"Okinawa 9/11 - Six Lives Breaking Symmetry" is Carlene Sobrino Bonnivier's third novel. She began writing it in Okinawa at 10:45 PM (9:45 A.M. in New York) on 9/11/2001. Typhoon Nari had just left 500 people dead, mostly in mud slides, in the Philippines and was headed full force to Okinawa. Hannah, the main character in the story, turned on the Armed Forces Television Network news. It started at 10:30 PM. She was a few minutes late, but she knew they'd announce the status of Typhoon Nari throughout the broadcast. The ...
"Okinawa 9/11 - Six Lives Breaking Symmetry" is Carlene Sobrino Bonnivier's third novel. She began writing it in Okinawa at 10:45 PM (9:45 A.M. in New York) on 9/11/2001. Typhoon Nari had just left 500 people dead, mostly in mud slides, in the Philippines and was headed full force to Okinawa. Hannah, the main character in the story, turned on the Armed Forces Television Network news. It started at 10:30 PM. She was a few minutes late, but she knew they'd announce the status of Typhoon Nari throughout the broadcast. The Island might already be in lockdown. Probably there wouldn't be school the next day. What she saw and heard, in addition to the alarming news about the typhoon was, at first, incomprehensible: "She looked back at the screen, and words appeared that she couldn't take in, couldn't make sense of, about a plane crash and...was it...the World Trade Organization? The words ran across the bottom of the monitor again, superimposed over the status of the typhoon and she could see, underneath the moving script, that the status of the typhoon had changed to TC-1. Still she didn't feel any difference in the atmosphere and could see nothing had changed outside her window at all. She looked back and tried to read the moving words, but they still didn't make sense, so she said them out loud, hoping that would help her catch their meaning: 'CBS News Live Coverage - Planes Crash into World Trade Center.' "Was it some kind of programming mistake? An action movie. It has to be an action movie. Then she heard the typhoon, the winds, flying up the hill, howling. 'It's here, ' she said." The story takes place the day before the planes crashed into the Towers, the day it happened, and the day after. Within a 72 hour period, the lives of six characters and their relationships with each other (and even with themselves) are changed irrevocably. They are: Felipe, a Marine Gunnery Sargent whose heart is ruled by his Okinawan girlfriend, Tomiko; an American Chaplain (Father George) fighting doubts of faith and his severe dislike of Tomiko; Kinjo, an Okinawan, who is training to break the National bench press record; Hannah, an American teacher who is Kinjo's tenant; and Ye Kwan, Hannah's favorite student, a Korean girl, who is being adopted by an American Air Force Captain. There are force fields at work in Okinawa that spring from ancient traditions and beliefs, from the 200 mile per hour winds hurling toward the Island, but these forces are nothing compared to the magnitude, the mercilessly clear understanding, that a few men with not much money and even less military power were able to do terrible harm to the people of the United States of America. A paradigm of power has twisted and turned and whipped the world into an undeniable and completely unacceptable reality. There would have to be a response, a sane and sensible response to the incomprehensible. Disbelief, paralysis, terror. New tactics and strategies would have to be established, immediately, but what could they be? Everything had changed. The lives of thousands of people, even those who are no where near the epi-center, are also changed, irrevocably, by this now obviously vulnerable world. The six people in "Okinawa 9/11" find they can no longer depend on their old ideas, their usual behavior. Nothing is predictable anymore.
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