The Great Alone
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.
Thanks so much for asking about the synopsis of The Great Alone. The truth is that we don't have it written yet and I want it to be just…moreHi Julia!
Thanks so much for asking about the synopsis of The Great Alone. The truth is that we don't have it written yet and I want it to be just right when I send it out into the world. Somehow, it's easier to write 150,000 words than a handful of description. For now, I can say it's about a family living on the edge of civilization in Alaska in the 1970's, but keep watching. As soon as I have more scoop, I'll post it! I hope you've entered to win an early reading copy...good luck! xok(less)
Wow!! This was a FANTASTIC novel. There is no way anyone could have pried this book from my hands while I was reading it.
Kristin Hannah is one of my favorite authors and I am always excited when a new book is going to be released. When I found out that her new book, “The Great Alone” was set in Alaska in 1974 (the year I was born); I was itching to get reading.
As the book opens, we meet the Allbright family. Ernt, Cora, a ...more
When it comes to emotionally compelling fiction, without a doubt, Kristin Hannah is in a league of her own. Over the years, she’s taken me to the brink of hopelessness, dangled me over the edge of complete devastation and trampled my heart in the process. Where I think her magic lies is in knowing just the right moment to toss out a lifeline—restoring faith, inciting love and in some cases, leaving me in complete and utter awe.
Naturally, having experienced a number of her noteworthy r ...more
All this time, Dad had taught Leni how dangerous the outside world was. The truth was that the biggest danger of all was in her own home.
This book completely stole my heart. Maybe it's just more fresh in my mind, but I'm pretty sure I enjoyed The Great Alone even more than Kristin Hannah's The Nightingale. In fact, it was verging on a five-star read for me until the final few chapters-- which I felt were too rushed and more sentimental than I personally like. But I still highly recommend it.
I know this isn't likely to be a popular opinion. Hannah is an incredibly popular writer whose books sell into the millions. This might be a case of "it's not you, it's me." The same problems I found in her sentinel work The Nightingale came back to haunt The Great Alone: weak female characters, use of death and tragedy as plot devises, and an overwrought, melodramatic narrative. People who liked Hannah's earlier work, will probabl ...more
when the moon was awful clear,
And the icy mountains hemmed you in
with a silence you most could hear;
With only the howl of a timber wolf, and
you camped there in the cold,
A half-dead thing in a stark, dead world,
clean mad for the muck called gold;
While high overhead, green, yellow and
red, the North Lights swept in bars? —
Then you've a hunch what the music
meant. . . hunger and night and the stars. “
( From The Shooting of Dan McGrew by Robert ...more
Forewarning: This storyline deals with a lot of heavy issues, the most serious and horrific, physical abuse. I am trying my best to keep spoilers out of this review.
Just so you know where my thoughts are coming from, I am the wife of a twenty-seven year military ...more
Oh, man, this book.
In 1974, the world was turned upside-down, what with Vietnam, the gas crisis, Watergate, and so much more to cause people to feel unsettled. Thirteen-year-old Leni Allbright knew these feelings all too well, but more because her father, Ernt, a Vietnam POW, has never quite been the same since he returned from being captured during the war. Leni watches the almost all-consuming love her parents have for each other, which is exacerbated by the times when her father "just isn't
I found the story a little predictable- and not all characters as layered as I would have liked, yet the sincerity in which Kristin wrote this novel is admirable and beautiful....with much to respect for taking on these serious themes. Kristin’s heart and passion is mixed between all her words on every page.
The writing flows with emotional intimacy.
This story is told through the eyes of Leni, daughter of a former Vietnam POW.
Leni, an only chil ...more
KRISTIN HANNAH grabbed my attention from the get-go with her freaky cold (Brrrrrrrr) descriptively atmospheric novel set in a remote 1970's Alaska where "you can make one mistake, but the second one will kill you"......literally.
THE FIRST HALF of the story introduces the reader to the Allbright family and the shock of their unimaginably dangerous and unpredictable new life in the wild.
LIVING ROUGH (Yikes!) in their inherited little cabin, they must haul water, g...more
Thirteen year old Leni and her parents move to the Alaskan wilderness as a possible solution to her dad's illness. He suffers from PTSD having returned from Vietnam broken, with an extreme vision and little survival skills.
Once the harshness of winter sets in, the human spirit is tested in a family whose relationship is already in a delicate balance; the lack of daylight brings with it the challenges of ...more
Alaska, 1974: This is the story of the trials and tribulations of the Allbright family. Life has not been easy for Ernt, Cora or their daughter Leni. Ernt is a POW, home from Vietnam. He is now prone to fits of anger and extreme violence. Ernt considers alcohol to be his savior – yet for his wife and daughter, it is the devil.
After coming home from the war, Ernt feels as though he doesn’t fit in anywhere and that everyone is against him. In an incredible turn of events, a home is bequeat ...more
The awe-inspiring allure gestures first until the ruggedness of her backbone sets in.
The Allbright family lives on the edge of a nomad's existence. Seattle, once filled with promise, no longer does. It's 1974 and these displaced individuals are the walking wounded. Ernt bears the mental and physical scars of being a prisoner of war held in Vietnam. The nightmares are no longer wrapped in the dar ...more
It’s luring me on as of old;
Yet it isn’t the gold that I’m wanting
So much as finding the gold.
It’s the great, big, broad land ‘way up yonder,
It’s the forests where silence has lease;
It’s the beauty that thrills me with wonder,
It’s the stillness that fills me with peace.
