The Four Winds Book Review
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The Four Winds represents the best part of Kristin Hannah, her originality. The novel is set during the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression. Mother Nature challenged many during these harsh years. Life revolved around survival.
Hannah often rotates between present and past in her novels. But, The Four Winds stays focused on this historic era. This change in style is appealing. Readers are caught in the dirty thirties. One feels the hopelessness experienced by this generation considered our Greatest Generation.
Elsa Wolcott Martinelli is the heroine of the story. Overlooked by her parents and sisters due to a childhood illness, she clings to words of a beloved grandparent in her most trying times. The love of her youth and the father of her children is Rafe Martinelli. But Rafe cannot handle the harshness of the land. Fortunately for Elsa, his parents provide the love, acceptance and strength she needs.
As the story progresses, Elsa is forced from the land she loves in order to save her son. The bulk of the story takes place in California. The small family of three end up in migrant camps. Elsa, and later the children, work at any day job available. The poverty is abject. The love profound.
Strength of The Four Winds
Hannah provides rich detail. The reader is transported to this unrelenting time period. Historical events are weaved into the story. But, The Four Winds really excels on the emotional level. Somehow, Hannah’s mastery of writing transports the reader into this epoch era.
The Four Winds is one of those books that draws the reader like a magnet. A page turner, but not because of suspense or mystery. Instead, one is compelled to continue the read by emotion. Will the plight of the Martinelli’s end? Is the never waving hope misplaced?
The Four Winds is an incredible tale of survival. The will to withstand a harsh climate. Fortitude to keep on despite rejection. Endurance of a personal nature.
But the greater theme is love. Multiple types of love. A mother’s love, a child’s love, love thy neighbor and love of the land. Most of all, belief in one’s self.
Kristin Hannah has surpassed herself. Don’t miss The Four Winds. This novel is suitable for all.