Three Views of Crystal Water

Three Views of Crystal Water

  • Harper Collins, 2005

On a rainy afternoon in 1934, young Vera Lowinger Drew waits at a Vancouver port for her grandfather's ship to dock. The motherless girl is the last of a pearling dynasty, and for generations, the men in her family—consumed by the promise of fortune—have abandoned their women to plunder riches on the ocean floors of the South Seas . But today, James Lowinger comes ashore for what is supposed to be the last time—with a young Japanese woman on his arm.

Fate brings Vera back into the dangerous and beautiful world of the pearl on the shores of a small Japanese island. There, Vera comes to womanhood among the ama , women divers who teach her their secret art. But when war turns her friends into “the enemy,” she is forced to leave her island home and return to the safety of Canada , abandoning the sisterhood of the ama and the possibility of love.

Three Views of Crystal Water comes alive with emotional and historical depth to illuminate both our desire to possess and our need to belong.


“Govier manages to capture all the allure and magnetism of those elusive ukiyo-e depictions, with masterful storytelling and lyrical, elegant prose; weaves her story beautifully…with a grace that is not unlike that of the ama diving women… Three Views of Crystal Water is one of those rare works of fiction that carve a permanent place in one's psyche and one's heart.”— Apis Teicher, Pacific Rim Review of Books

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