The Four Winds

Kristin Hannah

fiction historical
emotional hopeful reflective slow-paced

464 pages | first published 2021

She will discover the best of herself in the worst of times . . .

Texas, 1934. Elsa Martinelli had finally found the life she’d yearned for. A family, a home and a livelihood on a farm on the Great Plains. But when drought threatens all she and her community hold dear, Elsa’s world is shattered to the winds.

Fearful of the future, when Elsa wakes to find her husband has fled, she is forced to make the most agonizing decision of her life. Fight for the land she loves or take her beloved children, Loreda and Ant, west to California in search of a better life. Will it be the land of milk and honey? Or will their experience challenge every ounce of strength they possess?

From the overriding love of a mother for her child, the value of female friendship and the ability to love again – against all odds, Elsa’s incredible journey is a story of survival, hope and what we do for the ones we love.

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summary of 322 ratings (see reviews)

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emotional 89%
sad 73%
inspiring 48%
hopeful 41%
challenging 35%
reflective 33%
adventurous 30%
informative 27%
tense 21%
dark 18%


medium 56%
slow 31%
fast 11%

Plot- or character-driven?

A mix: 52% | Character: 40% | Plot: 5% | N/A: 0%

Strong character development?

Yes: 97% | It's complicated: 1% | No: 1%

Loveable characters?

Yes: 76% | It's complicated: 17% | No: 4% | N/A: 1%

Diverse cast of characters?

No: 61% | Yes: 21% | It's complicated: 14% | N/A: 1%

Flaws of characters a main focus?

Yes: 56% | No: 26% | It's complicated: 15% | N/A: 1%

Average rating