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The Winds of Heaven

3.82  ·  Rating Details ·  214 Ratings  ·  42 Reviews
Clementine thinks her cousin Fan is everything that she could never be: beautiful, imaginative, wild. The girls promise to be best friends and sisters after the summer is over, but Clementine's life in the city is different from Fan's life in dusty Lake Conapaira. And Fan is looking for something, though neither she nor Clementine understands what it is.

Printz Honor Winner
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published September 28th 2010 by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
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Community Reviews

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Oct 13, 2010 Tasha rated it it was amazing
Shelves: teen
An amazing book that takes a deep look at love, depression, sisterhood, and life. Clementine and Fan were opposites in many ways, but that just drew them closer. They were more sisters than cousins, pulled together over the summer they spent at Fan’s house in Lake Conapaira. Clementine was dull and regular next to the wild and amazing Fan. But Fan’s life was not good, living alone with her abusive mother now that both her father and older sister had left. Fan longed to head to the blue hills tha ...more
Aug 06, 2009 Liz rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: unfinished, ya
I confess, I skipped to the end of this book because I was sure something bad was going to happen, and I was right. It's a bit depressing. Well-written, but not well-written at the same time.

The story was the story of a young woman's (Fan's) life, but fundamentally pointless as a story to be told. Yes, it follows the life of a woman who is on the edge of society, but the ending is unsatisfactory and I couldn't leave my room for half an hour because my face hadn't yet returned to normal after cr
Jul 17, 2016 Daisy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: psychological, teen
As much as I felt I would like the poignant nature of this book, it was unfortunately far more melancholy than I was prepared for, and sadly I really couldn't stomach the "what-if" nature of it. It rests mostly on the phenomenon of hindsight, and the deep connections one is able to form as a child, but sadly these were lost on me as the foreshadowing of the ending made me skip a good deal - and then find out that the ending was depressing, tragic and heartbreaking. As much as the end was well wr ...more
Jul 03, 2016 Heather rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As the old saying goes, you should never judge a book by its cover. I did for this book and had three attempts at it before I finished it, but I'm glad I persevered because it is a lovely book. Beautifully written, the story focuses on the lives of two cousins - Clementine (hate the name) who lives in the city with a happy, stable family and Fan who has only her embittered mother and missing sister as she struggles for prospects in a broken-down rural town. The story follows the lives of these t ...more
Feb 03, 2016 Louisa rated it really liked it
This is one of those stories that takes a little while to get going but is worth the patient effort. Clementine and her county cousin Fan seem to live very different lives but they share a freedom of spirit that for one of them, comes from her connection to the land, and for the other, her determination to rebel against what 1960s society expects of her. So, two parallel stories emerge of two girls who take two different paths. They do meet a few times and this is when their stories become one. ...more
Molly Jenkins
Feb 16, 2016 Molly Jenkins rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 14, 2015 Jessica rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library-school
A beautiful, tragic read.

This is truly a book about sisterhood – sisters sometimes fail one another. They don’t defend one another, they forget to visit, they don’t write when they should. They feel guilt when they’ve let the other down – be that by broken promises or forgotten dreams.

Fan and Clementine have a bond of true love and care for one another even when they cannot care for themselves. Their characters slowly grown and develop as the book progresses, and just as some trees do not grow
Jennifer Conner
Mar 29, 2011 Jennifer Conner rated it liked it
Shelves: engl-492
As young girls, two cousisns, Clementine and Fan (Francesca) made a pact with each other that they would be friends forever. . They were going to always keep in contact with each other and be each other’s bridesmaids for their weddings. However, distance and age changed those things.
Clementine was on track for valedictorian of her high school class and destined to go on to the university. While at home in Sydney, she was focused on school and being a good daughter to her parents. Clementine w
Susan Mann
Nov 08, 2010 Susan Mann rated it really liked it
This was a very moving novel that left me in tears. If I had to sum it up in one word it would be beautiful.

I am in awe of the author who made me feel, smell ,hear and experience every emotion along with the two main characters Clementine and Fran.

The great ability of the author was not only to make you feel the experiences that were on the page but those that were hidden in the writing.

