I love most of Kristin Hannah’s books, and her new novel, The Four Winds is now one of my favorites! This historical fiction book covers the years of The Great Depression, The Dust Bowl and the California Agriculture Strikes. I know that seems like too much for one book, but Hannah expertly weaves her characters into these events with terrific detail and empathy.
Elsinor (Elsa) Wolcott is 25 years old and a member of a well-to-do family in the Texas panhandle. She is ‘too tall,’ ‘too pale’ and ‘too sickly’ – according to her parents . . . and dreams of going away to school and being loved. She ends up marrying an Italian, Catholic farmer and her family disowns her due to her “ruined reputation.” The Four Winds follows Elsa through the years of her life and her endless challenges. (You might want to have kleenexes on hand – this is the first book in a long time that had me crying.)
I LOVED the character of Elsa and also loved her inlaws and her children. They were all described so perfectly that I felt like I knew them. (And they were such interesting people to know!) The troubles of my everyday life seemed frivolous compared to the troubles that Elsa and her family faced. If you are looking for an amazing story that tugs at your heart and makes you care about its characters – read The Four Winds!!!!
Here is a link to a short videoclip about Ken Burns’ documentary, ‘The Dust Bowl’: Home | THE DUST BOWL