Finally, I was able to read a neighborhood book club book again. The Four Winds, by Kristin Hannah (2021) is set in the 1930s, during the Great Depression and the horrible Dust Bowl times in Texas, Oklahoma, and surrounding states. It’s definitely not a feel-good beach read, though there is plenty of goodness in it.
This book draws you in quickly, as you’re taken in by the story of CCX and her isolated life in west Texas. Hannah truly tells a good tale and make the characters seem real.
Every once in a while someone says or does something that seems out of character to me, but I just rode along with it. I think some of it is how jarring Elsa’s breakthroughs of her “true self” appear, like when she suddenly goes out and BOOM has sex with the first male she encounters.
You also can’t avoid drawing parallels with our current times. Those hard working farmers just couldn’t grasp that they were actually the source of the problems. The message isn’t subtle, but the points ring true.
“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
I was fascinated by the depth of the horror people lived through during the Dust Bowl times. The graphic images of dirt and more dirt are sobering, as are the details of the lives of “Okies” who fled to California.
You’ll come to admire the tenacity of Elsa and her kids and have a hard time putting this one down. I love historical novels like this, where you learn a lot as you enjoy a good tale.