This is the story of two very different cousins, Clem who is shy and is brought up in a very supportive and st
Mar 24, 2013 SJ rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars...

This book follows the lives of two cousins in Australia, starting from their childhood in the 1950's. Despite having only been together a handful of times in their lives, both girls feel they are soul mates, and care about one another deeply. The majority of the story follows the life of Clementine, who is a nervous but intelligent girl growing up with strict and supportive parents who strive to instill in her the possibilities for her future if she can go to university. On the other
Feb 09, 2011 Sarai rated it really liked it
This is a good book, but I didn't love it. It's pretty well written, but I just wasn't that interested in the people or the plot. Why did I give it a four star rating? Maybe I was influenced by the notation on the cover that the author was a Printz Honor Winner. I didn't dislike the book; I just can't get excited about it.

Product Description

Clementine thinks her cousin Fan is everything that she could never be: beautiful, imaginative, wild. The girls promise to be best friends and sisters after
The best of the Book of the Year 2010 for older readers I think. Clementine stays with her cousin Fan, who lives in a small town in the Central West of NSW. Fan doesn't like school, but has a rich imagination which connects her to the land and in particular the hills far out of town which appear blue. Clementine, however, lives in the city and is a gifted student, who wins a scholarship to an expensive school and then the University. While Clemmie is at Uni, Fan has to get married at 15 when she ...more
Jan 06, 2012 Stefanie rated it really liked it
In 1952, Clementine and her mother take a train trip across Australia to visit her cousin Fan, whom she barely remembers. The lovely girl she meets now is whimsical, almost magical- Fan’s always telling beautiful stories and making big dreams for the future. But the reality of Fan’s life isn’t magical, and although the two girls adore each other and make a pact to be sisters, they lose touch after their visit is over and reality sets in once again. Along with distance, Fan and Clementine become ...more
3 1/2 stars. Doesn't really read like a YA novel, but it's by a YA author, so it was published YA. I had an ARC of this from very early in the year, but when I saw the suicide hotline # in the back of the book, I realized that I wasn't at all in the mood to read something about suicide. I finally got around to reading it (unfortunately not before it was published, as I would have loved to email the editor my thoughts), and it was a fairly quick read for me by the time I was ready for it, but it ...more
The blurb on this book is pretty much nothing like the story itself. In fact, it's so different that I didn't realise that not only have I read this book, I own it somewhere with all my books.

I borrowed it from the library and when I saw the cover (which was different to the one I saw on goodreads) I realised. I decided to read it anyway though, it's a good story and I like how it is told.
Feb 10, 2011 Phoebe rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Deborah, Cheryl, Nanci, Valerie
Not a cheery read, but oh, so beautifully written. I LOVED Australian Clarke's first book, which had some dark aspects but was wonderfully humorous. This second, unconnected effort is about two cousins growing up in the late 50s and early 60s and their life journeys--about how choices can sometimes feel like destiny. Clementine, safe and loved with a stable home life in the city, adores her older cousin Fan, who lives with a miserable, abusive mother in rural Lake Conapaira, but who seems to glo ...more
Mar 17, 2012 Chillihaute rated it liked it
Read One Whole and Perfect Day by the same author, thought it was mehh. In fact, not even mehh, but bleaugh. Why-did-this-book-get-so-mind-numbingly-boring-bleaugh. But I was surprised to find out that this was written by the same author (yes, I didn't find out till I did some *cough* BOOK STALKING *cough* on GR) because it wasn't too bad. Not mind-blowing awesome, but not bad. Good and interesting plot (doncha love aussie YA and their beautiful backgrounds. sigh.) and intriguing characters but ...more
Oh my goodness. I absolutely love this book. It was so amazing to me, I loved Fan so much and I could tell towards the middle that my heart was going to break but I just couldn't control it. I had to read it, I had to finish it, and it surpassed my every expectation. It was slow in the beginning but it definitely picked up and we meet two girls who love each other but are raised as different as humanly possible. These differences make all the world in how they end up and unfortunately, one canno ...more
Heather Downie
Feb 15, 2015 Heather Downie rated it it was amazing
'There were so many 'ifs'- 'ifs' beyond number, countless as the stars'

So many tears. Poetic, shattering book. Very vivid, very Australian.
Nov 22, 2011 Sue rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya
Clementine is 66 and reminiscing about her childhood in Sidney, Australia and her cousin, Fan. Fan lived in Lake Conapaira, a very rural, dry part of central Australia. Clementine and Fan only saw each other a few times because of the distance between them. Clementine lived in a city, went to school and was expected to win a place to university. Fan was just barely making it through school and wanted to get out as soon as possible, something her mother didn’t care about one way or the other.

