The Four WindsKristin Hannah

The Four Winds

4.5 star

Total 2,363 Ratings

The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah Book Summary


"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.

The Four Winds (Kristin Hannah) Book Reviews

Unlike her other booksThis was a disappointing read. Her other books are so good, this one drug on and on and never seems to get anywhere ..Score: 2/5

Four WindsIt’s a great book well written. I found it interesting and gave insight into into 1930s America , the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression..Score: 5/5

Pleasure to readVery moving.Score: 4/5

Sadly shallowWhile the underlying story was interesting, the character development was wanting. The constant description of Elsa’s lack of self worth was beyond tiresome. I have read several of the author’s earlier books. This one simply was not to the same standard..Score: 2/5

Story of hanged heartsThe book started slow but then it became impossible to put it down. I’ve read 90% of Kristin Hannah’s book she is one of my very favorite authors. This one is the best of them all and describes the very hard times of the Great Depression in a very vivid way. It’s like the author really lived it herself. Thank you Kristin Hannah for another gem. It always takes me so long to find another book after such a chef d’œuvre.Score: 5/5

Loved this book!!!I loved the book and all of the history that was put into it. The accuracy of the book and the times that were hard for many’s is amazing.Score: 5/5

Great story!Never give up is my take away from this book..Score: 5/5

Four WindsLoved this book. Have loved all her books. Story of bravery and strength, and most of all...a mother’s love for her children!.Score: 5/5

Such a powerful story. So well writtenThe details in the book make you feel like you’re there. So much history and hardship in this book..Score: 5/5

So thoughtful and thought provoking.Awful to think what we have been through at the hands of one another..Score: 5/5

Truly unputdownable!Written so beautifully, I could see, hear and taste every moment. One of my favorites of Kristin Hannah’s excellent novels..Score: 5/5

The Four WindsI never realized how bad it was. Beautifully written. I remember hearing my grandmother tell what it was like to be an “Arkie”..Score: 5/5

Very depressing and disappointingIt was not at all what I’m used to reading from her. The story dragged, very slow and depressing. There was nothing good or happy about this book..Score: 1/5

Greatest Generation never quit!This book was great, and the author was amazing to mix her fiction with stories that occurred during that time. Very disturbing what those people went through. But they were American people who stood up and kept fighting for survival..Score: 4/5

Never read the book...Never read the book. Had it waiting in what I thought was my library. I spent $14.95 for nothing. I read her “ ...Nightingale.” book I wanted to read another. I bought it before completing the book I was already reading. Why they or who ever hacked the book, please allow me to read the book..Score: 1/5

Don’t waste your time in this one!Least favorite book I have read of Kristen Hannah’s. I waited forever for this book to come out. It was so long and drawn out I found myself not even reading some pages. Terrible ending after all that u waited for to happen in the last 30 pages..Score: 3/5

Beautiful, sad, enlighteningI had no idea this happened in this era. To say that I was surprised would be a lie, but I am deeply saddened at these events and how cruel people can be. I love Kristin Hannah‘s books, and this is just one more to add to my list of favorite reads..Score: 5/5

Love Kristin Hannah but...This book is so depressing. With each page i was hoping for something good, something better and it never comes. I went to bed crying each night reading this story. In the midst of a pandemic, it is probably not the best read. Next year it may be better..Score: 3/5

The Four WindsLoved the story. You can envision the suffering, and feel the love Elsa had. KH never lets the reader down, thank you..Score: 5/5

Tedious and slow.This novel took forever to read. It could’ve been condensed by 2/3. Full of suffering and plight..Score: 2/5

The Four WindsI have read two of Kristin Hannah’s previous books and found her to be an extremely gifted writer. The Four Winds is also well written but a very depressing read until the end. Although I don’t know for certain, I suspect it is agenda driven since there are unmistakable parallels between the characters and illegal immigrants in this country today whom I suspect she supports strongly. Most disturbing is her apparent disdain for a capitalist economic system and embrace of Communism brought to life through some of her characters. As an obvious student of history, she is surely aware of the millions of people who have been oppressed and died under Communist regimes..Score: 2/5

A documentary disguised as a novelI wandered through 600 plus pages for even a hint of levity, of good cheer, of something positive and uplifting but none was to be found, only despair. I need to take a shower just to wash away the dust and grime..Score: 2/5

WowIt wasn’t the typical love story. One of the best books I have read! Thank you.Score: 5/5

TerrificLoved this book. Beautifully written..Score: 5/5

The Four WindsExcellent story! I was transported to the farm and the fields. I lived life as “an Okie” through Elsa, Jean and Loreda. The ending was a bit disappointing..Score: 4/5

Another Winner!Kristen Hannah never fails! This is a must-read! I literally finished the book and said “no!” because I wasn’t ready for the story to end... Shes an amazing author - her descriptions of time and place truly bring her tales to life. A great story!.Score: 5/5

