Linda Sullivan recommends two historical novels

Susan EspirituOur Town Readers

Book Whisperer Linda Sullivan reaches into the past for this week’s recommendations with two novels grounded in historical realities: The Four Winds and Sparks Like Stars.

Linda tells us her first recommendation, The Four Winds, is serious. She says there’s very little happiness for the characters. So, why would we read it? We’ll read about a time in American history that sounds familiar from our school days: the Dust Bowl. Most teachers don’t have time to go in depth.

Plot teasers:

Immigration. Migrant workers. Strikes. Extreme discrimination. Single mother. A desire for more.
1937 v. 2021
Some things may have changed but most things are still the same.

As an award-winning author, Kristin Hannah has done her research, sending this novel to No. 1 on the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling lists almost immediately.

You may know Hannah from her beloved novel Firefly Lane, about two best friends. It was the No. 1 Netflix series around the world, in the week it debuted

Linda keeps us in a learning mode with her second recommendation, Sparks Like Stars, by Nadia Hashimi, the author of three other international bestselling novels.

Linda asks what do we know about Afghanistan? She says her first thoughts were probably ours too: horrible men, the Taliban, burkas, opium, instability. This novel’s story begins in 1978 before the Saur coup and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. It was a very different country than what we hear and read about today. You’ll read about a child who is smuggled out of the country and raised in the U.S. It is a story of survival.

Linda woke up before dawn thinking about the book and how a whole country can be changed.

Nadia Hashimi is a pediatrician, novelist and a former Democratic congressional candidate for the U. S. House of Representatives.

Remember: Knox County Online Library to search for Linda’s recommendations each week.

All of us have a story and I want to tell yours! Send them to


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *