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The Four Winds: A Novel de Kristin Hannah
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The Four Winds: A Novel (2021 original; edició 2021)

de Kristin Hannah (Autor)

MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaMencions
9866515,690 (4.25)15
Membre:carrie.s
Títol:The Four Winds: A Novel
Autors:Kristin Hannah (Autor)
Informació:St. Martin's Press (2021), 464 pages
Col·leccions:read
Valoració:***
Etiquetes:Dust Bowl, Great Depression, Historical Fiction, Texas, California

Detalls de l'obra

The Four Winds de Kristin Hannah (2021)

Afegit fa poc perpittpurple, Rennie80, Christina1203, ccharris, -Eva-, biblioteca privada, MiguelleLeBlanc, ABQcat, marytmg
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Elsa is born into a prosperous family in Dalhart Texas but is the black sheep of the family. She is considered ugly, awkward and unmarriageable and is told all her life that there is no future for her. She meets Rafe Martinelli and becomes pregnant. Her family drops her off at the Martinelli house, turns their backs on her and never see her again. What follows is the story of her life as she marries Rafe, adjusts to a new life with Italians, copes during the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression. ( )
  DidIReallyReadThat | Jun 17, 2021 |
The Four Winds begins in the Texas panhandle in 1921 when twenty-five-year-old spinster Elsa gets pregnant and is disowned by her parents and forced to marry Rafe Martinelli, an Italian who is part of “the other” immigrant community that Elsa’s well-heeled family dislikes. Here begins Kristin Hannah’s tale of xenophobia and Americans’ fear of newcomers. There is a gap in years, and the story picks up in 1934 and continues 1935-36. Loreda, the firstborn child of Rafe and Elsa, is bordering on adolescence, another favorite concept that the author likes to depict, and she doesn’t disappoint in this novel. Elsa has had two more children, Anthony (Ant) and one who died. Elsa’s inlaws, Tony and Rose, have accepted her into their family, and Elsa experiences familial love and enjoys the expectation that she fully participate in the chores of running the family farm.

The Martinelli farm and their community suffer from the Great Depression and the severe drought and dust storms. There are heartrending descriptions of illness, starvation, and desperation before Elsa, Loreda, and Ant take off for California. Then, the reader gets a painstaking picture of the empty promises of a better life in California. The clear descriptions of decrepit life in a tent village and the unwelcoming, prejudicial views of medical, law enforcement, educational professionals are stunning. In the face of adversity, Kristin Hannah depicts two female protagonists, Elsa and Loreda, who show courage, strength, and humility as they demonstrate an American work ethic and a determination to survive.

The Four Winds is an engaging story similar to Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath. However, the language is more modern, and the everyday reader realizes that some of the current views on immigrants and newcomers repeat this horrible era in our country’s history. Hannah focuses on important family dynamics and relationships. She thus builds a plot that shows the abuse of workers and the role that strikes and labor unions played in the USA’s history. Additionally, readers get a feel for the role of religion and political ideologies such as communism and socialism in people’s lives during this challenging era.

https://quipsandquotes.net/?p=629 ( )
  LindaLoretz | Jun 16, 2021 |
The prolific Kristin Hannah gives us The Grapes of Wrath, but with a woman as the main character, and with some romance thrown in.

Elsa Wolcott is the ugly duckling member of her prosperous family in Dalhart, Texas. She is also regarded as being a semi-invalid, having survived rheumatic fever as a child. She finds most of her pleasure reading novels from the library and dreaming of a life much more exciting that her stodgy community ruled by hardshell Baptist mores.

One day, she decides to take matters into her own hands. She makes herself a red silk “flapper dress”, cuts her hair, and goes to the local speakeasy. There she meets handsome Rafe Martinelli and one thing leads to another, and well, you know what happens. Weeks later, Elsa is feeling sick. She doesn’t know what’s wrong, but her parents do. They demand to know who the boy is and quicker than you can say shotgun marriage, Elsa is disowned and left on the Martinelli’s doorstep on the very night that Rafe is getting ready to leave for college.

No one is happy, but Elsa learns farming, cleaning and how to cook Italian style and grows to love the land that the Martinellis are farming as well as the Martinellis. She has two children, a girl named Lardea and a boy named Anthony who for some unknown reason they call Ant instead of Tony. But as we all know, the good times do not last. The rains stop, the winds blow and the top soil starts to blow away. Everything is dying, people are starting to leave, but the Martinellis do not want to leave the land, and Elsa does not want to leave them behind. Rafe has his own ideas, however, and one night, abandons his family and, like so many others, takes to the road.

In the end, the elder Martinellis stay on the land while Elsa and her children make the harrowing drive to California, where they are greeted not with kindness, but with hardship, prejudice, cruelty and life in a migrant labor camp that is worse than what they have left in Texas. The author’s description of the journey west, and their lives as itinerant farm workers in California is vivid, heartbreaking, and true to life.

The only people who seem to care about the migrant workers are a group of Communist organizers, and this is where Elsa finally meets her love interest and learns to find her own voice to speak up for herself and her children.

I hope that the people reading this book realize that this novel is not just describing an historical event. There are still migrant agriculture workers and they are living in conditions, not so different from those described in this novel. ( )
  etxgardener | Jun 15, 2021 |
The Four Winds takes place in the 1930’s during the dustbowl. Elsa marries a man who doesn’t love her, but she embraces his family. As the dust and drought of Texas continues her husband abandons the family. Her son becomes ill from breathing all the dust. Although Elsa hates to leave the in-laws, she has come to love, she must move to “the land of milk and honey”, California. California has thousands of new residents pouring in and work is hard to find. Elsa, her daughter, and son take the only jobs available to them, living on the edge of society, they become migrant workers, picking crops. They face many challenges, low wages, cold, and lack of food. If you are interested in learning more about this time in history this book has an interesting story to tell. ( )
  dara85 | Jun 14, 2021 |
powerful, a true example of being brave and perservering ( )
  NancyH62 | Jun 13, 2021 |
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To damage the earth is to damage your children.
                                             --WENDELL BERRY,
                                            FARMER AND POET
I see one-third of a nation ill-housed, ill-clad, ill-nourished. . . .  The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.
                                          --FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT
We draw our strength from the very despair in which we have been forced to live. We shall endure.
                                            --CÉSAR CHÁVEZ
One thing was left, as clear and perfect as a drop of rain---the desperate need to stand together . . . They would rise and fall and, in their falling, rise again.
                                  --SANORA BABB,
              WHOSE NAMES ARE UNKNOWN
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Dad, this one's for you.
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Hope is a coin I carry: an American penny, given to me by a man I came to love.
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Be brave, or pretend to be.  It's all the same.
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