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The Four Winds

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4.34  ·  Rating details ·  1,331 ratings  ·  782 reviews
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
...more
Hardcover, 464 pages
Expected publication: February 2nd 2021 by St. Martin's Press
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  • The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah
    The Four Winds
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    Release date: Feb 02, 2021
    From Kristin Hannah, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Nightingale and The Great Alone, comes an epic novel of love and heroism and hope ...more

    Format: Print book

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    Availability: 10 copies available, 29542 people requesting

    Giveaway dates: Jan 12 - Jan 26, 2021

    Countries available: U.S.

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    Popular Answered Questions
    Kassy MacPherson I got an ARC from the publisher. They release arcs in order to get reviews and buzz about the book. I got my copy 2 months ago.
    Charla Oppenlander I received an Advanced Readers Copy - I would assume that's the case for everyone who has reviewed it.…moreI received an Advanced Readers Copy - I would assume that's the case for everyone who has reviewed it.(less)

    Community Reviews

    Showing 1-30
    Average rating 4.34  · 
    Rating details
     ·  1,331 ratings  ·  782 reviews


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    Nilufer Ozmekik
    Sep 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
    I think my eyes are bleeding. They cried themselves to death. They cannot function properly anymore.

    My heart hurts. It is already broken. My tears drained. I cannot gather my emotions anymore because they’re at everywhere. This is real heart ripping, soul crushing and truly earth shattering, shaking you to the core reading experience!

    Ms. Hannah did it again! She shattered my soul in tiny pieces and captured my heart as like she did with Nightingale, Great Alone, Firefly Lane. I turned into a hu
    ...more
    Maureen
    Oct 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: netgalley
    ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️

    Forgive my indulgence by starting this review on a personal note, but as a child, my parents had a saying - “Never judge a person’s life story by the chapter you find them in”. It was said with kindness and concern for others’ misfortunes, and never was this more pertinent than in The Four Winds!

    1930’s Texas, the dust bowl, the stock market crash, and for the farmers across The Great Plains, came burning winds that destroyed everything in their path, and a drought so fierce that it
    ...more
    Angela M
    Oct 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
    4.5 stars
    “Hope is a coin I carry: an American penny, given to me by a man I came to love. There were times in my journey when I felt as if that penny and the hope it represented were the only things that kept me going.”

    Kristin Hannah has written a number of novels and I’ve read several. In my view, her strength lies in historical fiction. This novel depicting the trials of so many people in the Dust Bowl in Texas and other places during the 1930’s, and the Dust Bowl Migration, who endured the
    ...more
    Paromjit
    Oct 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
    This is epic historical fiction from Kristin Hannah, a harrowing, tough and painful read of one of American history's darkest period, the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl, the tragedies, poverty, starvation, unemployment, the sacrifices made, set in Texas and California from the early 1920s up to WW2. It is impeccably well researched with all its excruciating details, an era seen through the eyes of a woman, a mother, and her family. The tall Elsinore or 'Elsa' has suffered poor health, is fro ...more
    Beata
    Dec 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
    For a long time I have wanted to read a book on the Dust Bowl, explaining reasons behind it and telling stories of all brave people who survived that environmental disaster that happened in the early 1930s in the Great Plains. I came across the Dust Bowl tragedy while reading some reviews of books tackling this subject, and was puzzled by the phenomenon which had such a horrific impact on the lives of millions. The times were hard, the Great Depression struck and added to the near famine and pov ...more
    Dorie  - Cats&Books :)
    I have read five of Ms. Hannah’s novels. I would give the read itself a 3* but the beautiful writing and the incredible research that went into this book definitely earns it a 4* rating.

    This book was an incredibly depressing read. I felt so much for the characters that I really had to hold myself back from crying. Particularly when injustice after injustice was endured and things kept going from bad to worse. It made me wonder how much can a person really stand before their spirit is completely
    ...more
    Tammy
    Jul 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
    This is America during the 1930’s.
    This is America after the stock market crash.
    This is America of the dust bowl.
    This is America of the forgotten farmer and the unemployed turned migrant worker: homeless, poverty stricken experiencing starvation, cruelty, and despair.
    This is a book that urges us to look back and lament.

