The Four Winds

The Four Winds

Book - 2021 | First U.S. edition
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""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."--Amazon.
Publisher: New York : St. Martin's Press, 2021
Edition: First U.S. edition
Copyright Date: ©2021
ISBN: 9781250178602
Characteristics: 454 pages ; 25 cm
Alternative Title: 4 winds


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ECPubLibTechServices Jan 29, 2021

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 h... Read More »

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Apr 12, 2021

I enjoyed it very much. Another classic K.H. story. As a history buff, the background historical facts heightened the story for me of struggle, love, lost love, rediscovering love, discrimination, despair, determination, personal sacrifices and how one must survive to live. Elza and her relationship with her daughter, was fortifying regardless of the time period. The mother and daughter relationship fraught with age differences, expectations and then finding mutual understanding. Knowing her daughter and son were survivors because of their mother's strength and sacrifice make it even more than real. The many underlining themes, resonated with what is happening today, as we all attempt to survive through a pandemic, immigrant discrimination, societal and religious hate, all in one's attempt to 'live and survive'. I was not disappointed and many readers have their own opinions and relatability to this type of heroic and stoic story.

TSCPL_Miranda Apr 11, 2021

The Four Winds is the story of Elsa Martinelli, a farmer and mother who survives unimaginable hardships during the dust bowl era. Crops died and families were hungry. The dust was so thick that people wore gas masks, and many suffered or died from dust pneumonia. Elsa and her family face the choice that many families faced in that time: Would they stay with the family land and tough it out, or would they give up everything to start over out West?

This is not a happy book. It’s gritty. People and animals suffer. For many people, the dust bowl meant the loss of family, home, security, and their American dream. Landowners became migrant farmers, vulnerable to wealthy men who sought to exploit them for cheap labor. There is hope in this book, though, and it’s empowering to remember what our foremothers were able to overcome. We’re made of the same strong stuff, and we carry their stories, onward and upward.

Apr 08, 2021

Honestly, failed to see what’s the hype is all about. Passable and very depressing read, sometimes with forced type of situation. Not sure if we need more bleak topics on top of what we are going through right now.

Apr 06, 2021

I don’t see anyone commenting here on my favorite part of the book which is the relationship between Elsa and her daughter which I found very moving.

Apr 06, 2021

Kristin Hannah is a good story teller and the book is well written but I found The Four Winds terribly depressing. Of course the subject matter isn't a pleasant one but there was just one tragedy after another with no relief from the bad circumstances. I thought there would be a light at the end but except for the last few pages (literally!) it was 448 pages of heartbreak and misery. I appreciate the story is based on events that really happened but if I had known the book was nothing but a long saga about a beaten down woman I would have passed.

Apr 06, 2021

I was very disappointed in this book. The first 200 hundred pages described the hard life during the dust bowl in Texas, The next 200 pages describe how hard life is in California as a migrant. This book needed a good editor! Also the ending is very abrupt and disappointing. There are better books written about life in the dust bowl era!!!

Apr 06, 2021

Yes, this book is tragically sad, but Elsa's ordeal actually happened to most who traversed our great country in search of a better life. Most of our social programs came out of the the depression. The Federal Minimum wage was enacted in 1938. Social Security in 1935 and that act pressured the states to have unemployment insurance. I love happy endings and truly hoped for one, but this book is real and raw and relevant to not only what Americans have gone through in the past year with the pandemic, but also what migrants to this country continually go through, desperately searching for a better life, only to be treated as subhuman. This is an important book. Corporate greed is still alive and well today and this book is a good reminder to have compassion for those trying to work and live under unfair rules.

Apr 06, 2021

MAJOR SPOILERS included, so don't read if you don't like spoilers.

First, the good:

1-I LOVED that it takes place in my home state of Texas and now I want to visit Dalhart and Lonesome Tree, two cities that I don't believe I've ever been to before-and that's saying a lot considering I was born and raised in the Lone Star State.

2-I loved every character, even those who weren't that likable.

3-I was swept up in the story from the beginning and the fact that I read a 460+ page book in 8 days speaks volumes (pun intended), because I think this is the first time that has happened.

4-I appreciated that there was very little swearing, and it seems like there's a lot less here than in her previous books. A story can be told without excessive swearing. I admit that her previous books had a little too much for me so I'm glad to see that it's been toned down.

5-Kristin Hannah writes so beautifully that I could literally picture everything that was going on through the whole book. Some of it was frightening and I found myself gasping along with the characters, as though I was in the story as well.

6-There was far less graphic descriptions and gore in this book than in previous ones. The Nightingale and The Great Alone made me cringe at times in terms of the graphic descriptions. I have a weak stomach and I was glad that most of the stuff was left to the reader's imagination.

Now the bad:

1-I didn't like the way the story turned when they set off for California. But I knew that when it happened halfway through the book that it wasn't going to be a fairy tale. I was kind of disappointed about the fact that they had even more hardships in California because it was supposed to be a better life for them. I know that's the way it was intended and I'm sure that it was that way for thousands of people in that era but it's not really what I was hoping for.

2-I liked the character of Jack (somewhat), but he really wasn't that appealing. I liked that he was so intent on helping Loreda, Ant and Elsa but I didn't care for the way they kept referring to him as a Communist or the whole "worker's rights" and the strike and all that. I found myself skimming over some of it, hoping to get back to the way the story was in the beginning.

3-Early in the book Rafe leaves his family and is never heard from or seen again. I was really hoping that they would reunite somewhere in California to give some closure at least for Loreda and Ant. It left me with a feeling of unease, since Rafe was literally the one who changed Elsa's life by becoming the father of her children. He seemed like a good guy and I really felt sorry for him. He was so upset and IMO that's why he left b/c he couldn't take it anymore. But I have a hard time believing that he left out of spite. Honestly it would have been interesting to see what ha happened to him. It's really disappointing not knowing.

4-Speaking of disappointing... OMG, the ending. I was NOT at all prepared for Elas's death! The only other book I can remember a main character dying in was "Firefly Lane" but that was kind of expected given the storyline. This was tragic. She'd finally found happiness and although they didn't really seem all that better off than they were before, but still... Just really depressing after all she'd been through, she deserved happiness the most.

5-While we're on the subject of Elsa, I need to talk about her relationship with Jack. He didn't appear until late in the book and I just didn't think that the relationship was developed enough to be believable. This is why I wish that they would have brought Rafe back and had them reunite. I cared more about him than I did about Jack, who honestly came across as an unlikable character.

In all fairness I do have an interest in reading more about this era, so that says a lot about her writing, because I'm not usually interested in history and the like.

Apr 05, 2021

Love this book!
Sometimes I just stop in the middle of the day to reflect. Not only a wonderful story that stirs your heart but makes you think of the future.

Apr 05, 2021

Boring...gave up after 20pgs.

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