In all fairness, I might not be the most impartial reviewer...I've always loved everything Kristin Hannah writes, and The Four Winds was no different.
Similar to other books she's written, the theme of women facing challenging times and finding a way to survive is central. "The Four Winds" specifically explores the devastating impact of the dust bowl era on Elsa Martinelli and her family. Before reading this book, I had a limited understanding of the dust bowl and Great Depression in this context, but through Elsa's story, I gained a deeper appreciation for the horrors people endured. I was captivated by her story from the first page, and know The Four Winds will be one of those books that sticks with me for a long time.
An interesting, engaging, and well-written novel. Brings the time period to life on the page. Good characters. My first Hannah novel, and it won’t be my last.
I like this one better than The Great Alone, but not nearly as much as The Nightingale. Nightingale can never be topped, EVER.
Kristin Hannah books never seem to disappoint and Four Winds is no exception. While there can be a lot of detail and overly descriptive filler content that can sometimes seem to slow the story down the imagery and story telling is beautifully written.
This is a heart wrenching book about the dust bowl time. Decisions to make, where to go, what to do, how to make it. Kristin Hannah definitely knows how to pull at your heart when it comes to writing a book. Highly recommend this and any other book off hers
This was an amazing book. Set in Alaska around the time of the Vietnam War, it shows the struggles of a girl who is dealing with an unhappy home and her father's struggles with the aftermath of his service.
Hannah's writing is brilliant. She paints the desolation of their isolated home with bleakness, yet the book is not without hope. Her characters, as always, are true to life and read it is like being there in the room, watching it all happen.
Not my favorite Kristin Hannah (that's Firefly Lane), but a good book that was compelling.
What would you do for love?
I feel like this is the big question being asked throughout the whole of this book. I loved Elsa as a character and all of the ups and downs that we follow her through. Hannah did an amazing job in making the atmosphere of life during the years of the "Dust Bowl" come to life. I found every single character that we encounter on these pages interesting and to see how those years put a strain on so much of the country.
This is a story about a woman's love for her children and wanting to do what was best for them but having to fight tooth and nail to give them the bare necessities.
I would say for the last few chapters have some tissues near because I bawled the whole time.
Amazing read! Rich history that shined through in such a cohesive way along side the story of family, love and resilience.
This book felt like an emotional rollercoaster to me. I felt very quickly drawn in by the main character initially but then the pacing felt like it slowed down quite a bit after the first few chapters and I found it harder to like the main characters until farther down the line. The combination of the slower plot progression and feeling less connected to the characters made the second quarter of this book difficult to get through. Ultimately both the pacing and character development picked back up and I flew threw the second half of the book. The ending was beautifully put together and had me in tears. Having read a lot of Kristin Hannah's books, I would put this book in third behind The Great Alone and The Nightingale - still one of my top picks from her but not at the very top.
I really enjoy Hannah’s writing. I can tell she did a lot of extensive research on this one. At times it was hard to read because of the subject matter but I’m glad I stuck with it.
This is one of my top 5 all time favorite books. I did end up listening to this book on audio along with reading it - which I loved!
I also have never read a book during the dust bowl so it was a different read for me. But overall I really loved this book. I recommend it to anyone I can!
The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah is a stunning masterpiece that takes you on a journey through the harsh realities of life in Texas during the 1930s. Set against the backdrop of the Great Depression, the dust bowl, and the burning winds that destroyed everything in their path, this novel tells the story of Elsa Martinelli, an unremarkable woman who becomes a warrior in the face of adversity. The hardship, poverty, and prejudice that these poor farmers face are heart-wrenching to witness, but the message that love for one's family can survive everything shines through. The Four Winds is not an easy read, but it is an epic one that is beautifully written and will stay with you long after you turn the last page. Fans of Hannah's previous work like The Nightingale will likely enjoy this one just as much.
Elsa longs to be independent, to prove that she is stronger than her parents think, to live her life. Once she is out, married with children, drought hits – The Great Depression, the Dust Bowl. Now, she needs strength more than ever. Can she do what needs to be done to save her children, to save herself?
This story follows Elsa from her parents’ home to her husband’s and on to California, as she searches for a better life, or any life for her children. The first half to two-thirds of this move very slowly with much repetition, though it does include interesting historical details and situations. The final third is interesting, touching, and moves at a better pace.
I enjoyed this plot-driven book and the history was well researched. I would love to see another book like this that focuses on Mexican migrant workers. There was growth in the characters, even the ones I didn't like at the beginning. The ending was unexpected!
I started this over a year ago but the doom and gloom was SO depressing (and not in the ‘good’ way with books, if that makes sense) that I just could not force myself to finish it. I finally picked it back up just to get it off my list, but this time as an audiobook, and that actually made it a lot better. Whelan is one of my favorite narrators. However this is still my least favorite Kristin Hannah novel.
This historical novel offers a personalized view of the disastrous consequences of the Dust Bowl years. A personalized telling helps students understand the effects that events had on individuals at the time. Recommend!
This is a must read. I'm a Kristin Hannah loyalist, i haven't read a book of hers I did not enjoy, and as usual, this delivered. Her ability to tell these complex stories while weaving in history makes her a master at her craft. I always walk away learning something.. This book takes place during the Great Depression and Dust Bowl, a period of time I didn't know much about.
I loved Elsa and thought she was a strong woman, mother, friend and warrior. Reading her story really had me reflect on how we treat each other.
As usual, Kristin Hannah delivers a beautiful yet heart wrenching story. I highly recommend!
Many thanks to NetGalley and St Martins Press for allowing me to read this book in exchange for my honest review. Such a heart breaking story even though I really enjoyed it. I had not really given this time period much thought before and didn’t realize just how brutal it was. Although I was hoping for a more happy ending I am over all glad that I read this.
Kristin Hannah is one of my favorite authors. I have always been interested in the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression. Hannah's historical, nuanced world-building did not disappoint. This book stuck with me long after I finished. What a beautifully written, gritty tale for all history buffs to read!
This book was my favorite of Kristin Hannah's - the setting is one that I always go for and the language is beautiful. I added it to my classroom library.