    Given what is going on in my country this is an America perilously close to a precipitous edge. Let’s hope that these hard times don’t become the “worst hard times.”
    Thomas
    Dec 20, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    An easy 4 stars for a book of courage in face of soul destroying poverty. Four Winds is the story of Elsa Wolcott and her marriage to Rafe Martinelli, after she becomes pregnant with his child. She is disowned and shunned by her family because of this forced marriage to someone they regard as lower class. She moves into the Martinelli home. Rafe's parents welcome her as one their own in 1921 rural panhandle Texas.
    But then the drought comes and crops no longer grow. This period is now known as t
    ...more
    Susanne  Strong
    Oct 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
    Shelves: netgalley
    A Beautifully Written, Heartbreaking Novel!

    The year is 1921, the setting is Texas, during the Great Depression.

    Elsa is a young woman who has never known love. Ignored by her family, she yearns for a different life. The first time a man pays attention to her, Elsa becomes wholly smitten. That man is Rafe Martinelli. His intentions are less than stellar, as Elsa comes to find out when she discovers she is with child and she finds out he is engaged to be married to someone else. Yet his parents, To
    ...more
    Theresa Alan
    Oct 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
    I’d wanted a book that would make me cry, and this one really delivered. The hardships faced by Elsa are simply relentless. This is a good novel for the era of Covid when many Americans are publicly bitching about having to wear their masks at the Walmart--read this and you will stop complaining.

    The story is set at the same time as The Grapes of Wrath: the Great Depression combined with the Dust Bowl. Now I’m going to have to re-read that novel, although this is a wonderful story from the point
    ...more
    Karen
    Oct 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
    Beautiful.. Heartbreaking..
    Set in the 1930’s Great Depression, Dust Bowl
    Such a tragic time in history.
    Great characters.
    This is a story of hope, resilience and fighting for what is right.
    A story of America and the American Dream.
    4+ stars

    Thank you to Netgalley and St Martin’s Press for the ARC!
    Tina
    This is a hard hitting historical fiction book. This is the third Kristin Hannah book I have read, and this is was not my favorite one. I really enjoyed this book a lot, and it was very well written like all the other Kristin Hannah books. Kristin Hannah books are not for the light hearted because they are hard hitting and goes into the dark parts of the subject the book is covering. This one takes place during the great depression it starts in Texas. I have to say the characters are well develo ...more
    Jean
    Aug 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    I received an ARC digital copy of Kristin Hannah’s The Four Winds directly from St. Martin’s Press and am delighted to offer my unbiased review. My thanks to Erica Martirano and DJ DeSmyter of St. Martins Press, Net Galley, and to Kristin Hannah.

    Having read The Nightingale and The Great Alone, I was familiar with Ms. Hannah’s ability to portray strong female characters. She writes with fastidious attention to detail; she does her research well. In several reviews, I have seen comparisons, even a
    ...more
    Alicia
    Sep 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
    Shelves: arc
    I have loved all of Kristin Hannah's book, re-reading many, The Great Alone being one of my favorites and now The Four Winds jumps into 2nd position, right behind it. I heard many stories from my beloved Grandma all about her life in Kansas during the Dust Bowl and their journey to California just as Elsa, Loreda and Ant. I so appreciate the depth at which Kristin took me into what might have been my own family's experience.
    Elsa Martinelli is a force to be reckon with and she raised a strong, i
    ...more
    Bridgett
    Dec 27, 2020 rated it it was ok
    Shelves: arc
    Kristin Hannah novels are so hit and miss for me.

    For instance, I absolutely loved Night Road...it's probably one of my all-time favorite books. Yet, I really fecking hated the The Nightingale.

