Author: Kristin Hannah
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Publication Date: February 2, 2021
Book Description: From the number-one bestselling author of The Nightingale and The Great Alone comes a powerful American epic about love and heroism and hope, set during the Great Depression, a time when the country was in crisis and at war with itself, when millions were out of work and even the land seemed to have turned against them.
“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 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.
Rating: 5 Stars
Review: Kristin Hannah is one of my go to authors, and it seems with every book she writes, her writing just gets better and better. In Hannah’s newest novel, she takes us on a journey to Texas and California during the Great Depression.
We meet Elsa when life in Texas was going well. The people in her town were very prosperous. Her parents term her as unmarriagiable, and she is expected to stay home and care for her parents as they age. She ends up meeting a man, and she becomes pregnant. After her parents find out, she is left on the man’s doorstop never to hear from them again.
Elsa has two kids and builds a beautiful relationship with her in-laws. As we approach the Great Depression a drought hits Texas like no other. Her husband ends up leaving the family and Elsa is forced to make a hard decision and move to California to save her family.
This story was beautiful and heartbreaking about a woman who would do anything for her family. Hannah does not shy away from anything, which I really appreciate in her story telling. This is not an easy story to read, but I felt fortunate to have read this. Hannah, writes about a topic that is often not written about, and it was so enlightening. Simply…go and read this one, it is worth all the hype.
Thank you NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.