This book got me to thinking about why I read and at times it would seem I have as many answers as there are moments to consider them..
For me I guess it all began when I ...more
THE GREAT ALONE by KRISTIN HANNAH is an absolutely wonderful, spellbinding, powerful, tense, touching, and heartbreaking domestic family drama story that was an all-consuming and emotional read for me. I was totally captivated with what I was reading and it was extremely hard for me to put down. I couldn’t think of anything else but this story and I don’t think I have felt so many different emotions from reading a book in quite some time. The way that ...more
“I don’t have a story.”
“Everyone has a story. Maybe yours just starts up here.”
I was on the look-out for a novel set around quiet people, and The Great Alone looked like one to fulfill that promise with “the harsh, uncompromising beauty of Alaska.” Plus, the mention of exploring PTSD in the father figure piqued my interest.
The bonus was when I started reading the book and became quickly swept up in Leni's life. She's thirteen when the novel ...more
Life there is so hard and very bleak. This story is fast paced, and riveting. The characters so beautifully brought to life. Such an atmospheric read, I am so happy that I was able to read this at a time when we have our own Arctic Blast going through her ...more
At only thirteen years old, Leni has already been bounced from school to school, city to city. Her father returned from Vietnam after being a POW a damaged man who is unable to control his nightmares—or his temper, causing him to get fired from job after job.
When he learns that a war buddy of his left him a house in Alaska, Ernt is sure this time happiness will be theirs, so he packs up his daughter and wife and they head for The Great Alone.
I fell ...more
”Well she seemed all right by dawn's early light
Though she looked a little worried and weak.
She tried to pretend he wasn't drinkin' again
But daddy'd left the proof on her cheek.
And I was only eight years old that summer
And I always seemed to be in the way
So I took myself down to the fair in town
On Independence Day.
“Well ,word gets around in a small, small town
They said he was a dangerous man
But mama was proud and she stood her ground
But she knew she was on the losin' end.
Some folks whi ...more
Some plans just have “bad idea” written all over them. This would include Ernt’s plan to take his family to Alaska in 1974. Ernt, a Vietnam vet and ex-POW, is suffering from what we now call PTSD. But back then, there was no diagnosis or treatment.
The story is told from the perspective of his daughter, Leni. When they arrive in Alaska, everyone tries to prepare them. To tell them how hard it’s going to be. How one mistake can be fatal. But Leni and her mom, Cora, are desperate to believe that t ...more
Beautiful. Emotional. Atmospheric. Heart-wrenching. Stunning. Raw. Intense.
I love Kristin Hannah’s writing! I’ve been a fan of her for years, but fell absolutely head over heels in love with her writing after reading The Nightingale. Though I wouldn’t class this book as highly as my love for The Nightingale, it was still an extremely powerful and thoroughly enjoyable novel that I truly loved reading.
This story revolves around thirteen-year-old Leni who moves to Alaska with her highl ...more
The story is about Leni Allbright, an only child and teenage girl whose parents move around frequently to support her dad’s latest and greatest ideas for new ventures. Her father, Ernt, is skeptical of the system, the government, and modernization. He is also a veteran of the Vietnam war and dealing with PTSD which has seriousl ...more
I was a bit out of my usual comfort zone as far as reading genres when I came to this book. When I was about 5 percent into the book I was loving it, but as I got just a little bit further I thought to myself, "if I wasn't committed to reading this for NetGalley, I'd move onto something else." However, after taking a deep breath and persevering with the book, I came away with a healthy admiration for this author's writing.
I've held the lifelong belief that while reading books I've trav ...more
This book completely broke me. I mean, it's wonderful, but also so terrible and heartbreaking. I swear, I don’t think I’ve felt this many emotions from a book in a long, long time. It made me feel happiness, sadness, rage and love — sometimes all at the same time.
It’s funny how I ordered this book purely because of it's lovely cover and because it was about Alaska (I’m in a random stage where I want to move there). And now it’s one of my all time favorite novels. Funny how these things work ...more
This is Leni’s story. We follow her, with some skips in time, from 1974 to 1986. We also get a short epilogue in the form of a letter written in 2009. Leni’s life is difficult and often harrowing. It is also very rewarding.
Much of the book covers Leni’s time as a young teenager living with her parents in the Alaskan bush, b ...more
There is something about Alaska that tends to pique my interest, though I cannot put a finger on precisely what it might be. Could it be that it is so isolated from all that I know or that the stories that come from this far-away land tend to contrast so much with those I am used to reading? Whatever it might be, Kristin Hannah takes the reader on quite the adventure, exploring the land as well as the psyche of the characters she peppers throughout ...more
MY RATING ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
PUBLISHER St Martin’s Press
PUBLISHED February 6, 2018
A spellbinding family drama of survival set on the wild and rugged side of the Kenai peninsula of Alaska.
It’s 1974, gas prices are up, the country had been divided over the Vietnam war, and women had begun to disappear in Washington State without a trace. Leni Allbright, 13, was the new girl at another new school, with no friends other than her dog eared copy of Watership Down. She was worrie ...more
“Leni saw suddenly how hope could break you, how it was a shiny lure for the unwary. What happened to you if you hoped too hard for the best and got the worst?”
― Kristin Hannah, The Great Alone
I am of two minds when it comes to this book. On one hand, it is compulsively readable; on the other, it is relentlessly bleak. Basically everything bad and frustrating that could happen, does happen, and after 435 pages, it gets exhausting. That being said, it was a well-written (if cliché-rich) ...more