The Four Winds - Kristin Hannah

The Four Winds

By Kristin Hannah

  • Release Date: 2021-02-02
  • Genre: Fiction & Literature
Score: 4.5
From 9,586 Ratings


"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.


  • Greatness

    By Starcatcher667
    Heart wrenching read but such a joy
  • A life of struggle

    By kkregle
    I kept reading and waiting for Elsa’s life to get better. Mired in so much misery and despair. It left me unsettled. A do very sad…
  • Beautifully written story but no fairytale ending

    By mbarfi
    I have heard such wonderful things about the author and my book club decided we’d tackle this thick tome. The story of this woman’s life is incredibly compelling and paints a bleak picture of life for women in the Great Depression and into the Dust Bowl. As a native Texan who drives through this tiny town every other year (headed to Colorado), I was intrigued to read about the town during its time of prosperity. But the life of a woman who’s always been told she’s unlovable is a tough road. I still encourage you to dive in & swim to the finish, if only to see what those days required of a brave woman.
  • Incredible

    By pink dreams
    Hooked me from the first page and I couldn’t let go till the end. Another great story by this great author.
  • As good as The Nightingale!

    By PC181
    I thoroughly loved this book! Even though I cried through a lot of it!
  • Refreshing and enlightening

    By Butterfly120c
    The 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.
  • Just okay.

    By ashendaze
    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.
  • Great read you won’t soon forget

    By MissRx929
    I 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.
  • Good insight into the dust bowl

    By frijolititos
    This 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.
  • Okay

    By Bitcheslove$
    I 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.