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The Four Winds

4.35  ·  Rating details ·  201,288 ratings  ·  24,304 reviews
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
Hardcover, 464 pages
Published February 2nd 2021 by St. Martin's Press
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Kassy MacPherson I got an ARC from the publisher. They release arcs in order to get reviews and buzz about the book. I got my copy 2 months ago.
Charla Oppenlander I received an Advanced Readers Copy - I would assume that's the case for everyone who has reviewed it.…moreI received an Advanced Readers Copy - I would assume that's the case for everyone who has reviewed it.(less)

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Average rating 4.35  · 
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 ·  201,288 ratings  ·  24,304 reviews

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Feb 10, 2021 rated it it was ok
“The wind picked up, ruffled [Elsa’s] dress. She paused in beating the rug, sweat running down her face…and tented a hand over her eyes. Past the outhouse, a murky, urine-yellow haze burnished the sky. Elsa tilted her sun hat back, stared out at the sickly yellow horizon. Dust storm. The newest scourge of the Great Plains. The sky changed color, turned red-brown. Wind picked up, barreled across the farm from the south. A Russian thistle hit her in the face, tore the skin from her cheek. A tumble ...more
Emily May
Jan 27, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical, arc, 2021
A warrior believes in an end she can’t see and fights for it. A warrior never gives up. A warrior fights for those weaker than herself.
It sounds like motherhood to me.

Kristin Hannah's books seem to get pigeonholed as "women's fiction", whatever that means, but the three books I've read from her - The Nightingale, The Great Alone, and this one - have all been, for me, nothing short of survival stories.

The theme of women surviving impossible times runs through all three of the books I've read
Nilufer Ozmekik
Sep 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I think my eyes are bleeding. They cried themselves to death. They cannot function properly anymore.

My heart hurts. It is already broken. My tears drained. I cannot gather my emotions anymore because they’re at everywhere. This is real heart ripping, soul crushing and truly earth shattering, shaking you to the core reading experience!

Ms. Hannah did it again! She shattered my soul in tiny pieces and captured my heart as like she did with Nightingale, Great Alone, Firefly Lane. I turned into a hu
Oct 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley, favorites
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️

Forgive my indulgence by starting this review on a personal note, but as a child, my parents had a saying - “Never judge a person’s life story by the chapter you find them in”. It was said with kindness and concern for others’ misfortunes, and never was this more pertinent than in The Four Winds!

1930’s Texas, the dust bowl, the stock market crash, and for the farmers across The Great Plains, came burning winds that destroyed everything in their path, and a drought so fierce that it
Feb 02, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Four things you’ll want to do after finishing The Four Winds:

1. Drink a ginormous glass of water. Kristin Hannah has created such a vivid portrait of the American Dust Bowl in the 1930s that you can almost feel the dirt in the back of your throat. It’s hard to imagine the ground being so dry and the weather so ferocious that you could catch dust pneumonia, yet you’ll believe it after only a few pages.

2. Look up photos of the farmers and migrants of the era. You can probably close your eyes and
Angela M
Oct 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars
“Hope is a coin I carry: an American penny, given to me by a man I came to love. There were times in my journey when I felt as if that penny and the hope it represented were the only things that kept me going.”

Kristin Hannah has written a number of novels and I’ve read several. In my view, her strength lies in historical fiction. This novel depicting the trials of so many people in the Dust Bowl in Texas and other places during the 1930’s, and the Dust Bowl Migration, who endured the
Dec 27, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: arc
Kristin Hannah novels are so hit and miss for me.

For instance, I absolutely loved Night's probably one of my all-time favorite books. Yet, I really fecking hated the The Nightingale.

And here's why...

Every time I read Hannah's historical fiction, I end up feeling as though she researches like a mad woman, jots down every tragedy she can find during that time period, and then destroys her main character by making her suffer through every. single. calamity.

It's too much.

This book w
Mar 12, 2021 rated it it was amazing
whenever i think of the dust bowl era, i have traumatic flashbacks of reading ‘the grapes of wrath’ in high school. not the best experience, so ive kind of unintentionally avoided the topic ever since.

but im so glad i decided to give this a chance. i definitely connected more with the writing, the characters, and the overall story in this book.

what really got me was how much i empathised with elsa. im not a mother, but i found it remarkable just how fully i could understand the love she felt f
Oct 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is epic historical fiction from Kristin Hannah, a harrowing, tough and painful read of one of American history's darkest period, the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl, the tragedies, poverty, starvation, unemployment, the sacrifices made, set in Texas and California from the early 1920s up to WW2. It is impeccably well researched with all its excruciating details, an era seen through the eyes of a woman, a mother, and her family. The tall Elsinore or 'Elsa' has suffered poor health, is fro ...more
Kristen (kraysbookclub)
2.49863 stars. I’m sorry. But what wassss this that I just read??? This was legit Kristin Hannah on crack...the most depressing crack everrrr.

