Hollis Public Library
W Broadway & 2nd Street
Hollis, OK 73550
Toll Free: 888-554-5358
Tuesday: Noon to 7 pm
Wed & Thurs: 10 am to 5 pm
Friday: 9 am to 2 pm
Saturday: 9 am to 1 pm
June Book Review:
The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah
Reviewer: Chelsea Leigh
The Four Winds is a heart-breaking tale of one family’s struggle and perseverance in the face of the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression. Elsa is born to a wealthy family that overlooks her and punishes her harshly when she strives to be seen. When one such rebellion gets her sent to a new home and a new family, Elsa decides to make the most of it. She works hard and builds for herself a life where she is happy and has purpose. We all know, however, that all good things must come to an end. Elsa’s idyllic life begins to unravel with the onset of the Dust Bowl when crops begin to fail and resources become scarce.
While I learned about these events in school, Hannah manages to make the historical facts come to life in a way that I never expected. Learning about a dust storm is not the same as experiencing a mother’s fear when she sees her child’s lungs failing. I knew there were migrant camps in California but I didn’t understand the pain of a proud farmer standing in line for help from the government. Hannah doesn’t just tell you the facts of this dark time in history. She makes you feel the frustration, at times agony, of living in that reality.
The struggles that Elsa faces are so piercing that they’ll make you want to close the book. However, you’ll end up staying for the relationships. There is a little romance in the novel but the relationships that really shine are those between mothers and daughters. The reader gets to see Elsa as a daughter, then a daughter-in-law, then finally as a mother. Each of these relationships leaves a stamp on her life that come to define her. Ultimately, the novel hinges on these relationships and how it affects Elsa’s actions. This book was definitely a hard read but overall, I feel that I gained so much from it. I saw a new perspective on a time in history that we can still the effects of. I also got insight into how tour key relationships have such an impact, as to literally change the course of our lives. I highly recommend that you check it out. 5/5 stars.
Great Plains Literacy Council
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