Book of the Month Review + Coupon – February 2021
Book of the Month is a monthly book subscription box. Each month, 5 curators pick out their favorite new hardcover books, and you can choose which one you want to receive on the first of the month. You can also add up to 2 additional books for only $9.99 each. (This box was named one of the best subscriptions under $15 by MSA readers in the 2020 Subscription Box Awards.)
This box was sent to us at no cost for review. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)
Check out all of our reviews of Book Subscription Boxes for more options, too!
About this Box
The Subscription Box: Book of the Month
The Cost: $14.99 a month
COUPON: Use code FALL5 to get your first book for $9.99
The Product: Subscribers get to pick from a selection of hardcover books each month. Skip any month you aren’t interested in. Add up to two additional books for $9.99 each.
Ships to: The U.S. for free
Book of the Month February 2021 Review
These are the five book choices offered to subscribers this month. I had such a hard time deciding. My second choice would have been The Kindest Lie, but I’ve heard such good things about Kristin Hannah that I decided to give her novel a go!
Book Summary from Amazon:
Texas, 1921. A time of abundance. The Great War is over, the bounty of the land is plentiful, and America is on the brink of a new and optimistic era. But for Elsa Wolcott, deemed too old to marry in a time when marriage is a woman’s only option, the future seems bleak. Until the night she meets Rafe Martinelli and decides to change the direction of her life. With her reputation in ruin, there is only one respectable choice: marriage to a man she barely knows.
By 1934, the world has changed; millions are out of work and drought has devastated the Great Plains. Farmers are fighting to keep their land and their livelihoods as crops fail and water dries up and the earth cracks open. Dust storms roll relentlessly across the plains. Everything on the Martinelli farm is dying, including Elsa’s tenuous marriage; each day is a desperate battle against nature and a fight to keep her children alive.
In this uncertain and perilous time, Elsa―like so many of her neighbors―must make an agonizing choice: fight for the land she loves or leave it behind and go west, to California, in search of a better life for her family.
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.
This book was incredibly engrossing, detailing difficult times and hardships that were difficult to imagine overcoming. I have no idea how historically accurate this book is, but the author certainly painted a gruesome picture that made me feel just as hopeless and desolate as the land our characters clung to.
We first meet Elsa and get a little bit of background information about what really drives her and how very insecure she really is. Her parents have shown her no love and when they finally cast her off as being a spinster she goes out for a night on the town and meets a handsome boy who shows her attention and affection that she’s never felt worthy of. This leads her to the next chapter of life, an unexpected one, and a marriage where she is meek and timid while her husband is a dreamer. When times get hard on the farm they live on, she is driven by something I can relate to, motherhood. Elsa sacrifices everything for her two children, all at the same time feeling so unworthy of love. Reading this story from an outsider’s perspective made me ache for Elsa and just want to shake her and tell her to have some confidence in herself. Her lack thereof leads to consequences that break her heart and leave her with limited options.
Eventually, she finds strength in the fact that she has to push on for her children to give them a better life. This book really helps you put things into perspective and I couldn’t imagine what it would be like fearing for your family’s life, worrying about them every minute and unable to provide for them in the most basic of ways. I could feel the worry and weight on her shoulders, and when her son gets sick, I could feel her panic and empathize with her deeply.
Through all of this caring and sacrificing, Elsa also has to put up with her daughter, Loreda, who in typical teenager fashion seems to blame her for everything and chalks every sharp turn up to Elsa’s inadequacies. This story is as much about their relationship and the way Loreda views her mother as it is about the hardships they endured throughout the Great Depression. Elsa’s confidence grows because she has no other choice and her love for her children is what carries her through it all. This book is depressing and inspiring all at once and while it was a hard read, it was a really good one that I think will stick with me.
Each month, Book of the Month includes a bookmark.
If you picked this book this month, please let me know what you think of it!
Verdict: The selections from Book of the Month all felt kind of heavy this month, and after choosing some lighter books recently, I took the plunge and chose this story that both broke my heart and inspired me. This was such an emotional read, but one that captivated me and had me lost in the story, hoping for a break for these characters who were so strong and endured incredible hardships. I liked this book a lot and I would definitely recommend it, but only if you are ready for a heavy read that might leave you crying at the end!
To Wrap Up:
Can you still get this book if you sign up today? No, but you may be able to choose this book as an add-on. March 20th is the LAST DAY to sign up for Book of the Month to receive the March selections – learn more about the options here.
COUPON: Use code FALL5 to get your first book for $9.99
Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!
What do you think of the Book of the Month subscription? Which book (or books) did you pick this month?