Author Kristin Hannah has been writing unforgettable stories for over 30 years, including the international blockbuster, The Nightingale. Her latest book, The Four Winds, is poised to follow suit, having spent most of 2021 so far at the top of numerous bestseller lists. Here’s a closer look at this remarkable author and five of our favorites from her considerable repertoire of outstanding historical fiction novels. You can find these titles and more at Discover Books today.
Kristin Hannah is an author of more than 20 novels including The Four Winds, The Nightingale, The Great Alone, Home Front, and Firefly Lane.
Kristin Hannah was born in California but settled with her family in the Pacific Northwest when she was 8 years old. She earned a degree in communication from the University of Washington and a law degree from the University of Puget Sound. Ms. Hannah practiced law in Seattle prior to writing full time. She currently lives on Bainbridge Island near Seattle with her husband and son.
The biggest risk I ever took was in daring to believe I could write novels.Kristin Hannah
Ms. Hannah wrote her first book alongside her mother who was fighting a battle against breast cancer. They spent hours together sharing ideas and creating a historical romance. That first attempt at a novel was bundled away, but the notion of telling more stories remained. In 1991, she published her first book, Handful of Heaven, a romance set in Alaska during the gold rush era. This book is no longer in print, but if you can find a used copy at Discover Books, snap it up. It’s very different from her current books and falls solidly in the romance genre, but you’ll find the writing contains the same rich character development that you love in her more recent work.
Since then, she’s written over 20 novels. Her focus has pivoted from romantic relationships to other important relationships and how bonds are broken and forged amidst tragedy, loss, and renewal. Here’s a brief look at 5 of our favorites:
On Mystic Lake was published in 2000 and was Ms. Hannah’s first book to crack the New York Times bestseller list when it was released in paperback in 2004. It’s a romance set in Washington State. The main character, Annie Colwater, retreats to her hometown of Mystic to lick her wounds after a sudden, unexpected divorce. Here, she’s reunited with Nick Delacroix, her first love, and begins a path towards healing. It’s a luminous, compelling story that keeps you fully engaged until the very last word on the very last page.
This is Ms. Hannah’s most personal, most autobiographical book. It tells the story of a friendship that spans over 40 years. Tully and Kate are opposites but become fast, inseparable friends in middle school. This is a story of two woman who are shaped by their choices. It’s about promises and betrayals, hurting and healing, secrets and surprises. It’s also a book about Washington; if you’ve lived in Seattle or attended UW, you’ll love this trip down memory lane. Read this book and then pass it along to your best friend.
Women and their relationships again take center stage, but this time it’s mothers and daughters. Meredith and Nina Whitson are sisters who have returned home to fulfill a deathbed promise to their father. In doing so, they discover a love story unlike anything they’ve ever imagined involving a mother they never really knew. This fascinating story will take you into war torn Leningrad in 1941 where women are fighting for themselves and their children. What is Anya’s secret? You’ll have to read the book to find out.
Ms. Hannah describes The Nightingale as a turning point for her writing. In telling this story of two sisters living in France in WWII, the author found her true voice. If you’re a fan of her writing, you’ll notice the shift. While this is a purely fictional story, it’s based on the experiences of real women working within the resistance. The stories of women during war are often forgotten, but the sisters in this book fought their own war every day, making impossible decisions for themselves and their children. What would you do to save your life? your child’s life? the life of a stranger? Courage and bravery are often complicated as you’ll discover as you read the The Nightingale.
The Nightingale has been published in over 42 languages and is currently being made into a movie. It was voted a best book of the year in 2015 by Amazon, The Wall Street Journal, and others. We’re certain it will also become one of your favorites.
Ms. Hannah’s latest book, The Four Winds, was published in February 2021. It’s spent weeks in the #1 spot on many best seller lists and is likely to make to your own personal list of life-changing books. This is the story of Elsa, an indomitable woman forced by circumstances to migrate with her children from Texas to California to eke out a meager living picking cotton. Set during the Great Depression in the Dust Bowl of the American Midwest, this is a remarkable novel about grit, determination, hard work, courage, and, above all, hope. This is the book everyone is talking about and once you read it, you’ll know why.
Kristin Hannah List of Books in Order
Stand alone novels
- A Handful of Heaven (1991)
- The Enchantment (1992)
- Once in Every Life (1992)
- If You Believe (1993)
- When Lightning Strikes (1994)
- Waiting for the Moon (1995)
- Home Again (1996)
- On Mystic Lake (1999)
- Angel Falls (2000)
- Summer Island (2001)
- Distant Shores (2002)
- Between Sisters (2003)
- The Things We Do for Love (2004)
- Comfort and Joy (2005)
- Magic Hour (2006)
- True Colors (2009)
- Winter Garden (2010)
- Night Road (2011)
- Home Front (2012)
- The Nightingale (2015)
- The Great Alone (2018)
- The Four Winds (2021)
Discover Kristin Hannah
Discover the books of Kristin Hannah at Discover Books. We carry these and other titles from Kristin Hannah. With prices as low as $3.85, you can try all of her books to see for yourself which is your favorite. Great for book clubs, too. For book club tips and advice, read here. Shop and save today.