The Four Winds

The Four Winds

A Novel

eBook - 2021
Average Rating:
Rate this:
One of "2021's Most Highly Anticipated New Books"— Newsweek One of "27 of 2021's Most Anticipated Historical Fiction Novels That Will Sweep You Away" — Oprah Magazine One of " The Most Anticipated Books of Winter 2021" — Parade One of the "Books Everyone Will Talk About in 2021" — PopSugar One of " The 57 Most Anticipated Books Of 2021" — Elle One of "32 Great Books To Start Off Your New Year" —Refinery29 One of "25 of the Best Books Arriving in 2021" —BookBub One of "The 21 Best Books of 2021 for Working Moms" — Working Mother One of "The Most Anticipated Winter Books That Will Keep You Cozy All Season Long" — Stylecaster One of the "Most Anticipated Books of 2021" — Frolic " 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 "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 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.
Publisher: 2021
ISBN: 9781250178626
Characteristics: 1 online resource

Related Resources


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
WPL_Jaclyn Mar 04, 2021

Kristin Hannah offers readers another enthralling story with The Four Winds, following Elsa and her teenage daughter, Loreda, through the trials and suffering of the Great Depression and Dust Bowl. What I loved about this book was that Hannah gives readers the lived experience of these historical events; for me, it's experiencing the past through the eyes of characters that makes historical fiction such a powerful genre. I also loved the relationship between Elsa and Loreda - mother-daughter relationships are always complicated and this was such a compelling piece of the novel. Lastly, despite the fact that Elsa is in her late thirties for the bulk of this novel, I loved that this was a bit of a coming of age novel for her. Elsa had a rough start in life and following her personal journey was a wonderful addition to this detailed novel. Perfect for fans of survival stories and character-driven historical fiction.

Feb 25, 2021

One of my favorite books is "The Nightingale" by Kristin Hannah. This latest title and the other two by her which I've read, "The Great Alone" and "The Winter Garden" do not live up to that previous work. There are commonalities in these three unsatisfying books. Each centers on a woman under duress who eventually discovers her strength and her voice which is satisfying, but all of them also devote much of the book to extreme environmental conditions and unimaginably harsh weather. It gets monotonous. I hope Hannah finds some new themes to write about. The book is timely and compelling, once you pick it up, but not the kind of book that calls to you all day. I still prefer "The Grapes of Wrath" for a commentary on the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl in the 1930's.

Feb 21, 2021

This was heartbreaking, informative, exhausting, and inspiring. All in the best ways.

When asked, I always say that the 1930’s are one of my favorite historical eras to read about in fiction (as well as nonfiction) and this book embodied so much of why that’s true. The hardships, tenaciousness of spirit, and sacrifices spoke boldly of what Americans endured during that time. It also spoke to tragedy, classism, and fear. Hannah didn't hold back from revealing the worst in people, but she also revealed some of the best like the main protagonist and those she worked alongside. I loved Elsa and her work ethic, as well as her desire to persevere for the sake of her children. Four Winds wasn't a light and breezy read, but it was captivating and emotionally moving. Like many others that I have read about this era, it will stick with me.

Feb 15, 2021

After coming off of The Great Alone (so, so, good!), this book was a bit of a let down. The historical aspect of the Dust Bowl, The Great Depression, and the westward movement of so many mid-westerners was a new area of historical fiction that I had not read before, so that was an eye-opener. The author does a great job of capturing the devastation and the fear of that time in history. Even though I longed to get back into the story each day, and I finished the over 400 pages in a week, I was left wanting more. It is worth the read but for those that are a fan of some of Hannah's more popular works, you might be a little disappointed.

Feb 15, 2021

I’m a little conflicted with whether I really liked this book. There were times it just went on and on and on.
Then the ending felt rushed.

Feb 11, 2021

This is a total plagiarism of The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck, which won The Pulitzer Prize. How can the publishing industry and this library push this stolen story on us, when Steinbeck did it infinitely better than this author ever could?

Feb 09, 2021

The most depressing book I ever read. I thought it was, at first, just to set the scene of how terrible the dust bowl days were, but it went on and on and on through the whole book with the same intensity as "The Great Alone". My grandparents and parents lived through those days, and they told some heart-wrenching stories too, but not with so much drama.

Feb 09, 2021

This books describes the misery of the dust bowl years in page after page of detail. I’ve heard of the dust bowl years, but didn’t realize just how hopeless it was for the Greatest Generation. I also didn’t know that hundreds of thousands went west towards California looking for a better life, much like the pioneers a hundred years before them.
The first half of this book is Elsa and her family trying to survive on a Midwest farm that has become dry and barren. The 2nd half is what they endure as migrant workers in California. This is not a feel-good story, but a story of the strength of spirit needed to keep going when life keeps knocking you down over and over again.

Feb 08, 2021

What a fantastic book. The dust storms were worse than what I knew of them and were described so vividly I could taste the dirt in my mouth. I loved Elsa and her children who were brave, but often beaten down by Nature in all her fury. This book is a Must Read.

Feb 03, 2021

Couldn't wait for this book and I bought it and read it. Should have waited.

View All Comments


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further


Subject Headings


Find it at TCCL

To Top