Book Clubbin’: 9 Discussion Questions for ‘The Four Winds’ by Kristin Hannah

It’s that time again…our monthly Book Clubbin’ feature is back! Listening to an audiobook can be a great way to distract yourself while doing chores, going for a walk, or even while relaxing, but once the book ends and you want to chat about that big twist what do you do!? Our answer: start a book club! Whether your area of the world is currently in lockdown or is transitioning back to normal day-to-day life, try scheduling at least an hour every month to talk about your latest listen!

This month, we’ve decided to jump into The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah. Hannah is the bestselling author of The Nightingale and The Great Alone and has been getting even more buzz after the recent Netflix adaption of her novel Firefly Lane.

The Four Winds is a powerful American epic about love and heroism and hope, set during the Great Depression, a time when the country was in crisis and at war with itself, when millions were out of work and even the land seemed to have turned against them. The Four Winds is an indelible portrait of America and the American dream, as seen through the eyes of one indomitable woman whose courage and sacrifice will come to define a generation.

Whether you’re already a frequent Kristin Hannah reader, or this is your first listen from her, this story is likely to strike a chord as it is especially prescient considering the state of our world in 2021. So, if you’re ready to get started, keep reading for our discussion questions below. Beware— SPOILERS ahead.


1) Was Elsa’s life defined by the cultural expectations for unmarried women? How do you think her failure to meet these expectations affected her?

2) How did Elsa’s pregnancy affect both her and Rafe? How different would their lives be if Elsa had not gotten pregnant?

3) A major theme that carries throughout The Four Winds is the idea of the American Dream. How did this come to play in the decisions that Elsa made throughout the book?

4) People’s relationship with the land that they’re from and/or the land that they own play a major role in this story. Discuss this relationship and why it is so important.

5) In the same vein, some families did travel West in hopes of finding work and making better lives for themselves while most families chose to remain at their farms affected by the drought. Why do you think this is?

6) After moving to California, Elsa ends up falling for Jack. How does Elsa’s relationship with Jack differ than her relationship with Rafe?

7) Elsa and her family endure extreme hardships even after arriving in California and yet they persevere. Do you think they would have had a better or worse experience if they had stayed in Texas?

8) What did it take for Loreda to finally understand her mother and why she made the decisions she did?

9) How do the events of the Great Depression compare to life during the current pandemic? What lessons did you take away from this story that you can apply to your current life?

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March’s Top 10 Member Downloads

Listen to this month’s roundup of the top fiction and non fiction titles downloaded by members.


1. The Flight Attendant by Chris Bohjalian, narrated by Mark DeakinsErin Spencer and Grace Experience

Flight Attendant.

A flight attendant wakes up in the wrong hotel, in the wrong bed, with a dead man – and no idea what happened. Cassandra Bowden is no stranger to hungover mornings. She’s a binge drinker, her job with the airline making it easy to find adventure, and the occasional blackouts seem to be inevitable. Afraid to call the police, Cassie begins to lie.
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2. Look For Me by Lisa Gardner, narrated by Kirsten Potter

Look For Me.

The home of a family of five is now a crime scene: four are savagely murdered, and a 16-year-old girl is missing. Was she lucky to escape? Or is her absence evidence of something sinister? Detective D.D. Warren is on the case, but so is the survivor-turned-avenger Flora Dane. Seeking different types of justice, they must make sense of the clues left behind by a young woman who, whether a victim or suspect, is silently pleading.
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3. The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah, narrated by Julia Whelan

The Great Alone.

Alaska, 1974. Unpredictable. Unforgiving. Untamed. For a family in crisis, the ultimate test of survival. Ernt Allbright, a former POW, comes home from the Vietnam war a changed and volatile man. When he loses yet another job, he makes an impulsive decision: he will move his family north, to Alaska, where they will live off the grid in America’s last true frontier.
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4. The Shape Of Water by Daniel Kraus and Guillermo Del Toro, narrated by Jenna Lamia

The Shape Of Water.

The Shape of Water is set in Cold War-era Baltimore at the Occam Aerospace Research Center, which has recently received its most sensitive asset ever: an amphibious man captured in the Amazon. What unfolds is a stirring romance between the asset and one of the janitors on staff, a mute woman who uses sign language to communicate with the creature.
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5. The Escape Artist by Brad Meltzer, narrated by Scott Brick and January LaVoy

The Escape Artist.

Who is Nola Brown? Nola is a mystery. Nola is trouble. And Nola is supposed to be dead. Her body was found on a plane that mysteriously fell from the sky as it left a secret military base in the Alaskan wilderness. Her commanding officer verifies she’s dead. The U.S. government confirms it. But Jim “Zig” Zigarowski has just found out the truth: Nola is still alive. And on the run.
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1. Russian Roulette: The Inside Story of Putin’s War on America and the Election of Donald Trump by David Corn and Michael Isikoff, narrated by Peter Ganim

Russian Roulette.

The incredible, harrowing account of how American democracy was hacked by Moscow as part of a covert operation to influence the U.S. election and help Donald Trump gain the presidency.
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2. Girl, Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies About Who You Are so You Can Become Who You Were Meant to Be by Rachel Hollis, narrated by Rachel Hollis

Girl, Wash Your Face.

With wry wit and hard-earned wisdom, popular online personality and founder of founder Rachel Hollis helps readers break free from the lies keeping them from the joy-filled and exuberant life they are meant to have.
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3. The Kremlin’s Candidate by Jason Matthews, narrated by Jeremy Bobb

The Kremlin's Candidate.

In the final, thrilling installment of the Red Sparrow Trilogy, Russian counterintelligence chief Dominika Egorova and her lover, CIA agent Nate Nash, must find a Russian agent about to be appointed to a very high office in the US government.
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4. I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer by Michelle McNamara, narrated by Gabra Zackman

I'll Be Gone.

A masterful true crime account of the Golden State Killer-the elusive serial rapist turned murderer who terrorized California for over a decade-from Michelle McNamara, the gifted journalist who died tragically while investigating the case.
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5. Educated by Tara Westover, narrated by Julia Whelan


An unforgettable memoir about a young girl who, kept out of school, leaves her survivalist family and goes on to earn a PhD from Cambridge University. Tara Westover was seventeen the first time she set foot in a classroom. Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, she prepared for the end of the world by stockpiling home-canned peaches and sleeping with her “head-for-the-hills” bag.
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