The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah doesn’t actually take place in 2020, but the marvel that is this book sure resonates on an entirely new level after all the events of last year and so far from this year. The novel follows Elsa Martinelli’s journey from childhood during the Prohibition to her family in northern Texas and beyond. In 1934, the darkest part of the Great Depression, drought sweeps through the Great Plains, and she and her family must grapple between leaving their farmstead behind or move to a better life out West.
Each character is crystal clear. Elsa, her husband, and her children are all easily the most flawed and most beautiful characters I read last year. Without giving too much away, the novel winds around Elsa’s life as she is challenged and led in various directions by her instincts, by those who influence her, and by her responsibility to her children.
I listened to The Four Winds through Libro.fm, which included an amazing interview with Kristin Hannah. I wish I could tell you more about what they discuss; they talk about the book’s potential impact on subjects covered in the novel. If audiobooks are something you’re interested in trying out, this specific novel and interview should be at the top of your list. It provides a great listening experience and some entertaining follow-up questions with the author.
If you’ve read her work before or this is your first Kristin Hannah, this is one I cannot recommend enough. The wonderfully dusty atmosphere, the complexity of narratives and character development, and the history-repeats-itself vibes throughout are an American story we all need today.
This is the perfect book club book, especially for those who loved her previous book, The Nightingale. Perhaps The Four Winds is the American novel with the prowess and beauty in line with The Nightingale.
The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah is available for download through Libro.fm and available in hardcover on Tuesday, February 2, 2021. I know it’s just over a week away, but I just want to get a copy to share with everyone I know. You can pre-order one now through Cream & Amber!
Thanks for stopping by!
Nicholas John Nelson