporters are banned and the Japanese are on U.S. soil, and hitch a ride with a bomber crew only to be shot down and stranded on the island of Attu, then fully occupied by the Japanese.  Readers then see his struggle to survive amidst the cold and the enemy.  In alternating chapters, we see the story of his wife Helen.  John left after an argument both regret.  When John goes missing, Helen does everything in her power to find him, including traveling to entertain troops in the Aleutians as part of the USO.  John's side of the story is very reminiscent of Jake London's works, while Helen's is a poignant love story from an older era.

And yes, the Japanese did succeed in invading and holding two of the largest islands in the Aleutians for approximately a year (May, 1942-May, 1943).  That is not fiction; just a little known fact because of how long the information was classified.

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