A Touching TributeFor those of us who had parents and grandparents who lived through the depression, this book is a touching tribute to those warriors..Score: 4/5

I loved this book!I haven’t loved a book like this in a long while. I cried... and still I was so sad when it ended. Really good read!.Score: 5/5

CourageI’m very tired but I couldn’t stop to read it. It reminded me the time I came to America and made me think about today , the virus time. I loved the way the book is written , touching my heart . I have to admit I cried. In the straggle of women I sow myself. Well done! Thanks.Score: 5/5

MovingHannah moves me to tears in this breathtakingly beautiful novel. Feeling the hardship and struggle of this time poignantly through the eyes of a mother-daughter relationship and drawing the courage to face our own unthinkable present, this novel is worth the read. Can’t wait to see where you transport us to next!.Score: 5/5

10/10!!So emotional and empowering. Everyone should read this book!.Score: 5/5

The strength of a motherBeautifully written. Elsa’s pain, loss, strength, and courage are palpable to the reader. She defines the very essence of motherhood. This is a page-turner, simply could not put this book down..Score: 5/5

Riveting!This book pulls you in and depicts the challenges of our country in a way only Kristin Hannah can!.Score: 5/5

BoringI love her other books, but couldn’t finish this boring book. Blah blah blah for pages and pages.Score: 2/5

The Four WindsAnother astonishing work by Kristen Hannah. Every woman faced with diversity should learn that strength and endurance can impact families lives. We can all become warriors with compassion and grit. Barbara.Score: 5/5

It’s a grabber!Powerful and beautifully written. I couldn’t put it down..Score: 5/5

Predictable and flat characterizationFound this to be a flat read. Other authors have done much better with the subject matter..Score: 2/5

You cheated me!I paid to read this book. You say I finished-////- I never started the book!!!!!!!!!.Score: 1/5

I loved this book! 10 stars.I have not read a book in at least two years. I have been wanting to read and am so glad I picked this book. I could not put it down. Wonderfully written with so many lessons to take from these well written characters. I don’t know much about this author but I can’t wait to read more of her books..Score: 5/5

IncredibleAs always, an incredible read! The history is brought to life and the story engulfs your soul. My grandparents told very few stories of their time on the plains during the Dust Storms or of the Great Depression. They didn’t complain they just fought through. This book brought life to their struggle and the struggle of so many. Bravo!.Score: 5/5

OutstandingI have always been a warrior. Well, a survivor is the word that I used. I will change and use warrior now. This book is inspiring. The book also brings back memories of the times that I “fought” with my mother. I am so grateful for the time that I had with her to to talk, heal and love. She is with me everyday. Warrior..Score: 5/5

The Four WindsCan I leave zero stars? I have read Hannah’s last three books. The Four Winds started out strongly, and then quickly devolved into communist/socialist drivel with no aim or point. Just like The Great Alone, this book starts with a very strong premise, but the middle and end are rushed; and do not provide the necessary emotional reward to the emotional investment that the beginning requires..Score: 1/5

ExcellentSome of you reviewers need a history lesson. Grapes of wrath anyone?! Although this book is not based on a true story it is based on true events from American history. I love all of her books, and I was starting to drift on this book but stuck it out and before I knew it I was lost in it. I found myself doing anything I could to get to bed early to read, listen in my car or on my headphones at work when I was supposed to be watching training videos 😂. I spent a good part of this book angry at how the citizens of California treated their fellow Americans & in real life it never really got better for them. It was shocking but Kristen Hannah found a way to spin truth with story and form an excellent story that could serve as a wake up call to how we judge and treat each other these days!.Score: 5/5

Incredibly written!I was every character of this book and I felt their feelings and went through this novel in every perspective. Couldn’t stop reading it!❤️.Score: 5/5

Dust BowlIt is so important to read about how strong the human spirit is. It reminds and encourages us that we too, can be strong in the face of adversity. 2020 was horrible year for so many Americans, and it isn’t over..Score: 5/5

Promising but ended with political agenda.The story of the dust bowl was what had me intrigued, but halfway through it turned political and did not end with any redeeming qualities IMO. Depressing from start to finish with nothing to gain but, Communism is the answer? 🤦🏼‍♀️.Score: 3/5

CommunistBoring, communist babble..Score: 1/5

More global puppet drivelCommunism has arrived worldwide. I’d like to rewind way back before Bozos the clown supposedly started a bookstore in his garage (nonsense). True authors are in old leather bound books now..Score: 1/5

Could not put it downI didn’t want this one to end!.Score: 5/5

Couldn’t put it downHad me from the start. The beginning was a bit slow but finally progressed. The obstacles of the time made me realize some perspectives I have not thought about. Historical portion was well done. So sad at the end..Score: 5/5

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