The Four Winds

The Four Winds

Book - 2021
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"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."--Provided by publisher.
Published: New York :, St. Martin's Press,, [2021]
Edition: First U.S. edition.
Copyright Date: ©2021
ISBN: 9781250178602
Branch Call Number: F HAN
Characteristics: 454 pages :,illustrations ;,25 cm
Alternative Title: 4 winds


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Jun 24, 2021

Personally, this novel is not as good as her other books. Why? Because the central character Elsa is so negative about herself through the first 90% of the novel. Granted, she was put down and rejected, as was her first born, by Elsa's family because they don't LOOK as appropriate as they would like, which is, unfortunately, the way of the world. The setting is Texas and California during the 1930s, during the Dust Bowl years. Hannah's portrayals life in Texas and the dust storms seem like first-hand experience: real to life. In fact, I frequently felt like I couldn't breathe while reading these portions. BUT it is a good story and exceptionally reflects life in America during these awful years. It reminds me of the novels THE GRAPES OF WRATH and the beautifully written WHOSE NAMES ARE UNKNOWN.

Jun 21, 2021

An excellent read. Hard to put down.

Jun 19, 2021

I loved this book and couldn't put it down....until the end which was HORRIBLE! I don't believe the character would have made that decision. It was almost like the author got to a certain page number and then was done writing or had to wrap it up quickly. It was abrupt among other things but I don't want to spoil it for other readers. If you are looking for a positive, happy book, this is not the one for you!

Jun 14, 2021

Wow what an incredible book! Couldn’t put it down!!! Never imagined what people endured during the 1930s.
Kristin Hannah is an amazing storyteller!

Jun 14, 2021


Jun 13, 2021

Loved this book. My grandmother would talk about the great depression when I was a child, and while she did not experience the Dust Bowl, she did talk about how relatives from town would visit her family farm and how they were all "so hungry" and suffered from the great depression, so reading about the struggles and the details of the characters made me feel as if I could finally identify with some of the struggles my grandmother experienced as a girl growing up in the depression. The story was a quick read for me, I finished it in two days, could not put it down. Loved the struggle for the American Dream and trying to overcome obstacles and hardships while keeping your family together.

Jun 13, 2021

I was so disappointed in this "best seller" book. I thought it was just another dreary story of the Dust Bowl that could have been written in 200 pages or less. Good author but disappointing read.

Jun 11, 2021

Very good book. Sad ending, but real. Elsa was always a sickly child and therefore was brought up as that, not pretty, very low self esteem. She has a quick relationship with Rafe and they have to get married since she is pregnant. She is disowned by her family and lives with Rafe's family on a farm. Loreda and Anthony are her children from Rafe. Tony and Rose her In-laws love her. The dust bowl happens and he wants to leave. He has all sorts of dreams and extends those dreams to Loreda. When things get really bad, Rafe ups and leaves to CA where it's supposed to be a better life. Loreda blames Elsa for his leaving. She continues to be belligerent against her mom although there was love when she was young. Elsa has a hard time sharing her emotions, even to Rafe because of her insecurities. Ant (Anthony) gets really sick - dust pneumonia and in order to get better they have to leave. But, In-laws do not want to leave the land. The Depression is really bad and the dust storms are horrendous. They are saying that farmers need to change the way they are farming - that they killed the land by the way they farmed. So, the In-Laws were trying remedy that while Elsa was gone to CA. Elsa makes a decision to leave. They have the car filled with gas and they go. They end up in a campsite with other "Oakies" although they're from Texas. Californians do not like these people coming in. They forage for work - cotton picking, peach one season, cleaning houses for 40 -50 cents a day for 10 hrs. of work. They live in unhealthy conditions. When they move in to Welty's row of houses everything is pay be credit - there is never a chance to get out of debt. They are eventually evicted because they hear that they are in cahoots to strike The air is tense at campLoreda doesn't like the fairness but Elsa keeps telling her we at least have work. They meet Jack Valen, a Communist and wants to change the way the workers are paid and treated. The big companies have all the power and are taking advantage of these workers. Elsa continues to resist but Loreda wants to join this group. Elsa continues to see this unfairness and there are meetings to get people together to strike - sit down on the cotton fields. She finally agrees and falls in love with Jack. He treats her like he really loves her. She stands up to the owner, Welty, when Jack is assaulted by his men. She is shot and when taken to the hospital they find that the wound is too bad and her heart is too weak. She will die, but to her, for a good cause. Loreda steals money from Welty- from the store, as she is dressed like a boy so she can take Elsa back home to be buried. At the end, Loreda will go to college and be the first Martinelli to go to college. She regrets having not told her mother how much she loved her and how proud she was of her. On her headstone reads Mother, Daughter. Warrior. Roosevelt in his chat to nation talks about how hard these folks worked to keep their land, their self-reliance, their tenacity, and their courage. Elsa never wanted to take any money from the government until she really needed to. She felt there were other people who needed it more than she, but when times got
really bad she did get some help after a year as resident of CA. Then, they cut her off (Welty) because they said if you can work, you don't need money. He cut their wages many times by 10% and had to pay 10% interest when cashing in their paycheck.

Jun 09, 2021

A very angst riddled book. It was hard to slug through in that the hardship the characters went through was so depressing. There is too much in my life that I can't control that makes me sad so may not be able to finish this.

Jun 08, 2021

I thoroughly liked this book. I had to read it to the end to see the outcome of Elsa’s heroism.

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May 27, 2021

Depression Era Dust Bowl in Texas. Leave farm for California. leaving in-laws behind on farm. Horrible working conditions for migrant workers.


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