Books like The Four Winds
New York Times bestselling Kristin Hannah’s 2021 novel, The Four Winds is set during the Great Depression. The time when farmers’ were leaving their beloved lands and seeking a better life in California.
The story primarily focuses on Elsa Martinelli’s life during the Dust Bowl. In order to save her two little children, she decides to leave her farm and travel to the West. However, the journey wasn’t easy yet she shows impeccable courage to survive tribulation after tribulation. The novel is also a testament to motherhood.
If you love heart-wrenching survival stories or tales of resilience and strength like The Four Winds, here is a list of similar books. Powerful books like The Four Winds, that celebrate the strength and fortitude of women and men.
Whether it’s Kya Where the Crawdad Sing or Tom Joad from The Grapes of Wrath, these stories exemplify the inherent strength of the characters in adversity.
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
Delia Owens’ bestselling novel is a one woman’s survival story, a book just like The Four Winds. It’s a coming-of-age story of Kya, who leads a secluded life in a quiet fishing village. For villagers, she is “Marsh Girl”. When her family estranged themselves from her, Kya didn’t give up hope. Instead, she found ways to make money and live along with the marsh creatures for years. She got fascinated with the insects, birds and other creatures in the wild. Along with came two men whom she grew close to, looking for true love. But then the unexpected happens and her life is threatened. Where the Crawdads Sing is a heart-wrenching novel of courage, love and hope.
The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
Bestselling author Kristin Hannah’s international bestseller is a tale of the hardship and resilience of courageous women. When the two sisters, Vianne and Isabelle, struggle to lead their life through the Nazis in their own ways, both are forced to make impossible choices. In 1939, in the quiet village of Carriveau, Vianne and her daughter has no choice but to live with the enemy. As the German captain requisitions their home, Vianne makes the hard choice to save her family. Meanwhile, in Paris, the other sister Isabelle is betrayed by her lover. So to get over the desolation, she joins the Resistance. The Nightingale is set in the background of true events. A riveting tale that encourages women to never give up hope.So if you’re looking for books like The Four Winds that narrates the the indomitable spirit, The Nightingale is a great choice.
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The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
The Four Wind is actually inspired by John Steinbeck’s classic novel. Similar to The Four Winds, John Steinbeck’s classic novel elucidates the utter desperation and anguish of families during the greatest eco-disaster in American history. The novel follows the Joad family, as their farm is seized by the government, they have no option but to travel to the West. On their way to California, they meet numerous other families, all in the same boat. Soon all of them realise the horrific reality of the Great Depression.
Band of Sisters by Lauren Willig
In this historical fiction, Lauren Willing narrates the monumental courage of the real Smith College grads in helping villagers in France during WWI. We meet Kate Moran who volunteers to be a part of the Smith College Relief Unit, half-heartedly. The only thing she was bothered with, was working hard at her new job. But when her best friend from college begged her to join the unit, she leaves for France with other women. Little did she know that her life was about to change forever. From the day they arrived in Paris, the group faces one crisis after the other. The inn they were supposed to stay in is now a huge pile of ruins. The drivers of the group are asked to build their own vehicles. Yet, just like Elsa Martinelli from The Four Winds, Kate takes up the role of an indomitable leader and is determined to fight for the people in France.
The Henna Artist by Alka Joshi
When Lakshmi first arrived in Jaipur, she was just a floundering seventeen-year-old who ran away from an abusive marriage. But now she is a highly sought-after henna artist and confidante among the upper-class society of the vibrant 1950s pink city. Yet, Lakshmi is careful to hide her own secrets within her. Because she is aware of the fact that no matter how friendly and welcoming her wealthy clients are, once the gossips about her past life are out, it can destroy her livelihood and her independence. Even so, her husband turns up one day with a thirteen-year-old girl named Radha. The Henna Artist is a bewitching tale about the life of an ambitious woman in 1950s India. If you love a great story like The Four Winds, that keep surprising you at the end, The Henna Artist is a must-read.
A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
Hosseini’s poignant novel captures the history of Afghanistan for the last several years and how women are treated in conservative societies. First, we meet Mariam, a girl born as a result of extra-marital liaison. When her mother commits suicide, leaving her all alone, she is forced to marry a widower from Kabul. The husband Rasheed, thirty years older than her is abusive and vicious. As Mirium is unable to get pregnant, he finds another match for him. Laila agrees to marry Rasheed only because she is pregnant with her boyfriend’s child. As both women live together, they struggle to survive. Hosseini’s novel is much more emotionally powerful than Hannah’s The Four Winds.
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Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
Probably the only book in this list where the main characters are two males. George and Lennie had been together since childhood. It’s always been George who took care of Lennie, who has a mind of a child (even though his muscular physique says otherwise). As immigrant workers, they work hard to fulfil their dream of owning a farm; acres of land and a shack. Another great read about the harsh realities of life during the Great Depression.
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The Exiles by Christina Baker Kline
Set in nineteenth-century Australia, this historical novel depicts the lives of three women; Evangeline, Mathinna and Hazel. All three of them are forced to exile from their people to a new place. While Evangeline and Hazel are convicted of a crime, Mathinna is moved to a new home as she is an orphaned Aboriginal. The story follows their journey, as they each fight for their freedom in the new society. A gripping tale that celebrates the female bond, just like The Four Winds.
A Woman is No Man by Etaf Rum
Etaf Rum’s debut novel is a testament to the complexities that Palestinian-American women have to put up with conservative Arab households. The story follows three generations of women whose voices have been suppressed by their own families. The story jumps from present-day Brooklyn to rural Palestine, where we learn about eighteen-year-old Deya and her mother Isra respectively. And then there is also an account of Isra’s mother Fareeda. Rum narrates, the mindless life of a traditional Palestinian woman that revolves around her own family, without any connection to the outside world. If you’re looking for similar books like The Four Wind that narrates the hear-breaking tale of family, love and courage, A Woman is No Man is a great choice.
The Book of Lost Names by Kristin Harmel
New York Times bestselling author Kristin Harmel’s novel is inspired by a true story from World War II. An epic tale that illustrates a Polish-French Jewish woman’s courage to risk her life for others. After the arrest of her father, Eva and her mother find refuge in Paris. Thereafter she joins the Resistance as a forger to save Jewish children. Along with the help of Rémy, she finds a unique way to record the real details of the children they save. However, soon they are betrayed by one of the group members and Eva has to fight for her life along with those she loves. After finishing The Four Winds, this is another heart-stopping book to pick up!
Ready to get started with these sweeping books like The Four Winds?
What other books do you add to the list?
Let me know in the comments,