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  • Writer's pictureJoan Fernandez

The Four Winds

By Kristin Hannah

Journey of hardship and bittersweet triumph.

There’s so much to admire about this book—a sweeping backdrop of a slice of American history, a constellation of societal forces (immigration, Communism, labor, to name a few), and a family’s journey of hardship and bittersweet triumph. Yet, what I liked the best was the heart-rending introduction to the main character Elsa.

On the very first page we find out how she has not dared to dream of a future, how she has lived under constant disapproval, shame, and rejection, and that the result has been loneliness. She is plagued by longing. And she is at the breaking point, ready to risk it all just for a taste of living.

As a reader, we are squarely rooting for her. We are in. As the story advances, we feel the pain of every disappointment, the pang of each gesture of love.

This is mastery on Kristin Hannah’s part. I sobbed at the end. Another stroke of masterful writing! Beautiful book.

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