A story of The Great Depression and the Dustbowl, set in Texas in 1921, The Four Winds was recommended by my friend Teddy at the Tuesday Readers Book Club at my local library. We all enjoyed reading it. Winds tells the story of Elsa Wolcott and Rae Martinelli, two crazy kids who have a night of passion and Elsa, pregnant, is turned out of her home, taking refuge with Rafe’s parents. Experiencing “marriage to a man she barely knows,” Elsa finds she can earn the affection and acceptance from Rafe’s parents she never could find offered by her own family. By 1934, Elsa’s world has become topsy turvey.
Drought, dust storms and crop failure hit the farm and family Rafe has left earlier, and Elsa and her children set out for California and a better life. The novel becomes the depression version of the American Dream as seen through Elsa’s eyes. Perseverance, resiliency and determination, she never dreamed she had, leads Elsa on a quest as her character changes from a cringing, weak-spirited, unloved woman to a dynamic, activist who sacrifices everything for her passion.
This “rich, sweeping novel,” a typical Hanna read, is definitely a darned good read. I highly recommend it.