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The Four Winds - by Kristin Hannah

This was a great read and a wonderful piece of historical fiction; one of those books in which you can truly enjoy the story and at the same time learn about our country’s history. And…experience empathy and thankfulness.

These two paragraphs exemplify some of the struggles within the story:

“Loreda understood the fear more than her mother suspected. How could Loreda not understand it? She’d lived through the winter in California, been flooded out, lost everything, survived on barely any food, worn shoes that didn’t ft. She knew how it felt to go to bed hungry and wake up hungry, how you could try to trick your stomach with water but it never lasted. She saw her mother measuring beans out for dinner and splitting a single hot dog into three portions.”

“It was a long time before Loreda spoke, and when she did, her words were no comfort at all. ‘Sometimes you have to fight back, Mom’.”

Learn about the Dust Bowl, the “Okies” (“immigrants” who traveled from the Midwest to California looking for a better life), and the beginnings of union activity. But also read it for a glimpse of true poverty, understand how hopelessness and hopefulness can exist side by side, see the tenacity and pride of the human spirit, understand parents’ determination to make a better life for their children despite all odds, learn why it is important to speak out, all the while enjoying an inspiring family story, with a little love story as well.

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