Kristin Hannah's book The Four Winds has been on my radar for a while. After the popularity of The Nightingale anything Hannah writes seems bound for the best-seller list.
I have been reading Hannah's books for over two decades now and I've watched her writing grow and change. It seems as though she's really hit her sweet spot with historical fiction. And The Four Winds is another winner.
As soon as I knew this book was centered around The Dust Bowl, I knew the story was not going to be happy. And it isn't. But I was intrigued by Elsa's story - her family's mistreatment of her because she didn't fit into their mold what they wanted, and how she desperately wanted to be loved. I found her marriage to Rafe to be rather heartbreaking, yet also a little bit hopeful. And as times got harder we saw Elsa and Rafe and their future fall apart.
I've read some other books set during the Dust Bowl, but this was the only one where I have even heard any hint of Communism being discussed as a way to help the many people who flocked to California.
Without spoiling the ending, I will say that things were resolved more quickly than I would have liked. I'm not sure the resolution was entirely believable, but at the same time, I didn't hate it, either.
I know that Hannah's fans are excited by this newest book. I found it easy to get into and hard to put down. The Four Winds has reignited my interest in the Dust Bowl enough for me to order a non-fiction book, The Worst Hard Time, by Timothy Egan. I'm looking forward to diving into it and learning more about this time period.
And now that I'm done with The Four Winds I am left waiting - along with Hannah's multitude of fans- for the next big hit she writes.