    And here's why...

    Every time I read Hannah's historical fiction, I end up feeling as though she researches like a mad woman, jots down every tragedy she can find during that time period, and then destroys her main character by making her suffer through every. single. calamity.

    It's too much.

    This book w
    ...more
    Ceecee
    Nov 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    This is the story of Elsinore (Elsa) Martinelli, her daughter Loreda, and mother in law Rosa. This is a fantastic saga which takes us on a heartbreaking journey from the Texas ‘Dust Bowl’ of the 1930’s to search for a better life in California. This is a story of survival, of clinging on by your fingertips, of being tough and resilient in the face of unbelievable hardship, they are indeed warrior women.

    This is an amazing book which is so well written that the descriptions almost make you taste
    ...more
    Linda
    Nov 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
    "Sorrow lacerates my skin and I don't feel the pain." (Unknown)

    And sorrow, hopelessness, tragedy, and loss were served up in heaping amounts to our grandparents and great-grandparents on a daily basis during the Great Depression. Mother Nature laced the countrysides with dust storms so thick that breathing became a struggle to survive and grit filled the air with darkness embedding itself into every corner of every life.

    The Four Winds is a heavy, brutal read. Know this going in as we, ourselves,
    ...more
    Cheri
    ’If I close my eyes sometimes, I swear I can still taste the dust…

    Born into a family who lived a comfortable life, if only financially, Elsa feels like an outsider inside these walls where words are spent only to diminish her, to tell her what she will never be - good enough, healthy enough, pretty enough, wanted enough. Any attempt to live a normal life is met with words of disapproval, disdain and disregard for what she wants, let alone needs – someone to show her that she has value, someo
    ...more
    Arna
    Jan 15, 2021 rated it it was amazing
    “Love. In the best of times, it is a dream. In the worst of times, a salvation.”

    I already know this is going to be one of my favourite books of 2021 (maybe even ever). Though books always move away of playing with my emotions, it’s been a while since one has left me ugly crying like this did.

    It’s also a place and time in history that I’m not overly familiar with which is one of my favourite things about historical fiction. Kristin Hannah’s writing is so descriptive and beautiful, you really feel
    ...more
    Denise
    Oct 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
    I admit - I'm slightly obsessed with Kristin Hannah books. I always know that I'm in for a good cry when I read one, but I also love how I feel inspired and uplifted at the end. Well, not so much with this one. While I still inhaled it with record speed, it was just depressing, with injustice heaped on injustice, and when you seriously thought things couldn't get any worse, they did! It was heartbreaking. I think I'm probably in the minority here, as I've read many reviews touting this as Hannah ...more
    Nadia
    The Four Winds is a poignant, heart-wrenching historical fiction novel set in the North American Great Plains against the backdrop of the Great Depression. It portrays the misfortune and hardship of Martinelli family from Texas who have no choice but to leave everything behind and set on a journey to the west in a vision of a better life in California.

    This is only my second book by Kristin Hannah but also my second 5 star rating for her. She sure knows how to write a moving story and pull at he
    ...more
    Sage
    Jul 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
    I was waffling between 4 and 5 stars the whole time while reading this, but am rating it 5 stars because the end made me cry and I was so mad about it. I’m trying to keep this review intentionally vague as to not spoil anything but it’s HARD because I want to scream about this multi-layered, multi-POV book.

    Firstly, Elsa Martinelli is a badass protagonist and I loved her so much. Her original family is garbage, Rafe is garbage for a lot of reasons, but I LOVED her chosen family, Tony and Rosa. A
    ...more
    Emer (A Little Haze)
    The Four Winds is an historical fiction focusing on the Dust Bowl and Great Depression era in the United States of America. It is a time I know nothing about and thusly I was curious to read a novel that would hopefully bring alive this moment in history for me.

    And that it certainly did.

