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