A trip to another time is perfect for a vacation.
Kristin Hannah is one of my favorites when it comes to vacation reading. His books are reliable and comfortable, filled with strong and inspiring characters, complex enough to stay interesting without being so complicated that you have to be fully focused. The four winds certainly corresponds to the usual formula, although the main character exceeded all expectations of a strong lead; the matriarch commanding the story made it a haunting story that kept me captivated from start to finish.
Strength is not something Elsa Wolcott is familiar with. Sick of rheumatic fever in her childhood and constantly treated like a weakling by her family, Elsa feels resigned to a life in the shelter, escaping only through books. When a chance encounter with a local boy turns her life upside down, Elsa finds herself in a life she never could have dreamed of. Suddenly, she is Elsa Martinelli, farmer and mother of two children, and must regain strength overnight. Years later, drought and dust storms launch the American South into the beginnings of what would become the Great Depression, Elsa and her children must seek a new start in California, the “land of milk and honey.” But Elsa’s family isn’t the only one looking for a new life, and California isn’t what it seems. It is Elsa alone who can help her children through these difficult times, making countless sacrifices to keep her family safe.
Like Hannah’s other works, this book offered an immediate escape to another world, with the added bonus of historical context: literally transporting readers to another time. I’ll warn you that there are some unexpected twists and turns throughout the novel, but that only adds to its magic. A great choice for vacation readers everywhere!
Ginny Dunnill is a librarian at the Brighouse branch of the Richmond Public Library. For other interesting reads, visit the library’s website at www.yourlibrary.ca.