The Wind is Not a River by Brian PaytonBook: 6/10Waterworks: 2/10I’m going to be completely honest. I didn’t really like this book. It seemed too fictitious in a way. But, I tried to be biased and enjoy the book for the sake of this article.At the start, the main character, John Easley, finds himself stranded on an island in Attu, resulting because his plane crashed. One of the crew members aboard with Easley, a shy of adulthood male, has survived with him. Conditions on the island are basically inhabitable– dangerously cold, little or no shelter or food besides a cave and what they can use as food. Easley is a journalist who basically deviously catfished his way to the position he is in now. Young Karl makes clear his resentment but realizes that a better chance of survival lies in unity of purpose. Meanwhile, Helen who parted with Easley on bad terms, is desperate to find the whereabouts of her husband, conceiving a plan to travel to Attu to look for him despite many obstacles put in her way. Their stories are told in alternating narratives as Easley grapples with loneliness, starvation and a brutal environment while dodging the Japanese forces just a stone’s throw away, and Helen makes her way from Seattle to Alaska, posing as an entertainer performing for the troops, casting around for clues, never giving up.?I’m not a huge fan of the double focus in this book only because it got a bit confusing at times. When it is written well, it would be good to some point but in this case, it was a huge flop. Brian Payton kinda strays away from this particular writing style towards the end by balancing Easley and Helen’s very different stories beautifully while slowly inching them together. This also helps show the very different personalities between the two which shows their different mindsets and processes of thinking- whether it be negative or positive; Easley, in his negative but hopeful mindset, finds previously unthinkable ways to survive, both physically and emotionally, while Helen steadfastly believes her husband is alive, despite all evidence to the contrary, remaining heroically determined to find him no matter what it takes or under which circumstances as if he’s alive or dead. The Japanese position on some of Attus’ islands was one of the least-known aspects of World War II. But when it actually happened, the United States recapturing those few square miles of islands was considered a turning of the war type of scenario. Author Brian Payton chose the remote island of Attu as the setting for his new novel, “The Wind is Not a River”. The title, which Payton confirms meaning, “Wind rises up and fades away, but a river flows endlessly. And our suffering? This too shall pass. The wind is not a river.”Helen is worried about John after not hearing from him in weeks. She had quarreled with her husband about his stubbornness to head back up north to report on a story that the government wants kept quiet. Helen has suspicions as to whether the government was behind his disappearance. She contacts his editors, colleagues, friends — but no one has information.Helen resolves to quit her job (which I personally think makes no sense- ever heard of unpaid time off, Helen?) and goes to search for him herself. And in a time of government restrictions, limited transportation and little to no cash, the only way she figures she can do this is by joining a group that does musical review on their way to Alaska to entertain the troops. This requires that she act as an experienced performer, which she’s not— but Helen is willing to do whatever it takes to find her husband.This book is war story + journalism + love story blended into one. Payton turns this thought provoking book into an epic story, I must admit even if it isn’t my usual cup of tea.?Finally, Brian Payton writes a thrill seeking novel that focuses on the way wars treat and change a human, what extents journalists go through to get the perfect story, and finally a story that shows true love at its finest.