WARNING: the following review contains spoilers. Read at your own risk!
You don’t really see many historical fiction novels about The Great Depression (at least I haven’t). Well, look no further! The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah is THE book to read about The Great Depression and Dust Bowl era.
“Texas, 1934. Millions are out of work and a drought has broken the Great Plains. Farmers are fighting to keep their land and their livelihoods as the crops are failing, the water is drying up, and dust threatens to bury them all. One of the darkest periods of the Great Depression, the Dust Bowl era, has arrived with a vengeance.
In this uncertain and dangerous time, Elsa Martinelli—like so many of her neighbors—must make an agonizing choice: fight for the land she loves or go west, to California, in search of a better life. 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.”
“Passion is a thunderstorm, there and gone. It nourishes, si, but it drowns, too.”
Read This If You Love…
- American history
- Powerful female characters
- A bittersweet ending
Gosh dang it, Kristin Hannah. Why do you need to kill your characters?
Honestly, I don’t know why I thought The Four Winds would be any different than The Nightingale. I was talking with another bookworm friend after finishing The Four Winds and we both agreed that when reading a novel by Kristin Hannah, you simply need to expect that someone will die.
When you look at reviews of The Four Winds on Goodreads, you’ll notice that there are a lot of mixed reviews. A lot of the reviews that are three stars or less complain about how depressing this book is.
Well, The Four Winds gets four out of five paws from me and I’ll tell you why.
Is the book depressing? Yes.
Was I surprised about it? No.
Y’all… It’s Kristin Hannah. She writes historical fiction novels that are unlike all the others. Also did you forget that this book takes place during The Great Depression? Anyone who knows anything about American history, and not just the things you learn in school, knows that there was so much suffering during this era. I personally think Kristin Hannah provided us with a real glimpse of what the Dust Bowl and Great Depression was like.
I love the characters Kristin Hannah creates: powerful females who stand up for what is right.
At first, I didn’t know if Elsa Martinelli would fall under the typical character that Kristin Hannah creates. At the beginning of the book, she didn’t seem like she would be the kind of woman to ever make a stand.
She evolves throughout the book and becomes a woman that all of us real-life woman should strive to be. Her daughter, Loreda, is even more fierce in my opinion. They are both forces to be reckoned with.
Ant, her son, was the comedic relief throughout the novel, proving that no matter the era, kids still say the funniest things.
Seriously, if you are in the mood for a historical fiction book that is not about World War II for once, go get The Four Winds. It was a beautiful story of bravery, love, and heartbreak.