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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