The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah



source: purchased
title: The Four Winds
author: Kristin Hannah
genre: historical fiction
pages: 464
published: February 2, 2021
first line: Hope is a coin I carry: an American penny, given to me by a man I came to love.
rated: 5 out of 5 stars

Blurb:
The Four Winds is a rich, sweeping novel that stunningly brings to life the Great Depression and the people who lived through it―the harsh realities that divided us as a nation and the enduring battle between the haves and the have-nots. A testament to hope, resilience, and the strength of the human spirit to survive adversity, 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.-quoted from Amazon

My thoughts:
The Four Winds was my first foray into author Kristin Hannah’s work and it won’t be my last. I picked this one up after seeing a few book bloggers rave about it.

This book was my vacation read last week and I was transported as I read. I could not put it down, reading as many as 200 pages in one day which is alot for me since I usually tap out at maybe 100 pages a day.

Without giving too much away, the story takes place during the 1930’s Dust Bowl and the Great Depression. The book centers around Elsa Wolcott who by age 25 has been written off by her family as an old maid. She is born in Texas to a well off family since her father owns a tractor business. Elsa loves to read and wants to have fun and be a flapper and become a writer one day. Everything changes for her and she becomes a mom and suffers through the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression. With themes of family, motherhood, the bonds women form, poverty and American life during the 1920’s and 30’s this was an epic story that utterly drew me in. I could not turn the pages fast enough.

The author writes about the Dust Bowl and the storms so vividly I could easily imagine it. Of course while reading I had to google the Dust Bowl to familiarize myself with the details and I was shocked at what I learned and what so many people suffered at that time. The images of these dust storms look like something out of a nightmare. The dust from the Plains region even reached up as far as Washington DC and New York City at one point. The author paints such a vivid picture of what people went through at that time and of the poverty people suffered that it both shocks you and pulls at your heartstrings as you read.

Kristin Hannah’s descriptive writing style and the way she shaped these characters had me enthralled. I felt for them and I wanted them to be alright. The relationships within the story are what grab ahold of you as you read. Elsa is a good mother trying to survive it all and take care of her children. The people she meets who are going through similar struggles become like family to her. This is a story about strong women and about surviving against all odds and pushing forward no matter what.

The Four Winds is definitely one of my top reads for 2021 and I highly recommend it if you are looking to get swept away into a well written historical family saga. Have a box of tissues handy.
As per the photo below, my reading view last week was perfect. I’m so glad I chose The Four Winds as my vacation book. Have you read this one?



“Books had always been her solace; novels gave her the space to be bold, brave, beautiful, if only in her own imagination.”– p14, The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah

“Heartache had been a part of her life so long it had become as familiar as the color of her hair or the slight curve in her spine. Sometimes it was the lens through which she viewed her world and sometimes it was the blindfold she wore so she didn’t see.”- p.117, The Four Winds

“Love is what remains when everything else is gone.” -p.425, The Four Winds

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About the author:
Kristin Hannah is the award-winning and bestselling author of more than 20 novels including the international blockbuster, The Nightingale, which was named Goodreads Best Historical fiction novel for 2015 and won the coveted People’s Choice award for best fiction in the same year. Additionally, it was named a Best Book of the Year by Amazon, iTunes, Buzzfeed, the Wall Street Journal, Paste, and The Week.-quoted from Amazon


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Disclaimer: This review is my honest opinion. I did not receive any kind of compensation for reading and reviewing this book. I am under no obligation to write a positive review. I purchased my copy of The Four Winds. Some of these links are affiliate links. If you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a small affiliate commission. The book photo here is my own.

My Little Crocheted Christmas by Doerthe Eisterlehner

source: review copy via NetGalley / Dover
title: My Little Crocheted Christmas: Festive Projects to Make the Season Bright
genre: crochet patterns
published: Dover Publications; Translation Edition (September 18, 2019)
rated: 4 out of 5

blurb:
Add a little handmade warmth to Christmas with these charming crocheted decorations, toys, and charms. The projects include tree ornaments, a cuddly fox and animal Santas, a mouse quartet, a tabletop nativity set, finger puppets, gingerbread “hearts,” and many other delightful ornaments. These projects are suitable for crocheters at every level of experience — a How-To section explains the basic techniques, so even beginners can whip up many of these items. Each features detailed instructions and full-color photos of the completed piece. The handmade items will be lovely gifts with a personal touch for friends and family as well as keepsake additions to your own holiday decorations.

my thoughts:
Yay for Christmas crochet! This review is literally one year overdue so shame on me but I like to crochet something from the pattern books I receive for review so I didn’t want to share this one until I made something from the book.
My Little Crocheted Christmas: Festive Projects to Make the Season Bright is a lovely pattern book to add to any crocheter’s collection. The festive patterns inside are whimsical and fun.

“At the coldest time of year, it’s especially fun to cozy up on the sofa, light a fire, and grab your crocheting. This book is full of patterns for a colorful and vibrant Christmas season and a festive,sparkling Christmas celebration.- “My Little Crocheted Christmas by Doerthe Eisterlehner

The crochet patterns within these pages include cookies and sweets, an Advent Calendar, a cuddly fox, festive pencil toppers, small Nativity set, thermos cozy and several other gift ideas that would make for cute stocking stuffers and presents.
The well written patterns all come with clear photos. I love the presentation throughout the book it’s very festive. I’d say this is for the beginner crocheter through the advanced one as well because these are fun projects and most are not too time consuming so you can spend an afternoon whipping something up for yourself or a loved one without too much time commitment. This is a nice pattern book to bring out for crocheting while watching Christmas movies.


These wrist warmers look very cozy.

I whipped up the snowman jar cozy. The pattern was very simple and I tweaked mine a little to fit the smaller candle.






