Listen as author Katherine Govier discusses the history and context behind the writing of Three Views of Crystal Water in this series of exclusive videos.
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 natureboth earthly and human.
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