Three Views of Crystal Water: A Novel by Katherine GovierThree Views of Crystal Water: A Novel by Katherine Govier

Three Views of Crystal Water: A Novel

byKatherine Govier

Hardcover | August 4, 2005

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In this lucid and exotic tale, Katherine Govier delves into the19th-century pearl rush. Greed for the unearthly luster drove sea-farers toscour the ocean floor until the plunder all but destroyed the divers, the oysterbeds and the pearl itself. But on a small island off the coast of Japan, a mantamed the oysters, learning to create pearls at will.

Three Views of Crystal Water is told by the Canadian girlVera, who comes of age amongst the brave women divers of Japan. Nurtured by the amacommunity, she learns to dive 45 feet with a single breath. She also findsher first lover. In the lives of the simple fisherfolk, loyalty is everything.But Vera is an outsider, and when war is declared in Europe, she must go home toVancouver. In the murky streets of Gastown, Vera comes to understand thepearl-lust that has divided the men in her family. But it is years later whenshe discovers what catastrophes war has brought to her friends, and whatdeliverance to her young lover, and herself.

Like the divers it so compellingly portrays, Three Views ofCrystal Water penetrates far below life’s surface. Part fable, parthistory and entirely original, this novel is infused by Govier’s profoundreflections on nature—both earthly and human.

KATHERINE GOVIER has written eight novels and three shortstory collections. The New York Times named her most recent novel, Creation,a Notable Book of 2003. Other works include Angel Walk and Hearts ofFlame, which won the City of Toronto Book Award. She is also the recipientof the Marian Engel Award. Katherine Govier divides her time b...
Title:Three Views of Crystal Water: A NovelFormat:HardcoverDimensions:432 pages, 8.7 × 5.6 × 1.25 inPublished:August 4, 2005Language:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0002005891

ISBN - 13:9780002005890

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Rated 4 out of 5 by from An important story of an overlooked time Three Views of Crystal Water by Katherine Govier tells the story of Vera, a young Japanese-Canadian at a crucial crossroads in her life told against the backdrop of the days leading up to World War II. Vera's young life has been full of familial loss - first her father left their family to follow his pearl lust to Japan and the pearl trade, then her mother commits suicide and finally her grandfather dies. Left alone, Vera travels with her grandfather's widow to Japan to live among the ama divers, women who live with unprecedented freedom. Used to loss, Vera exhibits a skittishness in joining the life of her new village, is slow to trust and slowly begins to develop her own luster as she takes control of her destiny. Vera slowly learns the skills of the ama divers while gaining a sense of her own identity, defined by who she is rather than by those who have left her. Alternating between Vera's story and that of her family, we slowly gain an understanding of what has driven them in their passion for pearls. The shadowy world of Japan fighting a battle for Asian domination is the perfect foil for Vera's tale. This is a quiet, intimate novel with a shifting surface, as changeable as the pearl at the heart of the tale. The language is enthralling and Katherine Govier evokes a time and location that to many is shrouded with mystery. Three Views of Crystal Water is a window into a story overlooked by many when studying World War II. While painting a large canvas showing a nation creating history, Govier never falters in creating an intimate and profound story of one woman finding her place in the world.
Date published: 2006-01-06