Well, a part of the class is still lingering… in patches… when we talk about fiction in our ages. I could have enjoyed a little more depth and polish in the language but everything else seemed perfectly fine with the latest novel by Kristin Hannah – The Four Winds, an NYT bestseller novel! The novel has a historical background to it and an extra layer of man-woman sport has been added to the novel to conveniently sail about 400 pages home. Yes, it is a lengthy novel and part of it may bore most of the readers who are young and are in a habit of reading novels that falter by 160-80 pages and die by 200 pages. Well, giving the readers some entertainment and excitement.
The Four Winds sounds much like Jane Austen’s women and Thomas Hardy’s men. Both tailing the darkness in the tunnel until they see the light of hope and it does happen. Kristin has another way to make things happen and it shows in her latest novel.
Elsa Walcott – the centre, the circumference and the drive of the novel, the major character, a lady who is fragile with her female beauty (to others who see the beauty and don’t realise it) but rich and ripe in her heart, emotions and ambitions. She wants to go to college for studying literature but fate takes her somewhere else after she tries to culminate her divine dreams of maidenly lustre with a young man Rafe who doesn’t have an understanding of responsibility and feels content even being pressed by his parents’ ambitions. After realising that she is pregnant in the pursuit of her ‘literary’ urges of being loved, Elsa also realises that she’s ‘ruined’ by Rafe and she is left abandoned at the door of Rafe and his family by her father. The Walcott family abandoned her and the guy from the Martinelli family abandoned her as well… (Wonder why the USA forgets its history when it tries to lecture other nations over issues like human rights.)
The fate of this lady of ambitions cannot let her breathe peacefully. Elsa is abandoned by her husband. She and her children are left without a man who could be in charge of the family. And after this episode, the novel is all for Elsa and some historic recapitulation that Kristin Hannah had planned for the readers. Someone goes to college at the end. 🙂
Well, in terms of content, the novel has enough or rather more than enough. A few episodes are too well to remember and a few are too much and one would silently skip only after reading the inverted comma conversations and get the idea of what’s happening. Yes, that’s the right suggestion I can offer. The author’s narrator is wildly present and hinders the progress of the narrative by his or her opinions… sometimes too aggressive. The textual descriptions that come from the characters are bearable enough for the readers. However, too many statements coming from the narrator and that too forcefully may ruin the entire build-up for a ‘manly’ fight against the fat put up by a woman who is brave and determined. Kristin Hannah may have overdriven her ‘remarks’ and ‘judgements’ which might, in turn, subdue the original experience readers might have… you can have your opinions but this will certainly reverberate, I guess.
The readers who want to read fiction with some fact and the readers who are comfortable with the central characters making a one-man show of a novel will like it. Elsa Walcott is magnificent in whatever she thinks and does and the novel, in a way and many, justifies her character’s grace and gut. A long, tedious but worthy read!
You can buy the novel from Amazon India and enjoy reading it. Click the link given below:
Review by Amit for Active Reader, a book blog
The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah – Book Review
- Active Reader's Score
The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah is yet another bestseller and it is a novel that will be remembered for the lady in charge, Elsa Walcott. This is a novel that will be subdued to ambiguity by the prolonged and recurring interventions by the narrator… totally unwanted by the readers, at times!