WINDS OF HEAVEN by Judith Clarke
Kirkus Star


Age Range: 14 & up
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Although their lives take different paths, two cousins growing up in Australia have a lasting impact on each other in this poignant story. An only child of loving parents, nine-year-old Clementine travels by train from Sydney to rural Lake Conapaira in 1952 to visit her cousin Fan and her embittered aunt. Lovely, sweet, free-spirited Fan, whose laugh resembles "a handful of bright water flung into the air," enchants quiet, sober Clementine, and the cousins become friends. Clementine visits Fan two more times, but their lives have diverged. A serious student, Clementine's en route to university with her future ahead of her while Fan's uneducated, married with two children and desperate for something more—with tragic consequences. Beginning and ending in 2009 with the aging Clementine remembering her beautiful cousin, the story unfolds slowly in the third person, focusing on Clementine and Fan's enduring influence on her life. Introspective, quiet prose, authentic coming-of-age characters and appreciation for the social values shaping Australian women in the mid-20th century make this a moving read. (Historical fiction. 14 & up)
Pub Date: Sept. 28th, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-8050-9164-9
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Henry Holt
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 2010


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