Title: The Four Winds
Author: Kristin Hannah
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Published: February 2, 2021
Format: Book of the Month
I always look forward to Kristin’s books and this was no exception. I was pumped that I was able to choose it for my BoTM pick!
I was between a 3.5 and 4 star rating and I was generous. After writing this review, I’m knocking it down to 3.5 stars. I did enjoy my time with it but I had a few things that bothered me. Let’s get into the good stuff first!
One thing that Kristin excels at is taking historical events and submerging you into it. She writes these events so clearly and cleverly that you forget it’s a work of fiction. This one focuses on the droughts/Dust Bowl and the Great Depression. It’s so hard to read at times because life is so unbearable and you wonder how they just move forward. I guess it’s because they had no choice.
I liked how Elsa was such a workhorse. She went from one being overly taken care of to becoming a hardworking caretaker, herself. The way that she accepts her hand and goes about her work, is inspiring, at times. The beginning of her story is a bit slower and I didn’t become gripped until her children came along. One of my favorite things about Elsa is her love and compassion for others. She doesn’t think highly of herself but she bends over backward for the ones she loves.
Speaking of children, Loreda drove me nuts so many times. She was kind of unbearable at times and never learned her lessons until it was too late. She would sometimes tend to forget those lessons and do the same things over and over. One of my biggest issues with this book is that both Elsa and Loreda, they have the same conversations and thoughts, repeatedly. It was getting a bit much to read over and over. Elsa focused too much on how she was ugly and Loreda on how she wanted to get out of there and her mom was the worst. It was a circle of the same things for both of them. It became redundant pretty fast.
Like I mentioned before, the pacing is a little slow. It doesn’t take off until partway. I felt like the ending was a bit rushed too. Too many things happen way too quickly. I would have loved to have that a little more flushed out. I will admit that I did tear up a bit at the end of the book, so she still got me.
Overall, this was a very heartbreaking and powerful story about women during one of the hardest times. It shows you how much grit you can dig for and survive. One of the things that upset me was that I saw so many similarities to our country today. This was long enough in the past that our current state should be so much better. In ways, it is but in others, it isn’t. I don’t understand why any person thinks they are better than another. We are all human beings when it comes down to it and we should always show kindness.