I love Kristen Hannah’s writing. She researches well and brings her readers into the moment while telling grand stories of every day people. This is why talking about The Four Winds is hard for me. Hannah did exactly what she always does, yet I was really really eager to get this book over with. The more I have thought about it, the more I’ve decided that perhaps my reaction is due to epigenetics. I had a similar reaction to this book as I did to reading The Grapes of Wrath. With both, I felt hallowed out, dry, dusty, and in need of hope. And each failed to give much. But…perhaps, the Dust Bowl and its sadness is in my DNA from my ancestors. Perhaps I am encoded to feel bereft of hope when talking about the drought that forced people to leave homes to live in squalor. Perhaps there is a seed of my grandma’s pain, buried in my flesh that makes these stories feel like loss long before the story unfolds. I took a risk…Hannah did beautifully…and I never need to read another Dust Bowl book as long as I live.