The Four Winds
Elsa Martinelli is a farm wife in Texas in the 1930s. When drought and relentless dust storms threaten their health and livelihoods, her husband leaves. With her children's health declining, she decides to take them to California in search of the promise of work and a better life. But when they arrive, they find they are anything but welcome, and they face a new kind of fight for their survival.
I've put off reading this book this year, knowing it would be bleak--and it was. The discrimination, exploitation, and kick-'em-when-they're-down mentality toward people who are suffering was as alive in the 1930s as it is today. But Hannah also tells a riveting tale with an interesting perspective, and Julia Whelan's narration is, as always, spot on. I highly recommend this on audio.
This post may include affiliate links. That means if you click and make a purchase, I may earn a small commission. Please see Disclosures for more information.
Texas, 1934. Millions are out of work and a drought has broken the Great Plains. Farmers are fighting to keep their land and their livelihoods as the crops are failing, the water is drying up, and dust threatens to bury them all. One of the darkest periods of the Great Depression, the Dust Bowl era, has arrived with a vengeance. In this uncertain and dangerous time, Elsa Martinelli—like so many of her neighbors—must make an agonizing choice: fight for the land she loves or go west, to California, in search of a better life. 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.