The four winds / Kristin Hannah.

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  • Additional Information
    • Publication Information:
      First U.S. edition.
    • Abstract:
      Summary: "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, 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 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"-- Provided by publisher.
    • ISBN:
      9781250178602
      1250178606
    • Accession Number:
      2020040176
    • Accession Number:
      fay.729940

Reviews

Booklist Reviews 2020 October #2

*Starred Review* With this emotionally charged epic of Dust Bowl-era Texas and its dramatic aftermath, the prolific Hannah has added another outstanding novel to her popular repertoire. In 1921, Elsa Wolcott is a tall, bookish woman of 25 whose soul is stifled by her superficial parents. By 1934, after marrying Rafe Martinelli, a young Italian Catholic who was the first man to show her affection, Elsa is a mother of two who has found a home on her beloved in-laws' farm. Severe drought and terrible dust storms affect everyone in this proud family, and they are all forced to make tough choices. This wide-ranging saga ticks all the boxes for deeply satisfying historical fiction. Elsa is an achingly real character whose sense of self-worth slowly emerges through trying circumstances, and her shifting relationship with her rebellious daughter, Loreda, is particularly moving. Hannah brings the impact of the environmental devastation on the Great Plains down to a personal level with ample period-appropriate details and reactions, showing how people's love for their land made them reluctant to leave. The storytelling is propulsive, and the contemporary relevance of the novel's themes—among them, how outsiders are unfairly blamed for economic inequalities—provides additional depth in this rich, rewarding read about family ties, perseverance, and women's friendships and fortitude.HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Hannah is a consistent best-seller, and this sharply relevant tale of a past catastrophic time will exert a particularly strong magnetic force. Copyright 2020 Booklist Reviews.

LJ Reviews 2021 February

Elsa Wolcott was stricken with rheumatic fever at 14 and was subsequently sheltered by her parents. Skinny, unusually tall, and thought to be too fragile to engage in routine activities, she had only books as her companions. She turns 25 in 1921; her family sees her as an unattractive spinster. When Elsa boldly escapes the confines of her home seeking excitement, she meets a young Italian man named Rafe Martinelli, which alters her path. Soon, she is living on a wheat farm in the Texas Panhandle, embracing her new life. This exquisite novel follows Elsa through nearly two decades of hardship, including the Dust Bowl, droughts, the Great Depression, migrant farming in California, and a devastating flood. VERDICT Through Elsa's eyes, readers travel through the Great Depression era and experience firsthand the difficulties faced in the Great Plains. Historical fiction readers will become immersed in this poignant story by Hannah (The Nightingale; The Great Alone) and will enjoy witnessing Elsa's transformation from fragile, insecure girl to fearless, resilient woman.—Mary Todd Chesnut, Northern Kentucky Univ. Lib., Highland Heights

Copyright 2021 Library Journal.

PW Reviews 2020 November #2

Hannah (The Great Alone) brings Dust Bowl migration to life in this riveting story of love, courage, and sacrifice. In 1934 Texas, after four years of drought, the Martinelli farm is no longer thriving, but Elsa is attached to the land and her in-laws, and she works tirelessly and cares for her children, 12-year-old Loreda and seven-year-old Anthony. Her husband, Rafe, has become distant and something of a hard drinker, and after he abandons them, Elsa reluctantly leaves with her children for California with the promise of steady work. Her dreams of a better future are interrupted by the discrimination they face in the unwelcoming town of Welty, where they are forced to live in a migrant camp and work for extremely low wages picking cotton. When Elsa's meager wages are further reduced and she has the opportunity to join striking workers, she must decide whether to face the dangers of standing up for herself and her fellow workers. Hannah combines gritty realism with emotionally rich characters and lyrical prose that rings brightly and true from the first line ("Hope is a coin I carry: an American penny, given to me by a man I came to love"). In Elsa, a woman who fiercely defends her principles and those she loves, Hannah brilliantly revives the ghost of Tom Joad. (Feb.)

Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly.