The Four WindsKristin Hannah

The Four Winds

4.5 star

Total 9,266 Ratings

The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah Book Summary

"The Bestselling Hardcover Novel of the Year."--Publishers Weekly

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.

The Four Winds (Kristin Hannah) Book Reviews

A Must ReadEnthralling. I could not put this book down. Read for hours. Thanks.Score: 5/5

WarriorThis book moved me in so many ways. Tingles through my body , smiling from laughter and tears of sadness. Great read. I highly recommend this book..Score: 5/5

Four WindsThe rushed heroic ending didn’t match or makeup for the countless pages of despair and tragedy of a true American story. Big disappointment..Score: 2/5

Good book!Moves faster than the plot summary suggested..Score: 4/5

MediocreDefinitely not my favorite of hers. Slow. And very political..Score: 3/5

BeautifulI originally put off reading this book because I just knew I wouldn’t like it but I was so wrong. This book is amazing! I highly suggest it!.Score: 5/5

AwesomenessI LOVED this book. It made me laugh, thinking of motherhood. And also made cry thinking of people I have lost. Great read!!! Highly recommend.Score: 5/5

Great readI only gave it a four because it took a while to take hold of me. But when it finally did I couldn’t put it down..Score: 4/5

ExcellentGreat historical fiction piece.Score: 5/5

The Four WindsEasy informative read. The characters and their struggles moved me at times..Score: 4/5

Great read you won’t soon forgetI read this a few months ago and have read several books since. Somehow I keep thinking of the characters in this book. Hannah does a great job with character development and this book really displays that skill. Great read..Score: 5/5

The Four windsLoved it, learned from it and the story while depression era, is timeless..Score: 5/5

Too repetitiveGood story but too repetitive. Not my favorite..Score: 2/5

She does it againIf you loved the nightingale you’ll love this as well!.Score: 3/5

Such a great bookThe depth of this book is indescribable. The characters, the time period, historical references, the character growth and relationship growths. Just so good, recommend it!.Score: 5/5

Best of Kristin HannahI absolutely loved this book and couldn’t put it down. I cried with the characters and bawled at the ending. I didn’t think I could like a book more than The Nightengale but The Four Winds is my new favorite!!!.Score: 5/5

You have to read this book!!!This is the best book I have read in years and I am an avid reader!! Absolutely loved it! The plot keeps you hanging on and you just can’t put it down. It’s so easy to get attached to the characters, I found myself paging ahead at times because I was so worried for them. What was going to happen next?! I don’t often read books twice but this one might be the exception. I highly recommend this book!!!.Score: 5/5

The Four WindsWonderful book! As a mother, it described the love for my children perfectly..Score: 5/5

TG RdMy Grandparents and Parents lived through the Depression. It carved a deep cut in their souls, but the persevered. Parts of this story tore at my heart, but I am glad I read it..Score: 5/5

An incredible novel!Well done Kristin Hannah! You took me back to the 1930’s. The parallels with our current crisis went straight to my heart. Thank you!.Score: 5/5

Mediocre and predictablePremise of the novel is interesting. However, characters were one dimensional and the writing was mediocre at best. I advise readers to skip this one..Score: 3/5

PLEASE…Please… spare me the boring writing, the pathetic description of food cooked during a depression, sounding like it’s from an Italian restaurant, and the on and on, description of dust. PLEASE. I can’t finish this book..Score: 1/5

Suspenseful and deepThis book gives you an up close and personal perspective on the lives of the people who experienced the Great Depression through the 1930s. You read about women with true grit and strength and courage. Is it is real, is is raw, and it is amazing..Score: 5/5

A little dubious at first..Then I couldn’t put the book down!.Score: 5/5

WowPage turning, with an unbelievable sadness. I learned so much. Grateful for the read..Score: 5/5

Excellence!This book sucked me in and held me captive from start to finish. It was truly an excellent look at life during the dust bowl and the power of love and grit to survive anything..Score: 5/5

Would buy another book by this author!Read one afternoon while traveling across the country. It was very captivating and an eye opener about that time in U.S. history. I was, however, not a fan of the ending..Score: 4/5

Great bookWonderful book, cried many times. Amazing historical narrative.Score: 5/5

The Four WindsI loved every page..Score: 5/5

Hard passPossibly the most depressing book I’ve read ever. I forced myself to the end thinking that surely something good will happen. NOPE. Move along, folks..Score: 1/5

OMG , 53 year old male , best book ever!An absolute must read! I read 30+ novels a year and never comment..Score: 5/5

Great ReadFrom the first page to the last page, I was mesmerized reading about the life story of a strong woman who lived through the difficult history of America in the 30’s..Score: 5/5

Outstanding book!I am 74 years old and was born in western Oklahoma. I remember my grandparents talking about those horrible years. Outstanding book!!!.Score: 5/5