    I immediately found myself empathising with lead character Elsa. Her story was incredibly moving; a young woman unappreciated and forgotten by her family and so desperate for love. I’ll freely admit that tears
    ...more
    Cortney LaScola - The Bookworm Myrtle Beach
    This was one long, bleak, depressing book.

    The Four Winds is my 3rd book by Kristin Hannah, and my least favorite... by a lot. The Nightingale and The Great Alone were not about happy subjects, but there was an amazing story and wonderful characters in them. Both things that I think The Four Winds is lacking.

    The book started to pick up around page 300, and the magical writing I have come to expect from Kristin Hannah appeared in the last 30 pages, but it wasn't enough to change my overall rating.
    ...more
    Darla
    Jan 15, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    The four winds have blown us here, people from all across the country, to the very edge of this great land, and now, at last, we make our stand, fight for what we know to be right. We fight for our American dream, that it will be possible again.

    Reading about the Dust Bowl in Texas and life in the shantytowns of California was a sobering affair. I grew up on a farm in Iowa. The hardships of persevering on the Martinelli farm were terrifying. Elsa was redeemed by the land, but who will she be wit
    ...more
    Katie B
    4.5 stars

    This book is the fourth or fifth I have read by this author and it's definitely my favorite. I fell in love with the female lead character right away in this historical fiction novel as you couldn't help but want to root for her.

    The story takes place in the 1930s during the Dust Bowl Era. Elsa and her family are experiencing the same hardships as so many other farmers from that time period. Fair warning, this is a bleak and depressing read and it was very similar to the reading experie
    ...more
    bookswithpaulette
    Dec 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
    Kristin Hannah is a masterful storyteller. I’ve read 7 of her books now and loved every single one of them. But I have to say Historical Fiction is her specialty. The Four Winds is set in the 1930’s North America during The Dust Bowl era and The Great Depression darkest times.

    The hardship, poverty, starvation, prejudice in this story is difficult to read at times. We follow the hardship of the Martinelli family from Texas once thriving on their family farm, the consecutive years of drought has
    ...more
    Pauline
    Nov 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: netgalley
    The story of the men, women and children who endured the heartbreaking conditions in Texas in the 1930’s during the Great Depression.
    Elsa’s family are affluent and a pillar of the community. She marries the son of an Italian immigrant and goes to live and work on his family’s farm.
    Several years later they are crippled with drought and dust storms. Every day is a struggle to survive and feed her family.
    This is a sad story but highlights the courage of the people and dedication to their families a
    ...more
    Michelle
    Dec 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    The Four winds from Kirsten Hannah is my first book from the author I have read, and it won’t be my last.
    The Four winds relate to Texas in the 1930’s during the ‘dust bowl’ era through to the great depression. Where farmers fought to keep their lands alive in the drought and many left for California to make a new life but then had obstacles to overcome when they worked for plantation owners who exploited their workers and they left them half starved and others died of starvation because they did
    ...more
    Lori Boyd
    Jan 07, 2021 rated it it was amazing
    Wow! I am blown away (no pun intended). This book will stay with you long after you read the last page, much like The Nightingale. As we enter a new year with the same pandemic and political strife, so much of this book will open your eyes to the plight of those less fortunate trying to feed their families and make a living in dire times and trying to right wrongs. Sound familiar? This book takes us from Texas to California during the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl. I admit, I put off readin ...more
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    Kristin Hannah is the award-winning and bestselling author of more than 20 novels including the international blockbuster, The Nightingale, which was named Goodreads Best Historical fiction novel for 2015 and won the coveted People's Choice award for best fiction in the same year. Additionally, it was named a Best Book of the Year by Amazon, iTunes, Buzzfeed, the Wall Street Journal, Paste, and Th ...more

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    “The four winds have blown us here, people from all across the country, to the very end of this great land. And now, at last, we make our stand, fight for what we know to be right. We fight for our American dream, that it will be possible again.” 1 likes
    “I am in awe of her fire. Even if I'm the one she sets on fire.” 1 likes
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