Book Review: “The Four Winds” by Kristin Hannah

Genre: Historical Fiction

1921, Texas panhandle

Elsa Wolcott is 25 years old, far past the time to marry.

She is not loved by her parents and the only words of encouragement she ever heard were from her grandpa: Be brave (and if you can’t be brave, make believe you are).

Elsa is brave….even though she does not think she is.

Buying some beautiful red silk, Elsa made a dress, did herself up really nice (she is not pretty….her parents tell her that all the time), and headed out the door, against her fathers wishes, to a speakeasy, where she met a farmer from another town….Rafe.


Elsa and Rafe Martinelli have two kids. Loreda almost 13 and Anthony (Ant) about 8.

Elsa’s parents dis-owned her but Rafe’s parents accepted her into the family, and love her and the grandkids.

Their farm is struggling in the great depression and dust bowl.

But Elsa works hard, perseveres, and is brave (or makes believe she is).

People are leaving the midwest and heading to California where jobs are promised and there is no drought.

Years of intense struggle pass, Rafe leaves, and finally the pain and suffering (along with Ant’s sickness caused by the dust storms) force Elsa to take the kids to California, where……

Oh, to find out what happens you will have to read the book.

“The Four Winds” is a beautifully written novel about love, hate, fear, and most of all struggle. But…..because it is so beautifully written the reader suffers right along with the characters. And it is tiring, very tiring. Elsa is VERY strong….

The other book I read by Kristin Hannah…..brilliant… instant classic!


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