Summary: 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.
Genre: historical fiction
Rating: 3.5/5 stars
When I was in grade school I read a book about a girl surviving the Dust Bowl era, and I hated that book so much that I swore off any interest in that specific period again (and yes, that includes never reading The Grapes of Wrath, much to my husband’s dismay). In May, I picked up The Four Winds as my birthday bonus pick for Book of the Month. I’d heard so many good things about it, was vaguely familiar with Hannah’s work, and figured 20+ years was enough to get over any negative feelings I had about that part of history.
So why the average rating? Here’s the thing. Kristin Hannah is a beautiful writer. She knows how to create intricate characters and tug at your heartstrings and maybe even make you cry a little bit. But the Dust Bowl is still an extremely dull, depressing topic. I loved all of the characters, I felt their grief and heartache alongside them. I was rooting for Elsa and her family throughout the novel, but I had this constant niggling thought that just maybe this book could have been about half the length and still gotten the point across.Continue reading “Review: The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah”