Rating: 5 / 5
I credit Kristin Hannah’s THE NIGHTENGALE with reminding me that I do love historical fiction when it is well done and I loved her THE GREAT ALONE as well. When I knew she had a new one coming, I was very excited and it was one of my easiest Book of the Month picks ever! I also had the audiobook for this one thanks to Macmillan Audio!
THE FOUR WINDS begins in 1934 Texas in a farming community plagued with drought and dust. Elsa Martinelli has made a home for herself and her family on her in-laws’ farm, but along with all of their neighbors the crops are nearly non-existent and the dust is killing the animals and putting their own lives at risk. This novel follows Elsa’s story and the tough decisions she must make to try to make a life for her family in the worst of conditions.
I was hooked by Elsa’s story from the very beginning thanks to the author’s beautiful writing. She did a fantastic job laying out the despair and hopelessness of the situation faced by so many at the time. There is power in the love of her family and friendships she manages to make, but also a lot of tragedy in the way those in power can take advantage of those desperate to provide for those they love.
I really loved getting to know Elsa and later getting the POV of her daughter Loreda as well. I loved how the author really brought some basic teenage experience into the mix with Loreda in her struggles with her mom even as she had to grow up fast. Elsa has a constant battle between wanting her kids to have the opportunities kids should have like an education and needing to rely on her kids to provide other necessities like food to eat.
I listened to much of this book and highly recommend the audio. There was a fantastic discussion with the author at the end as well as she talked about the book and the echoes of the story in the modern day.