If you are looking for a novel to make you smile, cry, and marvel at just how strong a single mom can be, The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah is a great choice. Set in the dust bowl of the 1930s, The Four Winds follows the story of Elsa, a woman with the odds stacked against her from the start. As she puts one foot in front of the other no matter what, she finds strength that she didn’t know she had and love that she didn’t know she deserved.
The Four Winds is a New York Times bestseller that delves into environmental disaster, economic collapse, workers rights, and fresh starts. The story is profoundly sad, but it is ultimately one of triumph. It will also make you angry about the treatment of women and glad that you live in the twenty-first century (after Elsa becomes a single mom, at one point she is told to continue to wear her wedding ring because it would help her to stay physically safe and be viewed as respectable enough to get a job and housing?!).
Some of my favorite quotes from The Four Winds include:
“She’d learned how to disappear in place long ago. She was like one of those animals whose defense mechanism is to blend into the landscape and become invisible. It was her way of dealing with rejection.” (Chapter three)
“ ‘The things your parents say and the things your husband doesn’t say become a mirror, don’t they? You see yourself as they see you, and no matter how far you come, you bring that mirror with you.’
‘Break it,’ Jean said.
‘With a gosh dang rock.’ “ (Chapter thirty)
“A warrior believes in an end she can’t see and fights for it. A warrior never gives up. A warrior fights for those weaker than herself. It sounds like motherhood to me.” (Chapter thirty-five)
The Four Winds is a novel that will draw you in, tug at your heartstrings, and leave you in awe of the grit and triumph that can come from love. I highly recommend that you put it on your reading list. Once you pick it up, you won’t want to put it back down.
Rating 4 stars out of 5
Copyright 2021 by Visible Ink Corporation
Liz is a technical writer by day and a humor writer by night. She lives in Minnesota with her younger daughter and their two cats. When Liz is not reading, writing, or searching for new books to review, she can be found practicing yoga or enjoying time with friends and family. She is savoring the time that she has left before her younger daughter flies from the nest, yet she is also secretly looking forward to a time when she can travel more and not worry about anyone borrowing her socks.