The Four Winds
St Martin’s Press
February 2, 2021
I don’t even know where to start with this review. There is much to say but I do not know if I can do justice to this book.
First of all, do not read this book if you are looking for something to cheer you up during the current pandemic. This will not do it.
I think I met my favourite character, ever, in The Four Winds. Elsa had been desperate for love as she did not get any from her parents. She married into an Italian family where she earned the family love she had so long searched for, but not romantic love.
Times were hard, very hard. It was the Depression and there was a drought in the farming communities of Oklahoma and the Texas Panhandle. The dust storms and heat were relentless. I think I can still taste the dust in my mouth and feel the grit in my eyes.
Elsa and her children head west to California, to the land of “milk and honey”. There they find a different kind of hell.
Elsa was truly a remarkable woman. Though she had no self-confidence she was stronger than she knew she could be. Strength, deep and fierce love for children, determined, ethical.
So many themes abound in this book. Friendship, family love, ecological aspects, prejudice, strength, determination, work ethic. It all ties in together. Such a multi layered story.
The writing is descriptive without being too wordy. Every character in this book is well developed. Even though it is a long book, I kept turning pages, just a little bit more, each time.
Ms Hannah did an extensive amount of research to make this book historically accurate. I am very appreciative of this, it was a learning journey for me.
The ending brought a few tears but it was also full of hope. Elsa will stay with me, an amazing character.