Book Review: The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah

March 29, 2019 Book review 2 ★★★★★

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah claimed 5 raw, intense, heartbreaking stars from this heartbroken book blogger.  And she is rapidly becoming one of my favourite authors.  Kristin has a fab way of creating unique characters and story arcs that remain with you long after you put the book down. 

Book Review: The Great Alone by Kristin HannahThe Great Alone by Kristin Hannah
on February 6, 2018
Genres: Family Life, Historical Fiction
Pages: 440
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
Buy on Amazon

Alaska, 1974.Unpredictable. Unforgiving. Untamed.For a family in crisis, the ultimate test of survival.
Ernt Allbright, a former POW, comes home from the Vietnam war a changed and volatile man. When he loses yet another job, he makes an impulsive decision: he will move his family north, to Alaska, where they will live off the grid in America’s last true frontier.
Thirteen-year-old Leni, a girl coming of age in a tumultuous time, caught in the riptide of her parents’ passionate, stormy relationship, dares to hope that a new land will lead to a better future for her family. She is desperate for a place to belong. Her mother, Cora, will do anything and go anywhere for the man she loves, even if it means following him into the unknown.
At first, Alaska seems to be the answer to their prayers. In a wild, remote corner of the state, they find a fiercely independent community of strong men and even stronger women. The long, sunlit days and the generosity of the locals make up for the Allbrights’ lack of preparation and dwindling resources.
But as winter approaches and darkness descends on Alaska, Ernt’s fragile mental state deteriorates and the family begins to fracture. Soon the perils outside pale in comparison to threats from within. In their small cabin, covered in snow, blanketed in eighteen hours of night, Leni and her mother learn the terrible truth: they are on their own. In the wild, there is no one to save them but themselves.
In this unforgettable portrait of human frailty and resilience, Kristin Hannah reveals the indomitable character of the modern American pioneer and the spirit of a vanishing Alaska―a place of incomparable beauty and danger. The Great Alone is a daring, beautiful, stay-up-all-night story about love and loss, the fight for survival, and the wildness that lives in both man and nature.

addictive AUDIOBOOK BOOKLOVE Tear Jerker

My Thoughts onThe Great Alone by Kristin Hannah

I’ve a confession which is at odds with my 5 star review. The first time I tried to read this book, I abandoned it. It was too slow moving for my mood. But I found myself thinking about the characters and wondering what happened next, so returned to it. Via audiobook this time.

So I’d advise patience. A lot of time is spent building up the characters, the wild but beautiful Alaska setting, the sense of community in the small town, and the unsettling family dynamics.

I promise your patience will be rewarded ten fold. This is a deeply disturbing read, but it’s also gripping and an emotional journey that I know I won’t forget. Ever.

I knew that Leni and I would get along just fine from the moment I read this sentence.

“Books are the mile markers of my life. Some people have family photos or home movies to record their past. I’ve got books. Characters. For as long as I can remember, books have been my safe place.”

She felt like my kindred spirit. But only in relation to our love of books. I’m not Alaska tough like Leni is, and I could never have endured all that she did. I am full of admiration for her physical, emotional and mental strength. And I adored the bond she had with her mother. However, I raged with her mother at times too, just like the quote below says love really did make her stupid.

“Love and fear. The most destructive forces on earth. Fear had turned her inside out, love had made her stupid.” 

This book has romance, lots of drama, and a theme of coming to terms with your past. Most of all it has characters that I now ADORE, and I know it’s one I will reread again. 

Rating Report
Did I feel it?
Overall: five-stars

Who should read The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah

If you love well researched historical fiction, heartfelt plotlines and resilient characters, then you just might love this as much as I did.  I’d also recommend this to fans of previous books by Kristin Hannah, or if you like authors such as Liane Moriarty or Diane Chamberlain.


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2 Responses to “Book Review: The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah”

    • trish

      I’m obsessed with her writing, everything I read by her is a solid 5 stars. She really knows how to draw a reader in and make them feel all the emotions.

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