This post contains affiliate links. I have heard the buzz about The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah for months. I’ve been waiting about that long to get a copy of this book from our library.
First, let me say I either love or hate Hannah’s books. I loved The Nightingale and The Great Alone. However, I disliked others like Magic Hour and Winter Garden. While I really enjoyed The Four Winds, I did have some problems with it.
About The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah
In this story, Elsa is an unappreciated and abused member of her biological family. She finally breaks free from her family when she marries and has two children. However, she continues to be a wallflower and not stick up for herself or her rights, which affects her relationship with her husband and children.
When the Dust Bowl comes, Elsa’s corner of Texas is deeply affected. She is forced to make difficult decisions and take a path she never expected to take.
My Thoughts on the Book
I read The Grapes of Wrath in high school. That moving book remains one of my top 10 favorite books I’ve read in my lifetime. I have read it several times, so once Elsa makes the choice to leave Texas and move to California, I immediately felt like I’d been down this path many times before. Everything she went through was like what the Joad family experienced when they left Oklahoma and desperately tried to find work in California.
However, once Elsa became actively involved in the fight for worker’s rights, I felt the story shift and become its own. At that point, Hannah redeemed the story for me. I also loved that Elsa finally came into her own and became a strong woman.
Honestly, if I hadn’t already read The Grapes of Wrath and studied The Dust Bowl quite extensively, I would have likely given this book 5 out of 5 stars. As it is,
I give The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Esperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz Ryan