January 2014 Indie Next List
“A grand tale of devotion and adventure set in a forgotten theater of World War II, Payton's new novel is convincingly told. Along with journalist John Easley, the stranded protagonist, readers feel the Arctic wind screaming across Japanese occupied Atta in the remote Aleutian Islands and are swept along by the parallel narrative of Helen, John's wife, as she sets off from her native Seattle in a bold, imaginative effort to locate her missing husband. Compelling!”
— Chris Wilcox, City Lights Bookstore, Sylva, NC
Journalist John Easley is determined to find meaning in the loss of his younger brother to the war in Europe. Leaving behind his beloved wife, Helen, after an argument they both regret, he heads north from Seattle to document the Japanese invasion of Alaska's Aleutian Islands, a story censored by the U.S. government. Trapped behind enemy lines, in a harsh and unforgiving wilderness, he must battle starvation and hopelessness while evading capture by the Japanese.
Three thousand miles to the south, Helen is forced to reimagine who she is--and what she is capable of doing. Somehow, she must find John and bring him home, a quest that takes her into the farthest reaches of the war, beyond the safety of everything she knows.
A story of life and death, commitment and sacrifice, The Wind Is Not a River illuminates the fragility of life and the fierce power of love.