Listen- I love me a good cry. I rocked in a corner weeping after finishing The Nightingale for daysss. But this? The Four Winds was literally a master class in taking every bleak and sad and god awful thing that could possibly happen to you, and throwing it all in a book and hoping and praying that it would make you weep. It did not.

Set during The Great
This book was phenomenal. I cried my eyes out so hard, and I did a whole reading vlog dedicated to this book which you can see here: ...more
Dorie  - Cats&Books :)

I have read five of Ms. Hannah’s novels. I would give the read itself a 3* but the beautiful writing and the incredible research that went into this book definitely earns it a 4* rating.

This book was an incredibly depressing read. I felt so much for the characters that I really had to hold myself back from crying. Particularly when injustice after injustice was endured and things kept going from bad to worse. It made me wonder how much can a person really stand before their sp
This is a hard hitting historical fiction book. This is the third Kristin Hannah book I have read, and this is was not my favorite one. I really enjoyed this book a lot, and it was very well written like all the other Kristin Hannah books. Kristin Hannah books are not for the light hearted because they are hard hitting and goes into the dark parts of the subject the book is covering. This one takes place during the great depression it starts in Texas. I have to say the characters are well develo ...more
Mary Beth
Mar 09, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Many went west to search for a better life but their American dreams became nightmares by poverty, hardship and greed.
The past few years have been a time for things lost: jobs, homes and food. A man has to fight out there to make a living and women of The Great Plains worked from sun up to sun down too.
When they close their eyes they can still taste the dust.

Millions are out of work and there is a drought. The water is drying up and the sun burns down on all the crops, especially the wheat.
Melissa ~ Bantering Books
Be sure to visit Bantering Books to read all my latest reviews.

This is a “meet you in the middle” kind of review. An “I liked it, but I didn’t love it” review.

And unfortunately, it’s a “Hannah had me for the first 75% and then blew it with the ending” review.

Yep. It’s that type of review. (Hangs head.)

In The Four Winds, Kristin Hannah’s latest novel of historical fiction, we travel back to the harrowing years of the Great Depression – one of the most challenging eras in America’s history.

It is
Kristin Hannah’s latest novel is an outstanding historical saga sparking memories of the classic John Steinbeck story, Grapes of Wrath. Based during the great depression, the hardships and demise of small farmers and the migration of people from the Dust Bowl states in America to the land of milk and honey - California. Except, California was where “I came west in search of a better life, but my American dream was turned into a nightmare by poverty and hardship and greed.” The Four Winds
Dec 20, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An easy 4 stars for a book of courage in face of soul destroying poverty. Four Winds is the story of Elsa Wolcott and her marriage to Rafe Martinelli, after she becomes pregnant with his child. She is disowned and shunned by her family because of this forced marriage to someone they regard as lower class. She moves into the Martinelli home. Rafe's parents welcome her as one their own in 1921 rural panhandle Texas.
But then the drought comes and crops no longer grow. This period is now known as t
Susanne  Strong
Oct 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Review also posted on blog: https://books-are-a-girls-best-friend...

A Beautifully Written, Heartbreaking Novel!

The year is 1921, the setting is Texas, during the Great Depression.

Elsa is a young woman who has never known love. Ignored by her family, she yearns for a different life. The first time a man pays attention to her, Elsa becomes wholly smitten. That man is Rafe Martinelli. His intentions are less than stellar, as Elsa comes to find out when she discovers she is with child and she finds
Lindsay - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews
5 stars! A deeply affecting, heart wrenching, unforgettable journey.

Texas, 1934. Drought has stripped the land of all life. Farmers hope and pray for rain that doesn’t come. Everything coated in dirt and dust. Massive dust clouds and storms are everyday life. Families barely surviving. News of better opportunities in California entice many to abandon their land to start over.

The Great Depression. I knew very little about this time in our history prior to reading this book. This novel provides an
Dec 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
For a long time I have wanted to read a book on the Dust Bowl, explaining reasons behind it and telling stories of all brave people who survived that environmental disaster that happened in the early 1930s in the Great Plains. I came across the Dust Bowl tragedy while reading some reviews of books tackling this subject, and was puzzled by the phenomenon which had such a horrific impact on the lives of millions. The times were hard, the Great Depression struck and added to the near famine and pov ...more
Theresa Alan
Oct 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I’d wanted a book that would make me cry, and this one really delivered. The hardships faced by Elsa are simply relentless. This is a good novel for the era of Covid when many Americans are publicly bitching about having to wear their masks at the Walmart--read this and you will stop complaining.

