The Great Alone

The Great Alone

Book - 2018
Average Rating:
Rate this:
97
5
2
 …
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 U.S. edition
Copyright Date: ©2018
ISBN: 9780312577230
0312577230
Characteristics: 440 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm

Opinion

From Library Staff

Best Historical Fiction

When her volatile, former POW father impulsively moves the family to mid-1970s Alaska to live off the land, young Leni and her mother are forced to confront the dangers of their lack of preparedness in the wake of a dangerous winter season.


From the critics


Community Activity

Comment

Add a Comment
e
elewit
May 19, 2019

An engrossing read that lead to some great discussion in our book club. The plot was a bit far-fetched or convenient towards the very end in my opinion, but overall the characters rang true.

j
Jacqua4030
May 13, 2019

Disponible en français à la Bibliothèque de Gatineau.

c
cjl04
Apr 24, 2019

I'm always looking for great books to read, one that I can read during breaks at work or that I can use to take a break from studying. I have a whole collection of books at my apartment but sometimes, I enjoy checking out a new book from the library. The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah was a peak pick at the Seattle Public Library when it caught my attention and it is now one of my favorites. You can read my entire review on my blog, The Coffee Addict, at http://thecoffeeaddict.org/2019/03/15/the-great-alone-by-kristin-hannah/

9
9515
Apr 16, 2019

I preferred the depth of this book over the lack of depth in The Nightingale. Learning about the seasonal life in Alaska was interesting.

v
ValinOR14
Apr 11, 2019

This book is a difficult one for me to review. Parts of it were utterly fascinating. Parts of it ripped my heart out. Other parts made me roll my eyes at the sappiness.

Reading about Ernt, a former Viet Nam POW with PTSD was incredibly sad. The man Ernt ultimately became, as opposed to the glimpses of the man he probably was at one time, was horrifying.

I loved reading about Cora. Taking a city girl and placing her in a shack in the Alaska Bush (with no electricity or running water) would have been the end of me! I'm still amazed by how she became a woman who successfully adapted to that way of life. The total dysfunction of her relationship with Ernt was so very difficult to read, however.

Oh, Alaska! I totally fell in love with the descriptions of its beauty. I fell in love with most of the other characters, as well. Especially Large Marge. Tom Walker. Thelma. There was so, so much I loved about Ernt and Cora's daughter, Leni - and Tom's son, Matthew. They were such a wonderful support system for each other when they were in their early teens. But four years later is where the book started losing its strength, in my opinion. This was where Leni and Matthew's relationship started becoming mega-sappy.

Having written all of that, however, the good definitely outweighed the bad.

k
Kebsack
Apr 08, 2019

Wonderful characters. Great story with a great ending. Be prepared to cry!

l
lpingree
Apr 03, 2019

Thanks to one of my wonderful local librarians I read this book and was pulled into the story from the beginning. I confess that I skipped a few chapters just past the middle, (which I now regret) but read the last third and am so glad I did. The writing is powerful, the story deeply affecting. Then my husband picked it up, and finished it in, I think, three days. He loved it, and he's not often a reader. So well written and such an engrossing story.

n
nancyau12
Mar 29, 2019

Excellent! The suspense the author created was palpable! The father was truly a monster

t
tgosche
Mar 26, 2019

Just cannot read a book about a man who repeatedly beats his wife in the presence of his daughter.

f
firefly5
Mar 23, 2019

I just could not get interested in this book. Returned to library.

View All Comments

Quotes

Add a Quote
p
PatriciaUre
May 22, 2019

“Such a thin veil separated the past from the present; they existed simultaneously in the human heart. Anything could transport you - the smell of the sea at low tide, the screech of a gull,the turquoise of a glacier-fed river. A voice in the the wind could be both true and imagined.“

c
cknightkc
Dec 20, 2018

“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.” - p. 240

c
cknightkc
Dec 20, 2018

“Love and fear. The most destructive forces on earth. Fear had turned her inside out, love had made her stupid.” - p. 284

c
cknightkc
Dec 20, 2018

“Alaska doesn’t attract many; most are too tame to handle life up here. But when she gets her hooks in you, she digs deep and holds on, and you become heres. Wild. A lover of cruel beauty and splendid isolation. And God help you, you can’t live anywhere else.” - p. 347

ArapahoeMaryA Mar 13, 2018

You know what they say about finding a man in Alaska—the odds are good, but the goods are odd.

Summary

Add a Summary
k
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.

Age

Add Age Suitability
p
pmeadows2020
Mar 05, 2019

pmeadows2020 thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over

Notices

Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Recommendations

Subject Headings

  Loading...

Find it at MARINet

  Loading...
[]
[]
To Top