#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
#1 USA TODAY BESTSELLER
#1 WALL STREET JOURNAL BESTSELLER
#1 INDIE BESTSELLER
"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
"A spectacular tour de force that shines a spotlight on the indispensable but often overlooked role of Greatest Generation women."—People
"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 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.
Terrific book thar brings the reader face to face with problems and prejudices in our American history that often repeat themselves. The story line could have been just as effective, however, without the communist leanings and references.
Good writing with a powerful feminist plot. It is a page turner and a reminder about forgotten aspects of US history.
Loved it! Heart wrenching, but I couldn’t put it down!
Honestly I’m so confused with all the reviews that are complaining because this is a sad story. It’s a book set during the Great Depression and Dust Bowel, what do you expect? Sad stories, in my opinion, can be some of the most compelling. I thought this book was great and brought tears to my eyes throughout. I highly recommend you give this book a try!
Too many words. Too long. Drags in places.
I would like to take a moment to thank Kristin Hannah for ALWAYS MAKING ME UGLY CRY. This book pulled me in from the very first page. I’m from Oklahoma but some of the things that happened during this period is too much for school books, so I never thoroughly learned about the depth of the horror that these families went through. I experienced so many emotions throughout reading and absolutely adored the characters. I would love a sequel! I definitely recommend this one, but get the tissues ready.
You can taste the Dust- Excellently depicts the dust bowl era & the struggles of the times. More importantly, it details a mother’s love & sacrifice for her children, beautifully & heart wrenchingly describing the motherhood bond.
Ive read all your books but this one is to depressing. Could hardly wait for it to end.
This was a fantastic book!
While I did enjoy this book, it was thoroughly depressing, which is fitting for a book about The Great Depression. I kept reading and waiting for something good to happen and it did not come. The ending was a little unsatisfying but all in all, a well written book.
Beautiful story..terribly sad but triumphant at the same time. I love story and many different types of love but all love nonetheless.
Perseverance of people held me steady and hopeful in our human nature through any crisis!
Had no idea the ending would touch me so much. Great read.
Great read! Really puts everything into perspective. Especially in today’s times.
I could hardly put the book down. Made me feel as if I was in it. I highly recommend it!
Story is very similar to Grapes of Wrath. Wonderful read nonetheless
Beautiful and moving
Never knew about this chapter of American history. What a wonderful story of courage and perseverance!
I could feel the grit in my eyes and wonder how they made it through even one day of those storms.
Kristen Hannah does it again. This is a must read! I highly recommend The Great Alone & The Nightingale also.
The first book I have read in years. Soup for the soul and grounded in real hardships yet wrapped in love.
The historical truths in this wonderful story about fortitude are timeless and fundamentally human. Elsa is each of us.
This is a true American tale of resilience through terrible times. As always, this author does not disappoint.
I am half way through the book and could summarize what happened in three depressing pages. I feel like I need to read the book because I paid for it, but it is a chore and a drag. So disappointing, save the money & time and pick another.
An amazing book, filled with twists and turns. You will learn a great about the Depression and what it means to be a family.
Excellent book. Could not put it down. The history of on going bias in this country and the cruelty to people always astounds me. The description of the dust storm made me feel like I was right there with them. No happy endings here.
Once again Hannah's in creates a beautiful story of mothers and daughters. In the backdrop of a horrific time in American history, she captures the horror of the time and the resilience of a mothers love and fierce strength that mothers have. I can't stop reading this author. Her research of the dust bowl period was eye opening to me. I have bought her books for family and friends, too. Highly recommend this book and her others.
I love to read. I love twists and turns, highs and lows, sadness and joy. This story, which was beautifully written, was a never ending sadness.
Loved it. Couldn’t put down. Read last 10 chapters in one night!!
If you like to read for enjoyment and to escape this is not the book for you. While the book is well written. The main character in the story has almost every possible depressing thing happen to her that existed during the Great Depression. Including the ending. I kept reading because I thought it has to get better, but it really didn't. However it does show as a nation how far we have come to support low income workers. And while this year has been tough it's been nothing compared to the Great Depression.
The book was well written, however it was the saddest book I ever read. I kept checking the number of pages left and was hoping for a happy moment. It never came. It was a sad time in history and a sad depiction.
Incredible journey. Strength, spirit, courage, risk, love.
I looked forward to reading it every night. I didn’t want the book to end. Enjoyed it very much!
Quite simply, the most empowering book I’ve ever read!
I just finished this magnificent book. I learned so much about what happened during the “Dust Bowl” era. Coming from a very strong Union family I only wish I could have shared it with my late husband, who participated in many local strikes. This is my first reading by Kristin Hannah. I cannot wait to start another one of her books.
A great, easy read- makes you think about your blessings today. My hope for every reader is to find yourself in this story and do better!
This was a book I could not put down. Very well written! Heart wrenching, spell binding, interesting, emotional! Everything in one beautiful story!
Painfully sad and pointless.
As a reader who normally prefers non-fiction, The Four Winds captured me completely. A page turner and emotional roller coaster. The development of the characters is remarkable. You can see them, you can feel what they feel, you can empathize. Tragedy and triumph through tragedy ... it’s a concept I was not prepared for. Excellent read.
A very inspiring, sad and thoughtful story that also educated me on an issue I knew little about. Excellent read.
This is the book they should have given us in high school instead of grapes of wrathe.
I cried, wiped my tears, then cried again. When a book (and author) can make the reader feel what the characters are feeling, it is a truly remarkable experience. I highly recommend this book.
The Four Winds by Kristen Hannah is a epic novel about the hardships faced by farmers in the Texas Panhandle during the Great Depression and Drought. It is the story of one woman’s courage and fight to survive in order to give her children a better life. Like John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath, it follows the central characters from their drought stricken farm in the Dust Bowl to California in search of the American Dream that, in reality, becomes an American nightmare as the family faces prejudice, corruption, neglect, abject poverty and starvation in the land of milk and honey. Characters are well developed; the story is riveting and the plight of this family makes your heart weep and your mind cry out for justice.
One of the most beautiful books I have read.
Loved learning about The Dust Bowl era! The author once again craftily develops the characters to draw you into her story.
Nothing good happens
The four winds us there, bringing us back to reality today by see through their eyes the hardships they all endured and we are today humble we are today, and lucky we are with all we have, when they had nothing in a cruel world and still survived. Mikel M , March 2021 Las Vegas NV