Michele Casper
Aug 01, 2011 Michele Casper rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
This book was chosen as the very first selection in our new mother-daughter "book club", so it will always have a special place in my heart. My daughters and I all read the book then discussed it long distance. I can't say much about the story without giving away the ending, though. It takes place in Australia (where my youngest daughter is currently residing)and is about the friendship of two cousins who, though very unlike each other, find understanding and strength in each other. There were t ...more
Nov 27, 2015 Virna rated it did not like it
The story was all over the place and very slow. I would not recommend if you are looking for a happy ending this is not for you.
Aug 21, 2010 Dodie rated it it was amazing
Clementine worships her cousin Fan, beautiful dreamy and abused Fan. Fan's mother goes on regular tirades, bitter about the husband that has left her, wishing for the bigger world outside of Lake Conapaira, Australia. Clem has more opportunity in her life, two supportive parents, and no wish to abandon her dreams of going to university. As they grow apart, the lives take completely divergent paths - and Fan's goes badly. This more than a simple coming of age story-Clarke delivers an atmospheric ...more
Ruth Jans
A stunning portrait of two young women: one from a working class yet loving home; the other growing up with a viscious mother made cruel by depression over her failed marriage, lost youth, and total isolation in a small country town.
The story follows their passage into adulthood and presents a glimpse to the reader about how much each individual is the sum of their past experiences and relationships. Written with beautiful prose and a touch of poetry, this is a haunting story which will linger
Mar 24, 2011 Sheila rated it it was amazing
Fan and Clementine are cousins. Different as night and day. Fan grows up in the country. She is abused by her mother. Her father left. Clementine grows up in the city. She is loved by her parents. Their lives take different paths. I wasn't sure what to expect. At first I wasn't really crazy about it but the ending packs quite a punch. Not what I hoped but this is definitely not a book you can walk away from and not remember it, not be changed by it. Wow!
Mia Weir
Feb 18, 2014 Mia Weir rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
my eyes hurt
Jun 27, 2012 Elida rated it it was ok
I can honestly say I liked the story line. Unfortunately, some stuff went of for pages and didn't really seem all that necessary. I did skip around alot, but somehow I knew something bad or interesting was going to happen so I stuck with it. Sad, very sad, but a good story. I just felt like the author was too much into describing scenes that were more important to her than the story.
It was nice to read a book in which I knew the places. And it was also nice to see these issues dealt with, but it was slightly predictable. Still, it's important to discuss such things in books and all and I suppose considering that the main character was still quite young, then it's more natural that it really only skimmed the surface.
Dec 23, 2010 Jane rated it really liked it
This book actually had me crying and that says alot. There was one particular scene in a library that I copied out for our staff to read. Lately I'm afraid of giving 5 stars immediately because once I gave a book 5 stars and a couple months later I had no memory of it. I expect I'll go back and give this one the additional star later.
Dec 06, 2010 Patricia rated it really liked it
Shelves: teen-fiction
Another well-written title by Judith Clarke, author of One Whole and Perfect Day! This one deals with some of the same weighty subjects- family interactions, things left undone or forgotten, unexpected outcomes, and sadness mixed with a bittersweet happy ending.
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Judith Clarke was born in Sydney and educated at the University of New South Wales and the Australian National University in Canberra. She has worked as a teacher and librarian, and in Adult Education in Victoria and New South Wales.

A major force in YA fiction both in Australia and internationally, Judith Clarke's novels include the multi-award-winning Wolf on the Fold, as well as Friend of my Hea
More about Judith Clarke...

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