Refreshing and enlighteningThe way this story is weaved through history is beautifully written so well you can imagine the sights and smells. Kristen Hannah has captured a part of Americas past rarely if ever mentioned and brought it to life in a manner that will touch and change you..Score: 5/5

Touching storyYou can feel the characters’ heartache in all the issues they have to deal with. So beautifully written.Score: 5/5

Great bookA wonderful story that I couldn’t put down. Best book I have read in a long time..Score: 5/5

Well written…At the beginning, it was a crush of a lonely young and inexperienced woman… then it wasn’t. The passing of time was key to this story as was the settings, the Dust Bowl and the cotton fields of the promised land, California. The story between mother and daughter, husband and wife, migrant and “boss”… so intertwined and perfectly done too. Highly recommend this novel..Score: 5/5

I loved itI literally was afraid to start it cause I thought I would be bored by the subject but it’s my favorite book now. I loved it so much I gave it to my boyfriends mom to read..Score: 5/5

A must read….A deep and heart felt reading of a past history and its courage of its people for then and now..Score: 5/5

Good insight into the dust bowlThis is a great historical fiction book that gave me a better idea about how life was like for survivors of the dust bowl. I was confused at intimacy part in the beginning but it got better after. The main character is a strong headed woman willing to do anything for her kids. It did seem like everything that could go wrong did go wrong. I give it 4 stars because it kept me wanting to read and I learned something new..Score: 4/5

OkayI was a little weary to read this book because of the varying reviews. However, I didn’t hate it. It opened my eyes to the hardships faced by those during that era and made me feel grateful and blessed for all that I have. It is a bit of a slow read in my opinion. The ending broke my mama heart and I did shed a few tears. I feel as though some parts were very repetitive and some parts carried on for a little too long. All in all, it was an okay book and I’m not sure if I would recommend this one to anyone..Score: 3/5

Beautifully imagined!!I have read all of Kristin Hannah’s books and this is her best work❤️.Score: 5/5

Page turner.Really enjoyed everything about this book. Learned a lot about the dust bowl and how history continues to repeat itself..Score: 5/5

Finding a voice has never been so moving.Thoroughly engaging, real women are the backbone of Hannah’s works. The Four Winds brings the Dust Bowl era to life through Elsa & Loreda. Leaning into the challenges of the mother-daughter dynamic on multiple fronts, Hannah crafted a moving story of family, faith, love, loss, LIFE! Highly recommended..Score: 5/5

WonderfulWonderful ! Inspirational story of a mother who finds her strength to love and protect her family in a harsh rich man’s world that existed during the “dust bowl” and early wealthy landowner years and the poor field workers surviving on pennies a day….Score: 5/5

Just okay.I was surprised to see so many rave reviews about this book- I thought it was just okay. I love stories about characters surviving hardships, (books like White Oleander & The Glass Castle are some of my favorites.) So I thought I would really enjoy this. However, I was put off by the typical “insecure woman protagonist meets handsome hero & suddenly becomes empowered because he told her he thinks she’s beautiful!”trope. The characters felt flat & uninspiring. The last third of the book was really hard to get through, the plot point with the workers strikes just dragged on, it felt like I was reading the same scenes over & over for about 250 pages. The writing style was also just okay- a little too much melodrama for me. There was a lot of repetition in the writing, a lot of unnecessary adjectives- it felt like the author was picking words straight out of the thesaurus & just plugging them into each sentence, but it didn’t always work, & at times, the inconsistent narrative voice took me out of the story. I saw it through to the end but really skimmed through the last 70 pages or so. I wish it had been more impactful, but I wasn’t invested enough in the characters. I really wanted to love it, but it just wasn’t quite there for me..Score: 2/5

CaptivatingPowerful and moving with character development so deep that you feel their struggle, pain, courage and love..Score: 5/5

Four WindsI couldn’t put this book down. I felt like I was a migrant living during the terrible Dust Bowl trying to survive. My heart raced at thrilling points and I cried near the end. It was a fantastic read..Score: 5/5

Grapes of Wrath Knockoff with CodependenceThis book was just death and suffering, with a snotty teenaged daughter to boot. I was unable to empathize with a lead character who rebels suddenly and stupidly against her biological family “out of emotional desperation” only to get stuck with a drunk, a daughter she lets insult her at every turn, and oh, the Dust Bowl. Hundreds of pages of dirt, loss, and hopelessness. Finally I skipped to the last chapters just to end it..Score: 1/5

AmazingWooow the story is so compelling. I could not stop reading!.Score: 5/5

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Tough readNot as tough as living through those times. Day after day after day after day. Hardship only a mother could endure. Courage is not the absence of fear. Well written..Score: 5/5

Amazing!Wonderfully written with rich colorful characters. Gripping novel that shows the horrors of the great depression and the poverty that ensued from American greed. Another great novel by Kristin Hannah..Score: 5/5

Another Wonderful NovelThank you for another wonderful novel!! I couldn’t put this down and I was sad when I was nearing the end. Can’t wait for another!.Score: 5/5

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