"The Four Winds" is another brilliant and emotional read by the author, Kristen Hannah. After reading "The Nightingale" and "The Great Alone", "The Four Winds" completely matched my expectations. In a depressing way, the storyline starts in Texas, in the 1930s during the Great Depression and Dust Bowl era. Martinelli family is struggling through a difficult time through drought, dust storms, and working hard to survive. The first major blow this family suffers is when father leaves not being able to deal with life's challenges. Sometime after this, as bad and frequent dust storms affect Elsa's son's health, she decides to take her two children, leave Texas and look for a better and healthier life for her family. Taking some basic things, and some savings given to her by her in-laws, Elsa and her children leave to reach California. It seems California wasn't waiting for them with open arms. They face very difficult living conditions, humiliation, long labor hours for minimal pay, along with living in tents. The extraordinary effort of the mother to keep her children alive, safe, and fed gave me goosebumps throughout the book. It is heartwarming to read about compassion among people who share the same destiny, especially in contrast to inhumane treatment of those who were better off. My heart was aching for those families and got me to appreciate even more what we have today, and the way we have evolved as human beings. This book is well-written and thought-provoking. There is a beautiful proof of love, that balanced this depressing story. I definitely recommend this book.
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