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 U.S. edition.
Copyright Date: ©2018
ISBN: 9780312577230
Call Number: HANNAH
Characteristics: 440 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Subjects: Moving, Household -- Fiction.
Families -- Fiction.
Abusive men -- Fiction.
Ex-prisoners of war -- Fiction.
Wilderness survival -- Fiction.
Vietnam War, 1961-1975 -- Veterans -- Fiction.
Survival -- Fiction.
FICTION / Women.
FICTION / Family Life / General.
Alaska -- Fiction.
Historical fiction.
Domestic fiction.
Fiction | Contemporary Women $2bisacsh
Fiction | Family Life $2bisacsh


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greenfox737 Sep 27, 2018


marycatlyons Mar 06, 2018

A fascinating look at life in the 70's, particularly life in Alaska with a father who suffers from PTSD. I definitely think it's worth a read, if not two!

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Sep 26, 2018

quite sad story most of the way. best appreciated with on-the-ground experience in Alaska to know the reality of long nights and cold temps up there.

Sep 19, 2018

I wanted to like this book more as "The Nightingale" but I was relieved when it was done. Enjoyed descriptive Alaska references but didn't enjoy the inevitable outcome caused by this dysfunctional family.

Sep 13, 2018

I wasn't overly impressed, though I did enjoy the Alaskan wilderness references. Found it very "Nicholas Sparks" like. There's obviously a market for it, but for me, it wasn't worth the stress of trying to finish it before the two week due date.

Sep 10, 2018

If this isn’t the worst book I’ve ever read, it comes very close. I did give it one star for the eatatic descriptions of Alaska but the plot sucks. It’s melodramatic and tedious at the same time, absolutely devoid of humour or irony. Don’t waste your time.

Sep 08, 2018

A completely compelling and heart-wrenching story of a family dealing with as yet unidentified PTSD. Cora, the mother, who is emotionally dependent on her abusive husband and Leni, who must live in the shadow of the severe disfunction of her parents. Alaska is a land that will make or break an individual. This is the portrayal of 3 people trying to survive and not break. It is a very enjoyable book.

OPL_MaggieP Aug 24, 2018

My most favorite book of 2018 by far and possibly the best book I've read in the last few years. Hannah's ability to craft believable, authentic characters is staggering and she manages to make the Alaskan wild both terrifying and magical. I found myself not wanting this one to end.

Aug 19, 2018

Once again Kristin Hannah ripped my heart open and changed it. This time Lenny and her parents move to Alaska in 1974 when Lenny was 13. Ernt was a POW from the Vietnam War. He had demons that came out and made him paranoid. He got angry at the government and he took his anger out on his wife. They were on the edge of civilization in a village that had no electricity and you were lucky to survive winter and you spent summer preparing for winter. It's a story about love, danger, dangerous love, heartache and death. But then it also is about hope and moving forward. This is beautifully written. I was pulled into the lives of the characters. I fell in love with them. I cried for them. I smiled for them. There is one moment in the book that I had to stop listening while drive to lunch with a friend because I thought I was going to be a sobbing mess as I arrived to the restaurant. This is the first time I have listened to a Kristin Hannah book. The narrator did a great job of bringing emotion to the characters. I LOVED Large Marge. If you have never read a Kristin Hannah book you must. She is a great storyteller.

ArapahoeDianeM Aug 18, 2018

I really loved this book!!! Kristen Hannah did an excellent job researching Alaska and the time period this story is set in. The detailed descriptions of the Alaska landscape & beauty is remarkable. I have been to Alaska and it is truly magnificent.
We see the main character grow from a 13-year old girl into a young woman, who has endured and survived many difficult and tragic experiences. This book tackles the subjects of PTSD (after Vietnam) and also Domestic Abuse. The Mother-Daughter bond is amazing and I cried a few times, thinking of my daughter and myself. I could not put this book down, once I started reading it. Great story and so well written.

Aug 13, 2018

I seem to be focusing on survivalist-type literature these days — My Absolute Darling, Idaho, Educated, and now this, The Great Alone. A family of three gets the opportunity to move to an isolated community in Alaska. The father hopes to escape the demons he brought home with him from a POW camp in Vietnam. The mother loves the man he used to be and is steadfast in her commitment to him, even now in his angry and paranoid state. Leni is 13 years old and has no say, but has to figure out how to navigate the violence in her own house and the loneliness everywhere else. The father finds some like-minded folks in the community and Leni finds a friend — a boy! The father spirals toward a darker and darker place and Leni begins to understand that she has got to get away. The mother is locked in her self-destructive idea of what love is.

The author had a tough act to follow, after The Nightengale, and The Great Alone was nowhere near as riveting and engaging. It did show, I think, an authentic picture of how it could come to pass that a woman would stay with an abusive partner, but I don’t think that was the book’s primary theme. I’m not quite sure what exactly was.

Aug 06, 2018

This is a book I was scared to keep on reading but couldn't put down till I had read the last page. Leni Allbright is part of a family of three where her mother Cora and father Ernt have a toxic relationship.Ernt returns from the Vietnam war a broken man, a savage man,a violent man whom Cora and Leni love and fear. They move several times before Ernt decides to pack up and leave for Alaska.At first Alaska seems to be the answer to their prayers but as winter approaches the darkness and cold brings out the worst in Ernt. Leni wanted to care that she frightened her mother but she couldn't hold on to that caring. She felt that it was Cora's choice to dig through the dirt of dad's porous toxic love for treasure but she, Leni, could not.Soon Leni learns that she loves and hates her dad at the same time and how difficult it is. The author Kristin Hannah writes a poignant tale with great skill. The story takes unexpected twists and turns and as the drama unfolded I had to keep reading to see if there was a happy ending.

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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.


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ArapahoeMaryA Mar 13, 2018

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


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