"The Bestselling Hardcover Novel of the Year."Publishers Weekly
Book of the Month Club's Best Book of 2021
Selected for The Texas Library Association's 2022 Lariat Adult Fiction Reading List
"The Four Winds seems eerily prescient in 2021 . . . Its message is galvanizing and hopeful: We are a nation of scrappy survivors. We’ve been in dire straits before; we will be again. Hold your people close.”—The New York Times
"A spectacular tour de force that shines a spotlight on the indispensable but often overlooked role of Greatest Generation women."—People
"Epic and transporting, a stirring story of hardship and love...Majestic and absorbing."—USA Today
"Through one woman’s survival during the harsh and haunting Dust Bowl, master storyteller, Kristin Hannah, reminds us that the human heart and our Earth are as tough, yet as fragile, asa change in the wind. This mother’s soul, suffering the same drought as the land, attempts to cross deserts and beat starvation to save her children with a fierce inner strength called motherhood. A timely novel highlighting the worth and delicate nature of Nature itself." —Delia Owens, author of WHERE THE CRAWDADS SING
"A powerful, stirring, wind-swept tale set in Depression-era America that makes your heart break and soar in equal measure. An escape into the past with timely echoes to the present. Kristin Hannah is a classic storyteller and The Four Winds sees her at the top of her game.” MATT HAIG, New York Times bestselling author of THE MIDNIGHT LIBRARY
"Wow. I have been left with a bursting heart. Prepare to go on a journey. The story of Elsa and her family will sweep you up on its wings and plunge you to the depths of feeling. This novel is crucial for our times: although set during the Great Depression and the terrible dust bowls, it holds up a mirror to our current world and asks us to look and to understand deeply. It is a story of migration, poverty, prejudice - it shines a light on a crisis that is all too real in today’s world. Yet, it is also a story of love, family, unbreakable bonds, bravery and hope. I will never forget the characters, what they endured and how they hoped and loved. I feel that I will be forever touched by them. I loved this book so much!" Christy Lefteri, author of THE BEEKEEPER OF ALEPPO
"The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah is a captivating, heartbreaking tale of a family who will do anything for each other — and everything to survive. The strength of Hannah’s prose brings the characters to life in a way that will make you unable to tear yourself away from them. You will celebrate their triumphs, mourn their tragedies, and commend their bravery.
Through it all, it is easy to feel Hannah’s desire to honor those who lived and fought through this devastating time in history. The Four Winds is also an ode to the strength and ferocity of mothers, and a declaration that sometimes, love is the only thing that holds us together.
Above all else, The Four Winds is merely a really good story, one that hits you in all the right places and will keep surprising you until the end."—Associated Press
"One woman’s journey exemplifies the hard choices families faced when confronted with survival versus a sense of home."—GoodMorningAmerica.com
"Hannah brings Dust Bowl migration to life in this riveting story of love, courage, and sacrifice...combines gritty realism with emotionally rich characters and lyrical prose that rings brightly and true from the first line"— Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Outstanding.... [A] rich, rewarding read about family ties, perseverance, and women's friendships and fortitude." — Booklist (starred review)
"The Four Winds is a sweeping epic about an American struggling to keep her family afloat. It feels eerily timely as it highlights the ways women rally during a national crisis."—Real Simple
"A heartbreaking but beautiful story of sacrifice, courage, love, and hope. Grab the tissues."—The Skimm
The miseries of the Depression and Dust Bowl years shape the destiny of a Texas family.
“Hope is a coin I carry: an American penny, given to me by a man I came to love. There were times in my journey when I felt as if that penny and the hope it represented were the only things that kept me going.” We meet Elsa Wolcott in Dalhart, Texas, in 1921, on the eve of her 25th birthday, and wind up with her in California in 1936 in a saga of almost unrelieved woe. Despised by her shallow parents and sisters for being sickly and unattractive—“too tall, too thin, too pale, too unsure of herself”—Elsa escapes their cruelty when a single night of abandon leads to pregnancy and forced marriage to the son of Italian immigrant farmers. Though she finds some joy working the land, tending the animals, and learning her way around Mama Rose's kitchen, her marriage is never happy, the pleasures of early motherhood are brief, and soon the disastrous droughts of the 1930s drive all the farmers of the area to despair and starvation. Elsa's search for a better life for her children takes them out west to California, where things turn out to be even worse. While she never overcomes her low self-esteem about her looks, Elsa displays an iron core of character and courage as she faces dust storms, floods, hunger riots, homelessness, poverty, the misery of migrant labor, bigotry, union busting, violent goons, and more. The pedantic aims of the novel are hard to ignore as Hannah embodies her history lesson in what feels like a series of sepia-toned postcards depicting melodramatic scenes and clichéd emotions.
For devoted Hannah fans in search of a good cry.