TITLE/AUTHOR: The Four Winds; Kristin Hannah
PUBLISHER: St. Martin's Press
YEAR PUBLISHED: 2021
GENRE: Fiction / Historical
FORMAT: print /LENGTH: 451 pp.
SETTING(s): Texas and CA
ONE SENTENCE SUMMARY: A heartbreaking story of a mother's desperate attempts to provide for her children.
BRIEF REVIEW: Elsa Martinelli was born into a wealthy family but had never felt loved until she became a mother herself. Living with her husband and in-laws on a large farm in the Great Plains of Texas, she loves her life and her in-laws who are hard working farmers. However, when a prolonged drought makes farming impossible and her husband up and leaves, she feels she must forget her fears and change her current situation to provide for her children. As things become more desperate Elsa, Loreda and Anthony (Ant) leave her in-laws farm with an old truck, a tank full of gas, minimal possessions and supplies and a very little cash. They head for California in hopes of finding work. The journey leads them into a variety of terrible circumstances for which they were not prepared.
The Four Winds is such beautifully written piece of historical fiction about the period 1920-1940. It is also a tragic story about a time when nearly 100,000 people headed for CA in just over a year with everyone hoping for a better life. The author does an amazing job depicting the terrible situations which lead to the Great Depression. With well-rounded characters, it's a story that will make many readers both angry and sad. Everything about the story made me feel what the characters were experiencing: the setting, the dust storms, lack of food, medical services and even basic supplies but, especially the desperation of Elsa and the love for her children in the midst of adversity. A very sad story but, one that I will never forget.
RATING: 5/5 stars
"I see one-third of a nation of ill-housed, ill-clad, ill-nourished...The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little. (1934 - Franklin D. Roosevelt)
"She learned how to disappear in place long ago. She was like one of those animals whose defense mechanism is to blend into the landscape and become invisible. It was her way of dealing with rejection: Say nothing and disappear. Never fight back. If she remained quiet enough, people eventually forgot she was there and left her alone."
"Books had always been her solace; novels gave her the space to be bold, brave, beautiful, if only in her imagination."
"The world can be changed by a handful of courageous people. Today we fight on behalf of those who are afraid."
Wow, this sounds amazing despite being a book I probably wouldn't naturally pick up. If I see it in the library I definitely will.ReplyDelete
This is one of those books I wanted to drag out as the story was so good.Delete
This book is getting so much hype, I hope it's as good as everyone says. I have it on audio and will listen in the next few months. Glad to see you gave it a 5-star rating! Thanks for sharing those quotes.ReplyDelete
Les, I bet the audio will be good. Great narrator.Delete
I have this one waiting for me!ReplyDelete
Oh good, hope you enjoy it.Delete
I loved this book and have recommended it to numerous people.ReplyDelete
Such a sad but excellent story.Delete
This one is on a list of possibilities for my Bookie Babes book club. We vote this coming Monday.ReplyDelete
Judy, This is a sad, depressing read. I found myself feeling like I did when I read, A Little Life - It was wonderful but I had to read it very slow.Delete
Ohhh I'm so glad you loved this one. I have my copy sitting on my TBR shelf, so definitely going to bump it up.ReplyDelete
I hope you will enjoy it as much as I did.Delete
My library just had this as a bonus 7-day loan and I got it... just hope I can finish in time!ReplyDelete
I read this in smaller doses as it is sad but I loved the story.Delete
I saw this available at the library yesterday (lucky find) and almost borrowed it but since I didn't expect to start or finish it soon, I passed. Maybe I should put it on hold. Beautiful review. I will struggle with it being a sad story but it sounds like a beautiful book that must be read.ReplyDelete
I hope you do try this one at some point. Loved it so much.Delete
This is a time period that intrigues me. I have a copy, but haven't read it yet, so I'm glad you gave it such a high recommendation!ReplyDelete
Beautiful writing and although it's sad I ws so happy I read it.Delete
I've not read Hannah before so I was mildly interested in this one but 5 out of 5? I gotta read it.ReplyDelete
It's really a sad story but I loved the writing and the characters.Delete
Wow quite a rave, but it does sound like a sad one. I'll have to be ready before picking it up. I did read The Nightingale .... and liked it all right.ReplyDelete