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The Four Winds: A Novel Audio CD – Import, 2 February 2021
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#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
#1 USA TODAY BESTSELLER
#1 WALL STREET JOURNAL BESTSELLER
#1 INDIE BESTSELLER
"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
"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, as a change in the wind." ―Delia Owens, author of Where the Crawdads Sing
From the number-one bestselling author of The Nightingale and The Great Alone comes a powerful American epic about love and heroism and hope, set during the Great Depression, a time when the country was in crisis and at war with itself, when millions were out of work and even the land seemed to have turned against them.
“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.
The Four Winds is a rich, sweeping novel that stunningly brings to life the Great Depression and the people who lived through it―the harsh realities that divided us as a nation and the enduring battle between the haves and the have-nots. A testament to hope, resilience, and the strength of the human spirit to survive adversity, The Four Winds is an indelible portrait of America and the American dream, as seen through the eyes of one indomitable woman whose courage and sacrifice will come to define a generation.
A Macmillan Audio production from St. Martin's Press
"Julia Whelan is herself a master storyteller because it’s absolute magic how she brings this novel to life for listeners. Her emotional rendering will bring tears and laughter and she portrays every character perfectly, men women and children...Have the tissues close when you put those earbuds in." -- Reading Franzy
"With forceful narrative drive, Whelan delivers a compelling performance of Hannah's memorable new novel." -- AudioFile Magazine
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About the Author
- Publisher : Macmillan Audio; Unabridged edition (2 February 2021)
- Language : English
- ISBN-10 : 1250317258
- ISBN-13 : 978-1250317254
- Item Weight : 308 g
- Dimensions : 12.57 x 2.88 x 15.47 cm
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
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Top reviews from India
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May be at least one person who need this book in their life would read it.
Our protagonist Elsa(I would love to meet her in person, that's how much I fell in love with her. ) who from childhood is made to believe that she is just a underdog and believe that she is not capable of anyone's love.
Raff was 18 and Elsa was 25 then. They get married under circumstances in which Elsa conceives a child before their marriage.
Elsa's parents abandon them and she discovers her life's truth(No spoilers here)
The place were Elsa lives is affected serious drought and famine also followed by great depression.
Raff fed up their situation abandons Elsa and their two kids - Loreda and Ant.
A beautiful journey unfolds exploring the mother-daughter, mother-son relationship.
Did Elsa stood in the resilient times and got through it. READ IT.
IN A SINGLE STRETCH.
"YOU WOULD LOVE THE JOURNEY IN THIS FAT AND FLUFFY BOOK."
An insanely fantastic, wonderful and heart-touching historical fiction about a never-give-up attitude. The book taught me the value of the smallest things in life I took for granted, or dismissed as being too cheap to value. I learned how every penny that I waste for indulgence in luxury, can define the difference between life-and-death for another woman.
And finally, I remain grateful to Life that I got a chance to getting education without working each day as a child, bleeding myself, hurting like hell, living in worse than being in a pig-sty.
This novel is for each and every woman, who has ever thought of giving up. This novel is about keeping the spirit alive, even when you're on verge of destruction.
What I love about Hannah’s writing (and there is so much to love) is the vivid imagery she creates. Each line, each paragraph she has crafted, is like a photograph or a painting. Those pictures, they sear into you. I could not just see the hundreds of acres of the Martinelli farm with the golden stalks of wheat reaching for the sky, but I could also taste the fruit from their garden, smell the fecund earth, and when the drought hit, taste the dust on my lips. Feel the sun scorch my skin. The master craftsman that she is, Hannah, engages all your senses with her writing, which makes the reading experience so much more immersive.
The Four Winds is a work of historical fiction set during the American depression.
Even when times were good, they weren’t particularly great for Elsa. The middle daughter of a wealthy Texas family, she suffered the scorn of her parents and her siblings simply because they did not consider her beautiful or worthwhile. She craved for her parents’ love and approval, and their constant rejection of her needs shaped the woman she became.
An illness during her teenage years kept her from completing high school and giving up on her dream of going to college someday. For twenty-five years, Elsa kept to her room and to herself, books being her only salvation. Then one day, she put on a red dress she had sewed with her own hands, cut off her limp blonde hair and made her way to a speakeasy. A single decision that would forever change the course of her life.
