ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kristin Hannah is an American author who is known for her critically acclaimed novels such as The Nightingale and Firefly Lane. Both the books have been adapted into well-received movies.
Hannah has also won several awards for her impressive works. These include the National Reader’s Choice Award given to her in 1996, besides The Maggie Award and The Golden Heart Award.
She currently lives with her husband and son in Bainbridge Island in Washington, USA.
SYNOPSIS (CONTAINS SPOILERS)
The Four Winds is a story set in the early eighteenth century. It revolves around the life of its female protagonist, Elsa Wolcott. Wolcott is a 25-year-old woman who struggles with her complex about her overall appearance. She lives with her parents and two sisters in a gloomy Texan atmosphere.
The story is divided into four parts, each of them detailing the events from her teenage to adulthood. Elsa is mostly looking for a purpose in her life, trying to get out of The-Great-Depression-ridden society, where people are involved in a daily struggle to put food on the table.
Despite all hardships, Elsa dreams of having a normal life, going to a college, and finding a good husband; she is a simple girl with rather simple dreams. However, she goes through many ups and downs in her life.
Elsa falls for the wrong guy, who leaves her with two kids. Fending for herself and her family becomes a continuous challenge, yet Elsa stays hopeful and keeps trying to find hope amid all that hopelessness.
Sadly, her dream of going to college remains unfulfilled. However, by the end of the book, her daughter is poised to fulfill her mother’s wish posthumously.
WHAT WE LIKED ABOUT THE FOUR WINDS
The author paints an unforgettable picture of the eighteenth-century Dust Bowl throughout the novel. The story serves as a reminder of the willpower and strength of women, particularly mothers, who would do anything it takes to protect their family.
WHAT WE DID NOT LIKE ABOUT THE FOUR WINDS
The overall setting of the book is a bit depressing, which does not make this book an ideal read for everyone.
It wasn’t the fear that mattered in life. It was the choices made when you were afraid. You were brave because of your fear, not in spite of it.
‘Don’t worry about dying, Elsa. Worry about not living. Be brave. – Grandpa Wolcott’
A warrior believes in an end she can’t see and fights for it. A warrior never gives up. A warrior fights for those weaker than herself. It sounds like motherhood to me.
The Four Winds merits a decent 3.5 stars out of 5. The author’s worldbuilding and masterful inclusion of historical events such as The Dust Bowl and The Great Depression in the book are a job well done. That said, the story does lose its edge eventually, which is why this is by no means one of Hannah’s best works.
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