19 December 2020

The Four Winds


By Kristin Hannah
Literary Fiction | Historical Fiction

My Review

A 2020 Top Rated Read

What a fantastic read! I truly feel as though I've been on an epic journey with an incredibly resilient woman, Elsa, and her children. Never before have I experienced such a powerful surge of emotion. It was simply fabulous.

The story takes place during the 1930s and begins in Texas in the wake of the Stock Market Crash and Great Depression. Rejected by her own affluent family, Elsa longs to feel loved and accepted. She falls pregnant and marries Rafe, the son of Italian immigrant farmers. Forming a strong bond with her in-laws, she moves to the farm and works hard on the land. When an unrelenting drought destroys everything they've strived for, the local community is pushed further into poverty and decline. Difficult life-changing decisions must be made.

I was so impressed with this book. The writing is extremely powerful and moving. I went into it with an open mind not having read any of the author's other books. The story is bleak and heart-wrenching — nothing can prepare you for the extreme hardships and prejudices that follow. The sheer struggle for survival is immense and endless. Yet there are glimpses of joyousness and camaraderie.

As the book comes full circle it leaves you with a profound feeling of having read something wonderful. I was weeping buckets yet full of hope for what was left unsaid. An outstanding read.     

Book Source: Review copy from the publisher
My Rating ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 

Print length: 464 pages
Publisher: Macmillan (2nd Feb 2021)

The Blurb

She will discover the best of herself in the worst of times . . .

Texas, 1934. Elsa Martinelli had finally found the life she’d yearned for. A family, a home and a livelihood on a farm on the Great Plains. But when drought threatens all she and her community hold dear, Elsa’s world is shattered to the winds.

Fearful of the future, when Elsa wakes to find her husband has fled, she is forced to make the most agonizing decision of her life. Fight for the land she loves or take her beloved children, Loreda and Ant, west to California in search of a better life. Will it be the land of milk and honey? Or will their experience challenge every ounce of strength they possess?

From the overriding love of a mother for her child, the value of female friendship and the ability to love again – against all odds, Elsa’s incredible journey is a story of survival, hope and what we do for the ones we love.

The Author

Kristin Hannah is an award-winning and bestselling author of more than 20 novels including the international blockbuster, The Nightingale, Winter Garden, Night 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 Journal, Paste, The 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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