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The Divine Wind: A Love Story

By Garry Disher

“Wonderfully moving, exact and economical” - Times Educational Supplement (London)

Mitsy Sennosuke is the best friend of Hart’s sister. She is funny and feisty, ready to fight for justice, to do the right thing. She is tough. She is not beautiful. And Hart is in love with her.

At any other time in the northern Australian fishing town of Broome, Mitsy would be accepted as a welcome member of the noisy, brawling, multiethnic community. But Mitsy’s real name is Mitsu, and she is Japanese; and in the dark days before World War II, with kamikaze planes sweeping across the South Pacific, that might matter more than anything else. To Hart’s mother. To the Australian authorities. And maybe, eventually, to Hart himself.

Beautifully written, unflinchingly honest, The Divine Wind stands with Snow Falling on Cedars and The Art of Keeping Cool in its examination of wartime tensions, family conflict, and first love.


I fell in love with Mitsy in the darkness of the tin-walled cinema in Sheba Lane. In the daylight, she was a separate being, slim and restless and full of jokes, but when the lights were dimmed and the screen glowed with lovers and heroes, she would grow quiet and still, and imperceptibly shift until her shoulder and knee touched mine. She would never acknowledge the intimacy when the lights came on but simply treat me as one of the gang again. I sometimes thought I dreamed her.

Reviews and Awards

New South Wales Premier’s Literary Award
Praised as one of the best books of 1999 by the Times London
New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age 2003

⋆ “Set in a small northwest Australian coastal town, this WWII story is about friends and enemies close to home… Readers will recognize the political parallels with the U.S., as well as the personal truth of how feelings can change from friendship and love to hate and indifference - and maybe back again.” – Booklist, starred review

“Disher does a superb job of recreating the tensions of the period.” – Publisher’s Weekly

“Although filled with family conflict and tragic events, the story is riveting and brims with images that evoke the flavor of the country and the time. Readers… will finish the story with a better understanding of the depths of love.” - Voice of Youth Advocates

“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 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.” - School Library Journal

“Disher draws a penetrating picture of the Australian coastal town and the friction behind its diversity.”Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

Purchase Options
Amazon • Barnes & Noble

Summer 2002
Young Adult Fiction
ISBN: 0-439-36915-0
Price: $15.95/$22.99
Trim Size: 5 1/2" x 8 1/4"
Page Count: 176
Foreign Rights: Arthur Pine Associates
Translation Rights: Arthur Pine Associates
Rights Available? yes