The Four Winds – Review


I hate to say, one of my most anticipated reads for the year by one of my favorite authors was a gigantic disappointment. Within most modern books (and movies) lately, the political messages saturating the pages are about as subtle as a gun to the head. Kristin Hannah, unfortunately, decided to venture deep into the political arena with The Four Winds.

I enjoy reading historical novels for the chance to connect past to present and gain a bit of hope from the struggles people have endured and overcome. I desired to find the same hope from this story, but for the life of me, I couldn’t find it despite being told I should feel it from the author. After a grueling year and the start of what appears to be another following in its footsteps, I would think most readers, like myself, would be looking for uplifting stories as a form of escapism from our current struggles. The Four Winds couldn’t have been farther this. Naturally, I knew reading about The Great Depression would be…depressing, for lack of a better word. However, I didn’t expect the entirety of the novel to be one disastrous hardship after the next…after the next. By the end of the book, I was left more crushed in spirit than when I started. It left me wondering why the author and publishers thought this would be an opportune time to release such a book.

The painting of Communism in such a favorable light can be the only answer as America teeters on the edge of a complete Socialist takeover. Like many other readers have said, I don’t like being emotionally manipulated for the sake of politics. When I notice this happening, it immediately creates a detachment between myself and the characters. If Communism is such a savior of the oppressed, why during the same period this novel is set in did Communist Russia imprison over a million people and execute hundreds of thousands? I think this book was intentionally deceptive in its portrayal of Marxist practices, knowing the audience for this highly anticipated novel would be huge. Playing on the emotions of readers is a surefire way for them to be sympathetic to the rise of modern Communism.

Maybe Kristin Hannah will distribute the wealth this book is sure to bring to her faithful readers, showing us a true example of the Communism she surely admires? I doubt it.

I’m personally over the “1984”-style indoctrination from the entertainment industries in America. I hope for better in the future from Kristin Hannah, but I can tell you, I won’t be quite as eager to read her next book.

Rating: 2 stars

13 Comments Add yours

  1. I just started this book and haven’t entered the political foray you talk of. I abhor any book that pushes a political agenda! So disappointed in this author but as you mentioned, I am sure she will share her profits with the common folk! 🤦‍♀️


  2. Carol says:

    Wow! I’ve been on the fence about this book but your review has firmly convinced me it is one I intend to avoid. Thanks for taking one for the team! I detest political opinions in books and I’m disgusted with all the love for socialism and what it could mean for our freedoms. Great review and thanks for sharing the information. So disappointing…I’m with you about being cautious of future work by her!


  3. Darina says:

    I’m so sorry to hear that you didn’t enjoy this book! I love the historical side of Kristin Hannah’s books and it’s a shame that she made this one more political than it had to be. Thank you for sharing your honest thoughts, though. I will definitely bear it in mind once I start the book.


  4. Alicia says:

    I couldn’t agree more with this review. Literally, my experience was reflected here. Her previous works were thoroughly enjoyed. Then this book. I had hoped to include it in my Dust Bowl living history recommended reading list for high schoolers. But.
    Anticipation, disappointment, manipulation, disgust. That was my ride. Naive and shallow portrayal of Communism as the answer.
    Another favorite writer bites the dust. Not punny?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Gary says:

    Thank you for putting into words exactly how I am feeling as I read the book! I am about 3/4ths through the book now and not sure if I can finish it it. The evil and horror brought on by Communism is completely ignored as if was a favorable system. Shameful!

    As a history buff, I enjoyed The Nightingale, but was a little uncomfortable when one of the hero characters in it was also a communist.

    Guess in cancel culture era, I will be canceling further Hannah books and rating this one low.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is absolutely shameful. Just look at Cuba today. It’s horrifying anyone would be for Communism.

      Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts.


  6. Judy says:

    An absolute disappointment and entrapment of her readers, who think this is about the Dust Bowl only to realize at the end that they have been seduced by the author. The book should be titled Communism in the Dust Bowl.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m in total agreement. It pains me how many people were taken by the book though. Yikes.


  7. Jeanne Riley says:

    So disappointed in this book, three quarters the way through and I just quit reading it. Felt like communism was being pushed down my throat. It will be a long time before I read another Kristen Hannah book, if ever.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I feel the exact same way.


  8. Kristen says:

    I wholeheartedly disagree with this review. Communism is not the evil we’ve been taught to believe. The history books we read growing up painted a truly horrific picture of communism because our capitalist leaders didn’t want us to get any “big ideas.” Cuba is thriving under communism (despite the embargo, I should add), but we wouldn’t know because they haven’t been accurately portrayed since they kicked us out in the 1950s, and we’re still bitter about it. Yes, there are many failed examples of communism as well (Stalin’s reign is definitely one), but if you dig deeper, you will also find many successful examples that our government and leaders don’t want us to see. At its core,
    Communism wants to end human suffering and provide people’s basic needs to them. When people have their basic needs met, only then can they thrive. I think this book takes a truly devastating period in our nations history and shows truthfully what many people suffered through. Why would we not want to help those who were most greatly impacted by the depression? Hard working people who deserve to be paid fairly and treated fairly. Doesn’t seem like that much to ask. But then again, one of the main tenets of capitalism is every man for himself, right? Americans like to throw around the words communism and socialism like they are the same thing. They are not. And not only that, most don’t even really understand the terms at all. The history you were taught in school is based in the idea that America is the greatest nation in the world and has the right to colonialize as we wish regardless of how it impacts those we oppress. This same history also leaves out the POV of those we’ve oppressed. Of course we have been trained to believe other economic ideologies are dangerous and scary hence socialism and communism becoming the big bad scary. You took the bait. Good job. Gold star.


  9. Meg Baxter says:

    You nailed it on this . Your summary was excellent. The book was propaganda. She was not trying to tell a story but trying to see a product…..Socialism

    Liked by 1 person

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