I think my snowman looks more like a penguin though lol.


Overall, this is a terrific crochet pattern book to add to your shelves. I recommend it! Special thanks to NetGalley / Dover for my copy.

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Disclaimer: This review is my honest opinion. I did not receive any kind of compensation for reading and reviewing this book. I am under no obligation to write a positive review. I received my free review copy of My Little Crocheted Christmas: Festive Projects to Make the Season Bright via NetGalley / Dover in exchange for my honest thoughts. Some of the links in the post are affiliate links. If you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a small affiliate commission. The photos in this post are mine and not to be removed from here.

Brave Girl, Quiet Girl by Catherine Ryan Hyde

brave
source: free ARC via Netgalley and Lake Union Publishing
title: Brave Girl, Quiet Girl by Catherine Ryan Hyde
published: May 19th 2020
genre: fiction
pages: 300
first line: It started that day with just the normal levels of my mother driving me crazy.
rated: 4 out of 5 stars
starstarstarstar
blurb:
Brooke is a divorced single mom, financially strapped, living with her mother, and holding tight to the one thing that matters most: her two-year-old daughter, Etta. Then, in a matter of seconds, Brooke’s life is shattered when she’s carjacked. Helpless and terrified, all Brooke can do is watch as Etta, still strapped in her seat, disappears into the Los Angeles night.

Miles away, Etta is found by Molly, a homeless teen who is all too used to darkness. Thrown away by her parents, and with a future as stable as the wooden crate she calls home, Molly survives day to day by her wits. As unpredictable as her life is, she’s stunned to find Etta, abandoned and alone. Shielding the little girl from more than the elements, Molly must put herself in harm’s way to protect a child as lost as she is.

Out of one terrible moment, Brooke’s and Molly’s desperate paths converge and an unlikely friendship across generations and circumstances is formed. With it, Brooke and Molly will come to discover that what’s lost—and what’s found—can change in a heartbeat.

my thoughts:
If you want to read an emotional story revolving around important issues that will pull at your heartstrings may I suggest Brave Girl, Quiet Girl by Catherine Ryan Hyde.

As the story starts off Brooke is a 30 something divorced single mom living with her mother and 2 year old daughter Etta. Brooke takes Etta out one evening to the movies when she is carjacked and dragged out of the car. The carjacker proceeds to speed off with baby Etta still in her car-seat. A mother’s worst nightmare right?

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Mrs. Lincoln’s Sisters by Jennifer Chiaverini

lincoln
source: free ARC via NetGalleyHarper Collins
title: Mrs. Lincoln’s Sisters
author: Jennifer Chiaverini
genre: historical fiction
published: June 2, 2020
pages: 352
first line: A whimsical breeze rustled the paper beneath Elizabeth’s pen as she wrote in the garden, but she held the sheet firmly against the table with her left hand and it was not carried aloft.
rated: 5 out of 5 stars
starstarstarstarstar

blurb:
The New York Times bestselling author of Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker returns to her most famous heroine, Mary Todd Lincoln, in this compelling story of love, loss, and sisterhood rich with history and suspense.

In May 1875, Elizabeth Todd Edwards reels from news that her younger sister Mary, former First Lady and widow of President Abraham Lincoln, has attempted suicide.

Mary’s shocking act followed legal proceedings arranged by her eldest and only surviving son that declared her legally insane. Although they have long been estranged, Elizabeth knows Mary’s tenuous mental health has deteriorated through decades of trauma and loss. Yet is her suicide attempt truly the impulse of a deranged mind, or the desperate act of a sane woman terrified to be committed to an asylum? And—if her sisters can put past grievances aside—is their love powerful enough to save her?

Maternal Elizabeth, peacemaker Frances, envious Ann, and much adored Emilie had always turned to one another in times of joy and heartache, first as children, and later as young wives and mothers. But when Civil War erupted, the conflict that divided a nation shattered their family. The Todd sisters’s fates were bound to their husbands’ choices as some joined the Lincoln administration, others the Confederate Army.

Now, though discord and tragedy have strained their bonds, Elizabeth knows they must come together as sisters to help Mary in her most desperate hour.

my thoughts:
I loved Mrs. Lincoln’s Sisters by Jennifer Chiaverini and found myself immersed in the story-line while reading.

As Mrs. Lincoln’s Sisters begins, Elizabeth Todd Edwards receives the news that her estranged sister Mary Todd Lincoln has been declared legally insane and is being committed to a mental institution after attempting suicide.

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Crochet Over 130 Techniques and Stitches by DK

crochet
source: free ARC from Netgalley/ DK publishers
title: Crochet: Over 130 Techniques and Stitches
genre: crochet patterns
published: September 15, 2020
pages: 320
rated: 5 out of 5
crochethookcrochethookcrochethookcrochethookcrochethook

blurb:
Learn more than 130 fully illustrated techniques and stitches and put them into practice as you go, creating 80 imaginative projects for home and to wear.

Packed with step-by-step photography and clear instructions, Crochet has everything you need to crochet a gorgeous array of clothing, home decor items, and toys. Get started with your first crochet hook, work a range of classic granny squares, and discover how to craft delicate lace and openwork pieces. Practice your newly learned skills on simple projects as you move through the book, or dive straight into the dedicated projects chapter, which includes amigurumi and toy designs, blankets and pillows, and clothing for children and adults.

Newly updated with a fresh design and brand-new photography, Crochet is both a perfect guide for beginners and an invaluable resource for more practiced crocheters

my thoughts:
Crochet: Over 130 Techniques and Stitches is a great crochet pattern book full of creative projects. With a variety of patterns, techniques and ideas this one is good for both novice and seasoned crocheters. There is plenty within these pages to give you inspiration.

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