“My land tells its story if you listen. The story of our family.”
Texas, 1921. A time of abundance. The Great War is over, the bounty of the land is plentiful, and America is on the brink of a new and optimistic era. But for Elsa Wolcott, deemed too old to marry in a time when marriage is a woman’s only option, the future seems bleak. Until the night she meets Rafe Martinelli and decides to change the direction of her life. With her reputation in ruin, there is only one respectable choice: marriage to a man she barely knows.
By 1934, the world has changed; millions are out of work and drought has devastated the Great Plains. Farmers are fighting to keep their land and their livelihoods as crops fail and water dries up and the earth cracks open. Dust storms roll relentlessly across the plains. Everything on the Martinelli farm is dying, including Elsa’s tenuous marriage; each day is a desperate battle against nature and a fight to keep her children alive.
In this uncertain and perilous time, Elsa—like so many of her neighbors—must make an agonizing choice: fight for the land she loves or leave it behind and go west, to California, in search of a better life for her family.
Kristin Hannah writes in a way that truly makes you feel part of the story. The characters in this story Four Winds became such a huge part of my life. When they struggled, I struggled. When they faced injustice, I felt their pain, their anger, their desire to persevere.
You know that saying “it’s important to study history so that it won’t repeat itself”…Well this story seems eerily parallel so much of what our society and our country struggles with today.
Elsa is truly a testament to all of the strong women who fight to survive. In 1935, being turned away by your parents after becoming pregnant by someone considered shameful, abandoned by your cowardly husband, and mistreated by society because of your race and ethnicity, is the ultimate fight for survival.
Forced to make life or death decisions, Elsa forged on. Lorada, her fierce daughter followed in her mother’s footsteps determined to fight for justice.
There is really no other way to describe how truly amazing this book was. After reading the last page and closing the book, I felt like I said goodbye to Elsa, Lorada, and Ant. I felt the need to thank them for their bravery and for the lessons they have taught every reader lucky enough to “know” them. When an author can have that effect on a reader… it’s enough said. 10 million stars AGAIN to Kristin Hannah!
Kristin Hannah is the award-winning and bestselling author of more than 20 novels including the international blockbuster, The Nightingale, which was named Goodreads Best Historical fiction novel for 2015 and won the coveted People’s Choice award for best fiction in the same year. Additionally, it was named a Best Book of the Year by Amazon, iTunes, Buzzfeed, the Wall Street Journal, Paste, and The Week.
Kristin’s newest new release, The Great Alone, was published on February 6, 2018 (St. Martin’s Press) and became an instant New York Times #1 bestseller. The novel, an epic love story and intimate family drama set in Alaska in the turbulent 1970’s is a daring, stay-up-all-night story about love and loss, the fight for survival and the wildness that lives in both nature and man. Like The Nightingale, The Great Alone was voted the best Historical novel of the year by Goodreads readers.
The Nightingale is currently in production at Tri Star, with director Melanie Laurent and Dakota and Elle Fanning to star. Tri Star has also optioned The Great Alone and is in development.
Kristin’s novel, The Four Winds, set during the Great Depression was published on February 9, 2021.