“My land tells its story if you listen. The story of our family.”

A book review of The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah.

I have always loved to read as being able to transport to another world or create an image of a certain story in my head is something that brings me a lot of joy. I read a lot in the winter, but also love reading on our back patio during the summer evenings. I read this book a couple of months ago and just had to share in case anyone is looking for a new read!

Love, heroism, and hope is the basis for this powerful epic story of an American family that endured the Great Depression. At this time, our country was in crisis and at war with itself – millions were out of work and even the land so many loved seemed to have turned against them. The writing is absolutely brilliant, so this book definitely made its way to the top of my “must-read” list. 

From number-one best selling author, Kristin Hannah, The Four Winds was published in February 2021 so it is a relatively newer book. Kristin is also the author of well-known books, The Nightingale and The Great Alone (both on my bookshelf to read!). Set in 1921 Texas, the Great War was over and it was a time of abundance. America was on the brink of a new and promising era. 

For Elsa Wolcott, the main character of this story, the future seems bleak. Deemed too old to marry in a time when marriage was really a woman’s only option, one choice “ruins” her reputation and changes the trajectory of her life when she meets Rafe Martinelli. With only one respectable choice, she decides if marriage to a man she barely knows is what she truly wants. 

By 1934 the world had changed. Millions of people are out of work and drought had tremendously devastated the Great Plains. Farmers were fighting to keep their land. Their livelihoods were crippled due to failing crops, no water, and a cracking earth. Dust storms relentlessly rolled across the plains, and everything on the Martinelli farm was dying. Each day was a battle against nature for Elsa to keep her marriage and children alive.

During this uncertain time, like so many of her neighbors and friends, Elsa was faced with an agonizing decision to make: fight for the land she loves or leave it behind and go west in search of a better life for her and her family.

The Four Winds is an incredibly rich and sweeping novel that beautifully brings to life the Great Depression and the people who lived through it. It illustrates the harsh realities that divided Americans and the enduring battle between the haves and have-nots. Elsa’s story is a testament to the hope, resilience, and strength it takes to keep the human spirit alive amidst adversity. Kristin Hannah portrays an indestructible portrait of America and the American dream, as told through the eyes of one unbeatable woman whose courage and sacrifice defined that generation.

This book truly was one of my favorite reads. I read it in about 5 days and neglected some of my household responsibilities to finish it – it truly was that good! Through Kristin Hannah’s writing style, I honestly felt like I was right there living Elsa’s story and fighting through the struggles of the Dust Bowl and Great Depression. I resonated with the farming aspect of this book, as she so beautifully illustrated some of the struggles farmers are still faced with today. I even learned more about the history of the Dust Bowl and just how badly it was. I could not imagine living through something like that in this day and age, let alone in a time period with much less resources. 

Elsa’s story made me feel empowered as a woman – as she was forced to do so many things only men would do in that era. It really was an eye-opening book to a time in our history that I feel so many people forget about today. And I share the same love of our land that Elsa did. I would highly recommend this book to anyone interested in reading about history, love, and heroism. I give this book 4.5 out of 5 stars – truly a beautiful story that I think many would enjoy reading! 

I can’t wait to read more of Kristin Hannah’s work, but if you’re interested in purchasing this book to read yourself, click on the picture below!

Jess also shares my love for reading, so we will definitely be sharing more of our favorite books in future posts! Subscribe below to get our book reviews and recommendations sent right to your inbox. 🙂

Rooted in ag and led by faith,


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