Four Winds

Kristin Hannah

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Nightingale and The Great Alone comes an epic novel of love and heroism and hope, set against the backdrop of one of America’s most defining eras—the Great Depression.

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 Martinelli—like so many of her neighbors—must make an agonizing choice: fight for the land she loves or go west, to California, in search of a better life. 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. 

-Excerpt taken from Goodreads.

Check Goodreads to see the book’s ratings.

My Opinion

5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5) I give this one all the stars! Put them up there, this deserves it! It’s my second 5 star book of the year. Both are dramatically different from each other (Unchosen was my first, it’s more of a fun, post-apocalyptic entertainment), but I never said I wasn’t versatile!

Kristin Hannah tends to rip my heart out, stomp on it a bit then hand it back again broken but mended and made stronger. Her writing is beautiful. The imagery is there with emotions readily available. She has the utmost talent at taking a historical story and making it play out in front of my eyes like I experienced it myself.

I’ve never read anything about the Dust Bowl era. While I knew about it, I quickly learned that I didn’t know much. Not only was the Dust Bowl happening, but it’s in the midst of the Great Depression also.

American history is not something I typically choose to read about. There is a lot I’m just not proud of. And truly, it doesn’t seem to compare to royalty and castles and medieval time periods. My opinion completely changed with this book. I can now appreciate it so much more. I’m researching the time period and more stories of what might have happened. While this is not a true story, it takes from people’s stories to give us the best impression of how it might’ve been. And truly, it’s heart-wrenching. I’m proud of the people that made this country and want to learn more. Not only is it interesting but it helped me grow. To me, Covid is the most trying disaster I’ve experienced. This book made me look at it in a different way. We are still very well cared for during Covid. I can do this Covid thing, I can raise these teens and younger, I can do it cause look at people like Elsa (although fictional) who had it so much worse. I have a house. It’s warm. I have food. Probably too much. My husband has a job. My husband loves me. My kids are well fed and we each have many luxuries in life. 

I highly recommend this book. I listened to the audio and adored the narrator. Julia Whelan is quickly becoming my favorite narrator. She has read so many of my favorite audios!

Content Summary: There are a handful of sex scenes with minimal details. They are a very small part of the book. 1 F word with language spattered throughout. There are a few stillborn babies, child abuse (words and neglect), extreme poverty, starvation.

Thank you to Macmillan Audio for the gifted ALC in exchange for an honest review.

**As an Amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases. 


  1. There is a lot of really cool American history, the revolutionary wars and 1812, blah at me but I love civil war history, prohibition, expansionism, the Indian wars, lots of cool stuff

  2. I read Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse about the dust bowl and it was one of the saddest books I’ve ever read. 😢 so I think I’ve avoided Four Winds for that reason. Also Hannah can manipulate emotions quite a bit! I wasn’t in the mood to ugly cry!

  3. I’ve read Grapes of Wrath & Out of Dust and enjoyed both of them but I didn’t know this was about the Dust Bowl. I enjoy castles and whatnot too but I love gritty American history.

  4. I have a really hard time reading historical fiction. I find it so sad and difficult to get through. I’m glad you enjoyed it though.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.