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A friend of mine on Instagram bought this book from ThriftBooks and sang praises of author Kristin Hannah’s writing, warning me to keep a box of tissues.
Thinking myself to be strong enough, I went ahead and downloaded this book. Oh my!! I needed those tissues. The story pulled my heartstrings from the moment I started the book.
Elsa had a tough childhood. She married, found a family, had two children, and the 1930s stock market crash occurred. Along with the economic breakdown, winds destroyed the crops along with the drought that made lands barren. And Elsa had to choose if she wanted to fight it out or move.
It was on this backdrop that the author decided to test the strength of Elsa’s character. The writing, depicting her survival during these times, was mind blowing. I couldn’t believe how tough she was. She was a fighter, and I was in complete awe of her, even when tears glistened in my eyes.
I was so drawn to this woman for whom life didn’t come with a bowl of peaches. In fact, all she had was a land where crops were dying, and it was purely survival from day to day.
Elsa was brilliant. She was tough and vulnerable. Every time she got up, she was knocked down. The author really put her through her paces.
This was not an easy read. My heart broke for her and the trials she had to go through. And you wouldn’t believe all that was written. The author really threw the book of calamities at her.
The book was pure strength. I couldn’t believe people like her existed who came out of such times beating the circumstances. Characters were well developed so also the relationships between them.
This was a big book and took me the whole day (of crying and swallowing the lump in my throat) to get through it. Note to me: Buy only happy books from Kobo from now on.
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AMAZON USA: https://amzn.to/3dHG8yO
AMAZON UK: https://amzn.to/2RZe55z
Texas, 1934. Millions are out of work and a drought has broken the Great Plains. Farmers are fighting to keep their land and their livelihoods as the crops are failing, the water is drying up, and dust threatens to bury them all. One of the darkest periods of the Great Depression, the Dust Bowl era, has arrived with a vengeance.
In this uncertain and dangerous time, Elsa Martinelli—like so many of her neighbors—must make an agonizing choice: fight for the land she loves or go west, to California, in search of a better life. 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.
Publication Date: April 2021
I downloaded the book from an online retail site, and this is my journey down its pages, straight from the heart. STRICTLY HONEST and UNBIASED.
All my reviews can be found here.
I was iffy about this book. I applaud her forming of the heroine, because she went against the grain as far as book heroines go. She didn’t cling to normal tropes either. These are good. There was something about the plot line that got tedious to me. I think I’m the only person who didn’t weep through this book
I checked Goodreads there are many who found it tedious and dark. LA, with the way people of my country are dying on the roads without oxygen and the apathy of the governance, I am crying at the smallest of things. So after reading this, I was more down. As said, no more sad books. Life itself is too sad. Also leads me to wonder if I would have been so emotional if life had been peaceful. For me, life affects the way I react to a book.
I completely understand. Honestly, I tend to read a lot of “chick lit” because I do like a happy ending, when we were in lockdown, I was reading across genres a lot more, but now that things have settled here, I can see me switching back to chick lit, essay/memoirs and upbeat self help again. I did cry when I read House in the Cerulean Sea, but just cause I thought it was beautiful. I’m thinking if you.💗💗💗
I wanted this year to be a place where I would heal as I lost colleagues and friends last year. But the shock that has started from March has made me numb. Now I have my colleagues crying through the pain as they can’t take it anymore. And the power makers have decided it doesn’t make any difference if they lose 10 million as after all we have enough population to be his vote bank. Thank you for all your good wishes. I think we need them to survive. Nothing else seems to make sense anymore. I am reading psych thrillers and women’s fiction more as I can’t seem to be able to read crime thrillers. With serial killers. A whodunit I can manage, the rest not so much.
You’re reading things that just let you breathe. It makes sense. I’ll send you my thoughts as that’s all I have. Read easy.
I literally have to hold myself together when I break into pieces. Some days I just don’t want to get up from bed. But I am responsible for 2 families so I cannot let go. One day at a time used to be my way, now it is one minute at a time, one breath at a time, one step at a time. I don’t think beyond the next task I have to do. Thank you so much for understanding.
That’s just it..do one thing. Breathe. Next. Breathe. Do little things that make you shut off for awhile, like a cute whodunit or a frothy heroine. A little escape from the harsh reality is ok. It’s part of survival. 🤗
True that. Audiobooks are helping too. I can sleep only by listening to them
They help my brain focus just enough to shut off. One breath at a time.
Nothing wrong with shutting your brain any way you can. It’s all about getting to the next minute…and you need to be rested
❤️ Thank you.
Wonderful review Shalini. I find it so hard to say, I enjoyed a book that is so tragic, but I did. The writing was amazing and yes, Elsa was such a great character, the strength of a mother protecting her children is so awesome and inspiring. I agree, with all that is going on in the world, these sad books are hard to read and make me more emotional as well.
I am so sorry about all that is happening in your country right now. I have been praying for the world, but especially for those in India who are suffering, dying and losing their loved ones in such terrible circumstances.
Thank you so much for your wishes and prayers. It is terrible to hear my doc friends cry to me on the phone. I think we have reached a limit. Can’t see more patients die. All the deaths being reported is a big fat lie. The number is so high that the plate plate of the electrical crematorium has burned down because of the sheer number. And the governing bodies say only 2k it is 2k in every small district. A small hospital is seeing 40 deaths over 24 hours. I can’t even tell you more as it is simply a massacre of humanity all because of lack of oxygen sent by the governing body. They are not bothered.
Wonderful review! I’ve heard so many amazing things about this book and I know I have to properly gear myself up to read it because Kristin Hannah has a wicked ability to wreck all my emotions with her stories 😂 I do look forward to it though because I enjoy how evocative her writing is and how well she brings her characters to life.
I hope you enjoy it. It is quite dark and a lot of struggles. Keep those tissues with you
excellent review, Shalini, heart felt and emotional and i’m so sorry to read how really terrible things are there. i know we as a people are not told the whole story and the numbers we see are what they want us to see–nothing more. sometimes that’s inflated to get us motivated; other times underplayed. in our tiny little part of the world things are not as dire as they were even a few months ago. as for books that make you cry–we don’t need more of those right now. i love that she is a great writer and stories of “the dust bowl” were horrendous. the circumstances forced much of both our families out of the midwest–why we ended up in California–where we were then forced out due to economical issues years ago. i gotta think this will run its course but its obviously taking a lot longer than we ever imagined.
It is taking so much out of me that I feel myself breaking up. Some days it is like an invisible sliver that keeps me from healing. When my friend cried to be about how she is unable to save anyone because there is no oxygen, I lost it completely. This is the only planet with oxygen and my people are dying for the lack of basic essential. When someone told me years ago that humans needed love to survive. I always countered that we need only oxygen to survive. I never knew my words would be proved true in this manner. My colleague died on the parking lot struggling for oxygen. Omg GIN he choked to death due to lack of oxygen. A doc that too… How does one survive this?
Sometimes I need a good sobfest to make me shut up about my own trite issues which are so much lesser than the character’s challenges.
A very empathetic review. 😉 The story is very interesting, especially because it looks like we’re going to see something like this again soon. Michael
Reblogged this on Angie Dokos.
One of my favorite reads so far this year!