Elsa is the heroine of this tale, and like so many of Hannah’s other heroines, she is strong (you have to be to live on a farm and then survive the drought years and the inhumane conditions of the migrant camps in California) and brave (even though she doesn’t believe it). Elsa is a survivor. A warrior. But perhaps what stands out most is her ability to love unconditionally: her children, her family. In essence, this is the story about motherhood.
Even though their relationship does not begin on a pleasant note, Elsa and her mother-in-law, Rose, grow to form a deep, indelible bond over time. In Rose, Elsa finds the mother she always wanted.
When the time came for Elsa and her children to say goodbye to Rose and Tony, her father-in-law, the quiet farmer, who treated her with nothing but kindness and respect from the day she landed on their farm, I was crying with them. It’s all about the family we make, after all.
At the heart of this book, though, is the relationship between Elsa and her fiery daughter Loreda. Unlike her mother, Loreda has stars in her eyes. At thirteen, she dreams of seeing the world, going to college, becoming a writer. She knows there is a vast universe out there, and she isn’t going to experience it if she stays on their farm, losing herself to the labour of surviving each day, like her mother. When her beloved father leaves, abandons the family at the height of the depression, Loreda blames Elsa.
Every insult, every horrid thing Loreda throws her way is compounded for Elsa by her deep-seated belief that she is unworthy of love, and yet, not even for a second does she stop loving her daughter. Mothers are simply the best, although, how my heart hurt for her.
When the situation on the farm becomes untenable, Elsa packs her two children in their truck and drives them across the desert to California, leaving behind the land and the family she has grown to love. Home. The only one she has known. On hitting the San Juan valley, they spot the lush rolling hills and fields swelling with crops. The family thinks their hard days are behind them, only to realize the worse is yet to come.
In great, painful detail, Hannah highlights their life in the migrant camp, every hardship, every humiliation they face. Throughout it all, Elsa puts on a brave face, even though she doesn’t feel courageous and does whatever she can for the survival of her children because that’s what mother’s do. And it is here that Loreda discovers the warrior her mother is.
The book is powerful, gut-wrenching, with a climax that will make you reach for the tissues. I was straight up sobbing. The book is one emotional roller-coaster ride.
There are other books written about the great depression, the most famous being Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath. But few highlight the experience of women, their contribution towards creating a more equitable society, or simply all the silent work they did to just keep their families surviving. And it is through their actions that they speak the loudest.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in historical fiction, loves a great story and is a sucker for gorgeous prose. Just be prepared to cry your eyes out.
First half of the book is a bit slow as some people might find it repetitive, but the author is trying to make readers feel the problems of human beings during the Great Depression and developing the characters as well.
The book is truly a gem as you get to know the depth of the characters. Just loved it. This book might teach you the blessings you have in life. A must read.
Top reviews from other countries
Am disappointed in her crafted story to promote Communism, wish I hadn’t spent $14.99 to support it.
As we enter a new year with the same pandemic and political strife, so much of this book will open your eyes to the plight of those less fortunate trying to feed their families and make a living in dire times and trying to right wrongs. Sound familiar? It's Heartbreaking that we are fighting for the same BASIC human rights as we did 90+ YEARS AGO!!!
The hardships faced by Elsa are simply relentless. Kristin Hannah wrote a visceral, richly detailed and atmospheric novel that will transport us back to the Dust Bowl and to the migrant settlements in California afterward, This is such a fascinating tale filled with captivating historical detail that gets glossed over in history books, Learning about the "company store" and how American citizens were forced to be basically slaves to these large farmers was eye-opening to me and I felt the desperation and hopelessness these people must have felt because they had nowhere to go and no one to turn to.
By the end of this book, I cried, I raised my fist in the air.. and I also wondered Kristin Hannah has written so many great novels that one can only ponder if she can continue on the winning streak..
Her writing will break you, move you, and heal you -all at once and she offers no regrets only explanations of why, how, and when she decided to choose such subjects to tackle with the upmost of respect, dignity, and courage.
Kristin Hannah began writing this novel over three years ago, before the pandemic, before the skyrocketing unemployment that would follow. And yet, this story is so relevant to our current days, the isolation, dwindling funds, people, as she says in her note at the end, frightened for their future, men in power shushing voices in order to further their own desires, wanting us to pay attention to what they say and not what they really mean or what they show by their actions. Or, as the Wizard of Oz said: ’Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.’
I am sure there are those who won’t agree with that,
But I just couldn’t find any joy in the book