The story is set at the same time as The Grapes of Wrath: the Great Depression combined with the Dust Bowl. Now I’m going to have to re-read that novel, although this is a wonderful story from the point
Jul 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is America during the 1930’s.
This is America after the stock market crash.
This is America of the dust bowl.
This is America of the forgotten farmer and the unemployed turned migrant worker: homeless, poverty stricken experiencing starvation, cruelty, and despair.
This is a book that urges us to look back and lament.

Given what is going on in my country this is an America perilously close to a precipitous edge. Let’s hope that these hard times don’t become the “worst hard times.”
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
Damn.... just damn... I cried a lot ...

Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾

Full review to come when I read and highlight my hardback copy. I listened to the audio and it was wonderful too!
Feb 26, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, 2021, audiobooks
3.5 stars

This is my 4th book by Kristin Hannah and she has honestly made it to my auto-read/buy/listen list. There’s something so captivating about her style that keeps me coming back for more even if I fully know that her books are far from being perfect. While listening to the audio, I just wanted to drop whatever I’m doing and just... listen. It certainly helped that the talented Julia Whelan was narrating this book and she was as amazing as ever. Too bad Hannah decided to go with the overdra
Brenda ~Traveling Sisters Book Reviews
Hot tears! Diggity, dang!! I loved this one, and I am going to rave about it! I don't groove to the beat of any hype, and it's all about sharing the love for me. As you all know, I am too much of an over thinker for that! The Four Winds wasn't an ARC for me but one I bought to read, hold, smell, and now hug and love. I don't write reviews for books that are not ARCs as often as I like to, but I have to talk about this one!!

The Four Winds is a remarkable, unforgettable story that explores family
Kerry Clair
Aug 25, 2020 rated it did not like it
So let me get this straight. A book that supports and pushes COMMUNISM as the answer to struggles in America? What the heck is the world coming to when authors write things like this? Was it a good story? Yes. Well written? Yes. But the hidden agenda and blatant glorification of communism is a huge problem for me. I won’t be reading any more from this author. If you don’t like this country and our form of government, it’s time for you to move. Go live in a communist country and come back and tel ...more
Mar 10, 2021 rated it it was amazing
“The Four Winds” by Kristin Hannah

I just finished listening to the audiobook “The Four Winds” by Kristin Hannah. I can hardly speak, think or breath! My mind is running around in circles, I’m crying and I’m completely heartbroken. While listening to the amazing narrating of the story I felt like I was part of the Great Depression and the vengeance of the Dust Bowl era. The enormous hardships that Elsa Martinelli and her family endured is completely unimaginable. I honestly can not go into d
Jan 15, 2021 rated it it was amazing
“Love. In the best of times, it is a dream. In the worst of times, a salvation.”

4.5 stars rounded up.

I already know this is going to be one of my favourite historical fictions of 2021. Though books always have a way of playing with my emotions, it’s been a while since one has left me ugly crying like this did.

It’s also a place and time in history that I’m not overly familiar with which is one of my favourite things about historical fiction. Kristin Hannah’s writing is so descriptive and beautif
Nov 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
"Sorrow lacerates my skin and I don't feel the pain." (Unknown)

And sorrow, hopelessness, tragedy, and loss were served up in heaping amounts to our grandparents and great-grandparents on a daily basis during the Great Depression. Mother Nature laced the countrysides with dust storms so thick that breathing became a struggle to survive and grit filled the air with darkness embedding itself into every corner of every life.

The Four Winds is a heavy, brutal read. Know this going in as we, ourselves,
Oct 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
Beautiful.. Heartbreaking..
Set in the 1930’s Great Depression, Dust Bowl
Such a tragic time in history.
Great characters.
This is a story of hope, resilience and fighting for what is right.
A story of America and the American Dream.
4+ stars

Thank you to Netgalley and St Martin’s Press for the ARC!
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Kristin Hannah is the award-winning and bestselling author of more than 20 novels including the international blockbuster, The Nightingale, which was named Goodreads Best Historical fiction novel for 2015 and won the coveted People's Choice award for best fiction in the same year. Additionally, it was named a Best Book of the Year by Amazon, iTunes, Buzzfeed, the Wall Street Journal, Paste, and Th ...more

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“A warrior believes in an end she can’t see and fights for it. A warrior never gives up. A warrior fights for those weaker than herself. It sounds like motherhood to me.” 71 likes
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