The Four Winds Review
I love reading the occasional historical fiction and my discovery of this novel was significantly facilitated by its beautiful cover, which is why as soon as I was approved for the ARC, I moved everything on my TBR aside and dove right into it.
Rosa Kusstatscher has built a global fashion empire upon her ability to find the perfect outfit for any occasion. Tonight, as she prepares for the most important meeting of her life, her usual certainty eludes her. What brought her to this moment?
As she struggles to select her dress and choose the right shade of lipstick, Rosa begins to tell her story. The story of a poor country girl from a village high in the mountains of Italy. Of Nazi occupation and fleeing in the night. Of hope and heartbreak in Switzerland; of glamour and love in Paris. Of ambition and devastation in Rio de Janeiro, and of success in New York. A life spent running, as she sees now. But she will run no longer.
The novel spans decades and continents in this riveting account of a young woman’s journey to self-discovery. As I followed Rosa in the retelling of her story and the struggles that were part of it, I often forgot how young she was. As a teenage victim who escapes the Nazi occupation, becomes Christian Dior’s Muse, and grows to be a world-famous fashion icon and businesswoman, she takes each challenge in her stride. Her encounters with love, friendship, and sisterhood, encourage her to draw strength from within and rise above the heartbreak and tragedy.
As mesmerizing as this novel is, what truly brings it full circle is the way it ends. It transforms your entire reading experience, leaving you with a heart bursting with emotion that is impossible to contain.
Inspiring, soul-stirring, and hypnotic, this novel will hook you with the first line and reel you in.
The Four Winds Summary
From the number-one bestselling author of The Nightingale and The Great Alone comes a powerful American epic about love and heroism and hope, set during the Great Depression, a time when the country was in crisis and at war with itself, when millions were out of work and even the land seemed to have turned against them.
“My land tells its story if you listen. The story of our family.”
Texas, 1921. A time of abundance. The Great War is over, the bounty of the land is plentiful, and America is on the brink of a new and optimistic era. But for Elsa Wolcott, deemed too old to marry in a time when marriage is a woman’s only option, the future seems bleak. Until the night she meets Rafe Martinelli and decides to change the direction of her life. With her reputation in ruin, there is only one respectable choice: marriage to a man she barely knows.
By 1934, the world has changed; millions are out of work and drought has devastated the Great Plains. Farmers are fighting to keep their land and their livelihoods as crops fail and water dries up and the earth cracks open. Dust storms roll relentlessly across the plains. Everything on the Martinelli farm is dying, including Elsa’s tenuous marriage; each day is a desperate battle against nature and a fight to keep her children alive.
In this uncertain and perilous time, Elsa―like so many of her neighbors―must make an agonizing choice: fight for the land she loves or leave it behind and go west, to California, in search of a better life for her family.
The Four Winds is a rich, sweeping novel that stunningly brings to life the Great Depression and the people who lived through it―the harsh realities that divided us as a nation and the enduring battle between the haves and the have-nots. A testament to hope, resilience, and the strength of the human spirit to survive adversity, The Four Winds is an indelible portrait of America and the American dream, as seen through the eyes of one indomitable woman whose courage and sacrifice will come to define a generation.
The Four Winds By Kristen Hannah || Book Review
About the Author
KRISTIN HANNAH is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than twenty novels, including The Nightingale, The Great Alone, and The Four Winds. A former lawyer turned writer, she lives with her husband in the Pacific Northwest.
A conversation with Kristin Hannah
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