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The Four Winds

The Four Winds

A Novel

eBook - 2021
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#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
#1 USA TODAY BESTSELLER
#1 WALL STREET JOURNAL BESTSELLER
#1 INDIE BESTSELLER
"The Four Winds seems eerily prescient in 2021 . . . Its message is galvanizing and hopeful: We are a nation of scrappy survivors. We've been in dire straits before; we will be again. Hold your people close."—The New York Times
"A spectacular tour de force that shines a spotlight on the indispensable but often overlooked role of Greatest Generation women."—People

"Through one woman's survival during the harsh and haunting Dust Bowl, master storyteller, Kristin Hannah, reminds us that the human heart and our Earth are as tough, yet as fragile, as a change in the wind."
Delia Owens, author of Where the Crawdads Sing
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 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.

Publisher: St. Martin's Publishing Group

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bschneidman
Jul 30, 2021

I loved the way the author slowly delved into the personalities and character of the 3 main women in the book, Elsa, Rose and Loreda. I learned a lot about what happened during the Texas drought and had no idea that migration to California in those days resulted in such horrific working and living conditions.

m
mlhadley1
Jul 29, 2021

Finished The Four Winds this week and really liked it. Was able to identify with Elsa and followed all of the troubles of her composite character. Really learned a lot more about the existance there in Texas and then when they came to California. A lot about the family, love, support, and heartache. Was an will written fiction that displayed the actual history.

t
theojones41
Jul 28, 2021

This author's books start out without much fanfare...i always think I'm not going to like her books because she doesn't delve too deeply into character or setting, but she IS a good story teller. Elsa, the main character here, is discarded by her own parents, who never loved her, when she falls for the first man to take any notice of her, and gets in trouble. Shotgun wedding, and she's now a farmer's wife living with her in laws in west Texas during the depression. The dustbowl days destroys their farm and the husband up and deserts them. So she and her 2 children set out for California, the land of milk and honey. But on arrival, life gets even worse for the migrants, who are hated and abused by california landowners. The struggle becomes political, as Elsa and her children must pick cotton to survive, and they are abused, controlled, and forced to live beholden to their employer, until they join a strike for fair treatment and living wages. I ended up really liking the book and thinking it had an important message to share about the history of our country, how we think about immigrants, and whether or not our capitalist system works for any
one, or just the rich and powerful. Very timely themes made this book a worthwhile read instead of just emotional fluff.

p
petyar32
Jul 26, 2021

Made Colleen cry

k
kwsmith
Jul 25, 2021

An impoverished single mother and her two young children migrate from Texas to California during the Great Depression. This moving tale about the strength and resilience of women emphasizes the importance of loving family relationships which can help us endure even the most difficult of times. The end of the book delves a bit too deeply into modern American politics which serves mostly as an unwelcome distraction from an otherwise entertaining and emotional historical story.

c
chris140
Jul 19, 2021

Great read.

j
jbf47
Jul 17, 2021

The poor man's Grapes of Wrath. The author is no Faulkner. I kept waiting for it to become interesting but it never did. Just a litany of woe. I admit I'm in the minority. But if you read books for the writing and structure of language as well as the story, this is not for you.

j
jessy067
Jul 14, 2021

Good Historical book. It is good!

b
Bevany
Jul 12, 2021

Difficult to put down once you get started. Hannah did her research on this book. You can practically taste the dirt in your lungs when she describes the dust storms. I can see this book becoming a classic in later years.

t
Theosgran411
Jul 12, 2021

Hannah is always is a great read but this book really brought the Dust Bowl to life with daily struggles in all areas of life. The ‘authors note’ at the end of the book brought it all into current day perspective as it was written May 2020! Great read😃

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Weezie5431
May 27, 2021

Depression Era Dust Bowl in Texas. Leave farm for California. leaving in-laws behind on farm. Horrible working conditions for migrant workers.

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