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Summary

The Four Winds is a deeply moving, powerful story about the strength and resilience of women and the bond between mother and daughter, by the multimillion-copy number one best-selling author of The Nightingale.

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.

©2021 Kristin Hannah (P)2021 Macmillan Audio

Critic reviews

"Powerful and compelling." (Delia Owens, number one international best-selling author of Where the Crawdads Sing)

"A rich, compelling novel of love, sacrifice and survival." (Kate Morton)

"A masterclass." (Karen Swan)

"Kristin Hannah is a classic storyteller and The Four Winds sees her at the top of her game." (Matt Haig)

"The Four Winds seems eerily prescient in 2021.... Its message is galvanizing and hopeful." (New York Times)

What listeners say about The Four Winds

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Excellent in all aspects

Both the author and narrator did not fail to deliver a much awaited story. As for the plot.. all I could say is that never will I complain about quarantines, wearing masks or lockdowns ever again 😅

21 people found this helpful

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Another winner for Kristin

This story is an amazing journey for the main characters personally and physically. The scene setting is brilliant I feel as though I’ve lived through drought dust storms long treks and encampments by fetid streams. A great story will miss these characters in my life.

15 people found this helpful

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The Pandemic of today does not look so bad...

I stayed up all night finishing the last half of this book. As usual Kristin's characters and storytelling are beautiful. The story made me realize what we are going through today with the pandemic is nothing compared to what happened during the Great Depression and Dust Bowl times. The incites into capitalism in America and the attitudes to social injustice are very relevant to what is happening today. Julia does such an excellent job of narrating the book too... I just could not put this book down or stop listening to it I should say!

14 people found this helpful

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Gripped from start to finish....

An excellent book, graphically depicting the appalling consequences of the drought and depression of America in the 30s. I feel I have lived through it with them. The narration was also among the best I've heard.

10 people found this helpful

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An addictive listen of hope

I absolutely loved this book, could not stop listening, and devastated to reach the end and finally leave the characters behind. A story of hope through adversity is too much of a cliche for this book because it is so much more. Devastatingly sad at times, but don’t let this put you off, you will full in love with the characters, fume over the cruelty of human greed and smile at our ability over come hardship for the love of our children and families.

6 people found this helpful

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Swimming against the tide... i found this dull

The book is long and grew longer and longer as it got into its final tear jerking phase. it felt heavy going and old fashioned in it's final union rousing sections. It's a style of book I used to read a lot of in the mid eighties. Maybe my tastes have changed, but although reasonably well written for most of the book, it became turgid and I could only skim towards the very well signalled and predictable end.

6 people found this helpful

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Amazing and gripping

A story, with amazing historical factness to what did happen during the American Great Depression. In listening to the plight, the suffering, and neglect dished out by American states and wealthier citizens I am left wondering if anyone has ever reflected on how truly shocking the treatment was to another fellow human being?

The reason I say this, it's clear with high levels of deprivation in the States now, high levels of unemployment, homelessness and a lack of free medical care, It seems history is just repeating itself? This story will open your eyes to how rock bottom people's lives can get and when it does, what friendship and love truly mean. The story takes you on a very large roller coaster ride with characters and emotions so vividly written about.

The Narration is excellent. But why are more people not saying: Wake up America and stop history from repeating itself with an attitude of, "I'm alright Jack' when levels of deprivation, homelessness, starvation and bigotry to your fellow man is still as rife as this great book details about the Great Depression.

4 people found this helpful

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amazing

I absolutely loved this book! An amazing story of love that holds lives together through rejection, environmental challenges, poverty, and the strength we can have if we believe in something.

4 people found this helpful

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Incredible

As a massive fan of this author I can only thank her for this wonderful, thought provoking, searing story

4 people found this helpful

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Women s work is never done

I really enjoyed this book
Sad but true a real story of a woman’s heart

3 people found this helpful

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  • Teresa's kindle
  • 06-05-21

So depressing

Absolute torture for the storyline to the narrator - couldn’t wait for the end of this book I did t like it at all

1 person found this helpful

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  • Leanne Hegarty
  • 29-03-21

it's great

a story of love, heartbreak, survival, true beauty, courage and hope. it's exhausting but worth it.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Marelise
  • 18-03-21

Beautiful but depressing

Good heavens the first half of this book is depressing beyond all reason. The main characters just can't seem to catch a break. However it developes well and the history is very fascinating.

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  • Dawn Rodgers
  • 21-02-21

Brilliant story and narration

I loved this book from start to finish. It did make me feel guilty about my lovely life though. Women today are so lucky that women like Elsa came before us.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Sandie
  • 06-02-21

Beautiful story

A really beautiful story in a time in America that I know very little about. A real eye opener. Such strong people just striving to make a living and earn a decent wage. Many emotions throughout the story. Well done to Kristin Hannah for her approach and characters she used. Incredible narration by Julia Whelan. I loved the book.

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  • Diana
  • 04-02-21

Amazing Read

I LOVED THIS BOOK...Í know its early in the year but I really feel this may be a Book of the Year nominee. It actually brought tears to my eyes, which honestly is very rare, and was a roller coaster ride. It an amazing mother/daughter story as well as a great story about a woman finding her own self & strength. A must read this year!

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  • Mr Brian Mather
  • 11-04-22

Well Depicted life of a young woman's struggles.

Loved it. Could not put it down . Life in the great depression . The obstacles a young woman faced

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  • Alison Cope
  • 28-02-22

Breath taking

I think I held my breath for almost all of the second half of the book. The story is a brilliant commentary of this point in history. The characters so very real and the performance spot on. I will definitely look for more work by this author and narrator.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 25-01-22

Miserable, Captivating

I was captivated from the get-go. Kristin Hannah sets the scene and character of Elsa beautifully. The stunning performance of the narrator certainly contributed too. Julia Whelan always manages to bring another dimension to the characters she reads. Don't get me wrong, this book is the misery Olympics. However, I do respect the author’s choice here, as the Great Depression and Dust Bowl period were exactly that; absolutely unrelenting and miserable. By the end, I found myself absolutely desperate for hope, just a scrap, for these poor characters. But Hannah does not yield. In fact, she punches you in the guts one last time and leaves you absolutely wrecked. Nice. Despite the unrelenting misery, this book still comes highly recommended by me. It’s an incredible story of motherhood, female power, grit and determination. Well worth shedding a tear or two over.

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  • Oprah W.
  • 31-10-21

It's been a while since I've written a review

I've been through hundreds of books on Audible and I stopped writing reviews a long time ago. This book...reduced me to tears. I am not the crying type. This book pulls at the heart strings. The pain of a mother being strong for her children when she has no strength left. As soon as I heard the narrators voice I thought "absolutely not" but my hands were messy and I couldn't be bothered to clean up to switch to another book so I ended up just listening for a while. I kept needing to know what next. The narration grew on me and I was hooked on this book. If you liked this book try The Nightingale or Firefly lane next.