Author: Kristin Hannah

Publication Date: February 2, 2021

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Book Description

My land tells its story if you listen. The story of our family.”

Texas, 1921. A time of abundance. The Great War is over, the bounty of the land is plentiful, and America is on the brink of a new and optimistic era. But for Elsa Wolcott, deemed too old to marry in a time when marriage is a woman’s only option, the future seems bleak. Until the night she meets Rafe Martinelli and decides to change the direction of her life. With her reputation in ruin, there is only one respectable choice: marriage to a man she barely knows.

By 1934, the world has changed; millions are out of work and drought has devastated the Great Plains. Farmers are fighting to keep their land and their livelihoods as crops fail and water dries up and the earth cracks open. Dust storms roll relentlessly across the plains. Everything on the Martinelli farm is dying, including Elsa’s tenuous marriage; each day is a desperate battle against nature and a fight to keep her children alive.

In this uncertain and perilous time, Elsa—like so many of her neighbors—must make an agonizing choice: fight for the land she loves or leave it behind and go west, to California, in search of a better life for her family.

The Four Winds is a rich, sweeping novel that stunningly brings to life the Great Depression and the people who lived through it—the harsh realities that divided us as a nation and the enduring battle between the haves and the have-nots. A testament to hope, resilience, and the strength of the human spirit to survive adversity, The Four Winds is an indelible portrait of America and the American dream, as seen through the eyes of one indomitable woman whose courage and sacrifice will come to define a generation.

Book Review

The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah is an excellent story about motherhood, family, friendship and overcoming hardships.

In 1921 in Texas, America is thriving but Elsa is too old to marry. One night she meets Rafe Martinelli, a younger man who is the first man to pay attention to her. Spending a few nights together results in Elsa’s parents disowning her and forcing her to marry a man she hardly knows.

A drought has devastated the Great Plains in 1931. The Martinellis farm is struggling along with all the farms in the area. There are dust storms all the time and no projection for when things will be better. Many of the Martinelli’s neighbors are moving west where they are told jobs are plentiful. Elsa has to decide if she will stay and struggle with the land she loves or move to California to the unknown with the hope of a better life. What will Elsa choose? How will Elsa’s choices affect her family?

I loved The Four Winds. The Four Winds is an excellent story and told well. I am a big fan of Kristin Hannah and The Four Winds lived up to my high expectations. Elsa is a wonderful character. She would do anything for her family even when they don’t appreciate it. Elsa grew up with a family that didn’t love her. Then she married into a family that didn’t want her that became the family she always wanted. The relationship Elsa has with her in-laws is what she always wished she had with her parents. Elsa is not happy in her marriage and doesn’t know how to fix it. She loves Rafe so much but he has never felt the same way about her. Elsa struggles so much through the book but doesn’t let anything keep her from fighting for a better life for her family. Loreda, Elsa’s teenage daughter, is very difficult and constantly frustrated with her mother. Elsa’s son, Ant, has health problems that make Elsa’s decision to stay or leave more difficult. Elsa has never really had friends but makes a true friend in an unexpected place. I highly recommend The Four Winds.

Thank you St. Matin’s Press and NetGalley for The Four Winds.

About the Author

Kristin Hannah is an award-winning and bestselling author of more than 20 novels including the international blockbuster, The Nightingale, Winter GardenNight Road, and Firefly Lane.

Her novel, The Nightingale, has been published in 43 languages and is currently in movie production at TriStar Pictures, which also optioned her novel, The Great Alone. Her novel, Home Front has been optioned for film by 1492 Films (produced the Oscar-nominated The Help) with Chris Columbus attached to direct.

Kristin is a former-lawyer-turned writer who lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband. Her novel, Firefly Lane, became a runaway bestseller in 2009, a touchstone novel that brought women together, and The Nightingale, in 2015 was voted a best book of the year by Amazon, Buzzfeed, iTunes, Library JournalPasteThe Wall Street Journal and The Week.  Additionally, the novel won the coveted Goodreads and People’s Choice Awards. The audiobook of The Nightingale won the Audiobook of the Year Award in the fiction category.

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11 thoughts on “Book Review: The Four Winds

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