“When Kristin Hannah witnessed the impact of The Nightingale—her bestseller about two sisters resisting tyranny in Nazi-occupied France—she realized she wanted to write a work of historical fiction that was deeply American.
The Four Winds is an immersive read full of cinematic historical detail, wrenching drama, and moving portrayals of friendship and love. It reminds us, says Hannah, that “so many of the things we’re going through now are things that we have gone through before. It’s always the struggle between the haves and the have-nots in the world… The important thing is to remember kindness and the concept of justice.”
The result is this sweeping story about a family’s trials and tribulations during the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl years. Even before she gets pregnant by a man who doesn’t truly love her, Elsa Martinelli has a harsh, sad life. But once married, Elsa finds comfort with her in-laws: Italian immigrants and Texas wheat farmers who share with her their loyalty to family and the land. But when life on the farm becomes unbearable, Elsa and her two children head to California in search of a better future. Hannah puts her heroine through the wringer, but in the process she maps Elsa’s journey to find her confidence and voice.