What I’m Reading: The Four Winds

I’ve been trying not to burn up Audible credits.  All books aren’t available through my online libraries or the wait is incredibly long so after seeing I was still on the list as #124 on 19 copies for my chance to read The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah.  I decided the heck with it.  I was burning up a credit and treating myself to this book.

I’m a long-time Kristin Hannah fan.  I’ve read so many of her books and I love them all.  I put myself on the waitlist immediately when I knew the book was coming out…but I was #210 on six copies.  Apparently, the library got more copies in but I wasn’t feeling patient.  I wanted something really good to listen to while I worked on my deadline quilt.  I figured if I had a really good book, I’d be more apt to sit and sew.

The Four Winds: A Novel
I loved the book.  I was nervous about it after Mary at Country Threads said it was hard to read as there was so much sadness.  I’ll warn you, there is a lot of sadness.  Once I saw the story was about the dust bowl I knew there would be.

Reading dust bowl stories, I believe, is super hard for people with a connection to farming and land.  In the story, the family speaks so much about a connection to the land.  I totally understand that connection.  It was hard for our family to sell the farm after my Dad died.  He had a connection to the land.  We had the connection to the land…my Grandpa had a connection to the land.

I’ll admit to crying a few times while reading this novel so many blows this family endured…it was impossible for me not to get teary-eyed.

I listened to this in audiobook form.  I actually very much recommend it in audio form.  There is a wonderful interview with the author at the end.  I think I learned even more from the interview.

Here’s what Amazon has to say:
Texas, 1934. Millions are out of work and 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.”

Amazon readers gave the book 4.6 stars.  I’d definitely agree.  It was excellent.

You can find the book on Amazon HERE.

I highly recommend other books by Hannah.  The Nightingale and The Great Alone were both excellent as well.

 

19 thoughts on “What I’m Reading: The Four Winds

  1. Marie C Almon

    My first read of this author was “The Winter Garden” in an older Reader’s Digest Condensed Books. It is a truly wonder and engrossing book. I hunted for it everywhere to buy it and it share with my daughter, who has a vested interest in Russian Literature. No luck with buying, but on Facebook Marketplace, I did find a whole box of books being given away, a two hour drive from my home. “The Winter Garden” was just one of about a dozen books by Kristen Hannah in that box! It was an amazing gift and I was only too happy to be able to get these books by merely driving over to pick them up. ’twas worth ever mile and minute spent on the road that miserable winter day!

    Reply
  2. Janet Orr

    I just today finished listening to “The Four Winds”. I loved it. I have loved all of Kristin Hannah’s books so far. Next up is “The Great Alone”.

    I love listening to audible books while sewing. A way to do both of my favorite things at the same time!

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  3. Barbara woods

    if you are like me, I see it in my head and that makes it hard to read about the dust bowl and people starving

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  4. Tama

    Same experience with the wait list but it was finally my turn yesterday to pick up from the library. Looking forward to a great read!

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  5. Shirley l barrett

    Do you ever read books on utube, that book is on there for free. Enjoy your book. Shirley in az

    Reply
  6. Sherrill

    It was a very good but such a hard read! My mom and dad were born in 1915/17 so they lived the dustbowl. After reading the book, it made me so sad that I never asked them about their experiences. Just something I never thought to do. My dad died in 1988 and mom in 2000.

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  7. Christine

    I also recently finished listening to “The Four Winds”. I loved it. A great story! And I enjoyed the interview with the author at the end but also the interview with the narrator, Julia Whelan. She is great. I could listen to her all day long! Did you know she used to be an actress? And that she wrote a book and narrated it too? It is called “My Oxford Year”. The character, an American student, spends a year at Oxford which is relatable to me since my daughter recently spent a year in London.

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  8. Lynda Breegle

    Jo, I agree that this is an excellent book. What made it even better was that I listened to it for free on YouTube! I have just discovered that YouTube has a large selection of free full-length audiobooks! No wait and no time limit to finish them. You can search by author or title or just the general category of “free audiobooks.”

    Reply
  9. Donna M

    I’m number 281 on the waiting list at my library. But, that’s okay. I will listen to Nightingale. I have already read and enjoyed The Great Alone. Thanks for giving this review.

    Reply
  10. Judith Fairchild

    My parents and their siblings lived through the dust bowl. My great gragpa managed to hang onto his farm. How I don’t know. The stories they all told and some of them were actually funny like my broth and cousin getting into the bucket of greasethry used to lubricate the tractor parts. But they lived on greens and cornbread. Not a whole lot of either. For every meal. Mom said the hardest part was nothing stayed clean. The dust would blow on the wet clothes as they hung on the line. Th men hitchhiker all over the country looking for work.

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  11. Brenda Powers

    I burned through an audible credit as well. Having read all of her books I knew it would be worth it and it was! I was so caught up in this era i found a used copy of The Grapes of Wrath and am in the middle of that now. Such hard living those people went through! Audible books and sewing are my favorite combo!

    Reply
  12. Toni

    I loved The Nightingale; I liked The Great Alone a lot; I did not like much of Winter’s Garden. I feel like I’m in the minority on that one. I very much enjoyed the sections about the mother’s experiences in Russia, but I felt I had to suspend belief too much on some of the other plot lines. I’m glad to hear you liked this one.

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  13. Joyce

    My first Kristin Hannah read was Firefly Lane and I was hooked! I loved The Four Winds, but my favorite is The Nightingale–can’t wait for the movie which will be out later this year (hopefully will be able to see it in a theater).

    Reply
  14. NJ

    I’ve been reading books on the Dust Bowl & the Depression, including The Four Winds. My parents were teenagers then so it helps me realize what life was about for them. I think books about these hard times should be required reading in high school.

    Reply

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