The Great Alone

The Great Alone

Book - 2018
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Lenora Allbright is 13 when her father convinces her mother, Cora, to forgo their inauspicious existence in Seattle and move to Kaneq, AK. It's 1974, and the former Vietnam POW sees a better future away from the noise and nightmares that plague him. Having been left a homestead by a buddy who died in the war, Ernt is secure in his beliefs, but never was a family less prepared for the reality of Alaska, the long, cold winters and isolation. Locals want to help out, especially classmate Matthew Walker, who likes everything about Leni. Yet the harsh conditions bring out the worst in Ernt, whose paranoia takes over their lives and exacerbates what Leni sees as the toxic relationship between her parents. The Allbrights are as green as greenhorns can be, and even first love must endure unimaginable hardship and tragedy as the wilderness tries to claim more victims.
Publisher: New York :, St. Martin's Press,, 2018.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780312577230
0312577230
Branch Call Number: FIC HANN
Characteristics: 440 pages ; 25 cm

Opinion

From Library Staff

Also available through OverDrive

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.

8th most read book by 2019 Adult Summer Reading participants!

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Casiepaws
Apr 16, 2021

This was, at best, a 3.5 star book. I was expecting big things after all the hype and this book just dragged. I think it suffered from previous-book-fame wherein the editors in charge of the next book overlook a myriad of issues because they know it will sell anyway. What was so wrong you ask? It was just overlong, by at least a hundred pages. The pace was too slow and there were lost opportunities for show don't tell. The entire first part of the book would have been better served as a series of select flashbacks. I spent 300 pages waiting for the big 'something' to happen. Once it did, the book hummed along at a good pace but until then it was a slogfest.

JCLSteveC Mar 29, 2021

A well written adventure with intense situations.

LCPL_Vivian Mar 08, 2021

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah is a hard-hitting historical fiction that is set in Alaska. It's a survival story, but the characters are trying to endure more than just the weather. The father in the story has PTSD from the Vietnam war, and he becomes very toxic and abusive to everyone around him. The story mainly follows Leni, his daughter, and the struggles she goes through while living in Alaska with what seems like no escape...until she meets Matthew Walker. I really enjoyed it, but I wouldn't recommend it to just anyone. There are many content warnings, so proceed with caution when picking this up.

m
marybellinger
Mar 07, 2021

I loved Kristin Hannah's Nightingale, and this one was equally as awesome. It had adventure, romance, strong women (and one weak link), and huge insight into life living in Alaska. One also got a inside look at domestic abuse. I love fiction with a dose of education. Terrific read!

k
Kidbean
Feb 15, 2021

This was a very good life adventure story and although the abusive and social issues were near the forefront of the story, they did not overpower the whole. I appreciate that. Thanks for a good read.

t
t_lynschm77
Feb 09, 2021

I loved this book so much! I'm having a hard time deciding whether I liked this one or Hannah's other book, The Nightingale, more. It is that good! The story never lagged and there were times that I was anxious reading it because I knew something pivotal was on the horizon. Reading it during the winter when snow is on the ground is an extra treat to being transported to the harshness and beauty that is Alaska.

s
SCO3794
Feb 03, 2021

I highly recommend this book. If you are looking for a book that tells you about the place: Alaska, maybe this book is not for you. But if you want to read about a life journey of someone's, this is very interesting and a good story line. (I think.) A lot of subjects are not easy to handle but I believe all those subjects are happens everywhere around the world.
I am looking forward to reading more of Hannah's books.

p
peteyleoallie
Jan 13, 2021

If you would like to read about an alcoholic, abusive man, his co-dependent wife and the daughter that has to live with them then this is for you. It is not about Alaska. It is written in a mediocre style for a young adult. Very disappointing!

k
K4Hiemstra
Jan 06, 2021

I really enjoyed this book but there is some definitely dark content and there were times the scenes were a bit hard to read. Loved where it ended though.

b
BUZZINGBEE
Dec 28, 2020

Writes beautifully about Alaska. Its cold, desolation yet warm community, and how the people survive. The book however, was too predictable. For all the beauty in the book, the domestic violence was too dark a contrast. Did not enjoy the novel as much as her last one, The Nightingale.

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Quotes

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LCPL_Krystyna Oct 28, 2020

“All at once, it seemed, the leaves of cottonwood trees around the cabin turned golden and whispered to themselves, then curled into black flutes and floated to the ground in crispy, lacy heaps.”

LCPL_Krystyna Oct 28, 2020

“And the books! She’d never seen so many. They whispered to her of unexplored worlds and unmet friends and she realized that she wasn’t alone in this new world. Her friends were here, spine out, waiting for her as they always had.”

LCPL_Krystyna Oct 28, 2020

“You don’t stop loving a person when they’re hurt. You get stronger so they can lean on you.”

LCPL_Krystyna Oct 28, 2020

“He taught her something new about friendship: it picked right back up where you’d left off, as if you hadn’t been apart at all.”

LCPL_Krystyna Oct 28, 2020

“I think you stand by the people you love.”

LCPL_Krystyna Oct 28, 2020

“It’s scary that people can just stop loving you, you know?”

LCPL_Krystyna Oct 28, 2020

“like all fairy tales, theirs was filled with thickets and dark places and broken dreams, and runaway girls.”

LCPL_Krystyna Oct 28, 2020

“Alaska isn't about who you were when you headed this way. It's about who you become.”

LCPL_Krystyna Oct 28, 2020

“... home was not just a cabin in a deep woods that overlooked a placid cove. Home was a state of mind, the peace that came from being who you were and living an honest life.”

LCPL_Krystyna Oct 28, 2020

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

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kxlittle
Mar 20, 2019

This book is every bit as good as Nightingale. I got so involved with the characters that, at times, I had to put the book down because it made me so anxious and nervous about what was going to happen to them. I can't wait to read another of Kristin's books. 5 star rating from me!

f
firebird770
Sep 11, 2018

This story of life in Alaska evolves around a family (the Allbrights') Ernst, his wife, and Leni, their Daughter who move up to Alaska after Ernst is left the property by a friend he knew during the Vietnam War. Ernst suffered from PTSD and creates havoc and fear whereever he goes. I was unable to put the book down; an excellent read and well recommended.

Notices

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LCPL_Krystyna Oct 28, 2020

Other: death of a parent, alcoholism, depression, ptsd

LCPL_Krystyna Oct 28, 2020

Violence: domestic abuse

Age

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pmeadows2020
Mar 05, 2019

pmeadows2020 thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over

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