Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Great Alone” as Want to Read:
The Great Alone
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Great Alone

by
4.34  ·  Rating details ·  113,749 Ratings  ·  14,132 Reviews
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-ye
...more
Kindle Edition, 435 pages
Published February 6th 2018 by St. Martin's Press
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Great Alone, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Kristin Hannah It's out February 6. You can enter to win an early copy on goodreads though! Good luck!
Kristin Hannah Hi 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…more
Hi 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)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
|
Filter
Deanna
My reviews can also be seen at: https://deesradreadsandreviews.wordpr...

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
Melissa
*3.5 stars*

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
Emily May
Oct 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
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
...more
abby
Jan 23, 2018 rated it liked it
Kristin Hannah wrote 70% of a novel and then 30% of a soap opera.

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
Angela M
Oct 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
“Were you ever out in the Great Alone,
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
Paromjit
This is my first read by Kristin Hannah and I adored it. Set in the 1970s, it is about Ernt Allbright, a man who returns home to Seattle after being a POW in the Vietnam War. He is now a changed man, suffering sleepless nights, flashbacks, nightmares and volatile in his behaviour. PTSD was an undiagnosed condition at the time but it ravaged Ernt's life and that of his wife, Cora, and his 13 year old daughter, Leni. The Allbright family used to have good times, but now Leni hears the fights and c ...more
KAS
Feb 14, 2018 rated it it was ok
One thing is for sure, Kristin Hannah, hands down, is a talented author who can weave a tale. I have read many of her previous novels and always found them to be beautiful and thought provoking. This one, however, rubbed me the wrong way.

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
Elyse
Jan 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Kristin Hannah fans will be more than satisfied!!!

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
Larry H
Feb 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing


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
...more
Diane S ☔
Oct 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Book coincidences. I always read multiple books at the same time, always have. So, I was reading History of Wolves, and because I had paper Arcs of both books and wanted to pass them on, I also started this one. Both deal with the trauma of war, but this one was set in Alaska, and I love books set in cold climates. It is the seventies and Ernt, who came back much changed from Vietnam, can't seem to settle. Moving his small family from place to place, until he is left a small cabin in Alaska, fro ...more
Carol
OH BOY. ALASKA. THE GREAT ALONE.

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
Jen
Feb 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I think Kristen Hannah is like a fine wine. With each new novel, she gets better and better.
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
Susanne Strong
Feb 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
4 Stars.

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
Linda
Like a curved, upturned palm, Alaska beckons with her beauty, her majesty, and her prolific grandeur.

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
Julie
Apr 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Arah-Lynda
Feb 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: i-said, top
There’s gold, and it’s haunting and haunting;
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.

Robert Service


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
Norma * Traveling Sister
*4.5 stars* rounded up for The Great Alone!

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
Karen
Jan 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
5 Stars for The Great Alone... Alaska. It’s 1974 and a family of three, including a father mentally traumatized by his service in the Vietnam War, move to Alaska to a forty acre plot of land left to him by a fellow soldier who never made it out.
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
Nat
Feb 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pink-covers
“And you,” Large Marge said. “What’s your story, missy?”
“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
Cheri
4.5 Stars

”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
Liz
Mar 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: best-of-2018

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
Theresa Alan
Dec 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a breathtakingly well-written novel.

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
Lindsay - Traveling Sister
4.5 stars!

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
*TUDOR^QUEEN*
Jan 31, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars

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
⇢Eryn
5/5~~

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
Christine
To me, the number one criterion for a book to be deemed superior is that it makes me feel, really feel. The Great Alone went one step further and utterly ripped my heart out.

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
Maxwell
Jan 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, i-own-it
The Great Alone begins in 1974. Ernt Allbright is a Vietnam POW who is struggling with finding his place in society once again while trying to cope with the traumatic experiences he had in battle. His idea: to escape to a small Alaskan village where he's been left a piece of property by another vet who didn't make it back from war. He decides to move his family—wife, Cora, and daughter, Leni—to this town of a few dozen people to rough it. But when the winter settles in, the family realizes they ...more
Lisa
The Great Alone
Kristin Hannah


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.

SUMMARY
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
Malia
Apr 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars

“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
Zoeytron
Jan 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Copy furnished by Net Galley for the price of a review.

1974 Alaska.  The beauty of the land is breathtaking, but it is counter-balanced by the cruel and unforgiving elements of nature.  A terrible and beautiful mosaic.  An emotionally scarred man moves his wife and daughter to the remote town of Kaneq for a fresh start.  They are welcomed by the community, but their problems have not been solved.  Tough, hopeful, and bittersweet.  You may leave a little piece of your heart behind when you close
...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Diversity in All ...: The Great Alone (October 2018) 1 8 Sep 17, 2018 04:54PM  
Leander Readers: First Impressions - October 2018 5 14 Aug 29, 2018 05:06PM  
Horrible stereotypes of a Nam vet and a battered woman. 6 213 Jul 31, 2018 12:27PM  
78,882 followers
Kristin Hannah is the award-winning and bestselling author of more than 20 novels including the international blockbuster, The Nightingale, which was named Goodreads Best Historical fiction novel for 2015 and won the coveted People's Choice award for best fiction in the same year. Additionally, it was named a Best Book of the Year by Amazon, iTunes, Buzzfeed, the Wall Street Journal, Paste, and Th ...more

Fiction Deals

  • Mercy Among the Children
    $14.99 $1.99
  • American Street
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Stillwater Rising
    $4.49 $1.99
  • Lark Song
    $4.99 $1.99
  • In Twenty Years
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Winter Men
    $3.49 $0.99
  • The Daughters of Palatine Hill
    $4.99 $1.99
  • A House for Happy Mothers
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Love Poems (New Directions Paperbook)
    $11.95 $2.99
  • The Drowning Guard
    $3.99 $0.99
  • Anathema
    $3.49 $0.99
  • Neverhome
    $12.99 $2.99
  • Sinner: A Paradise Novel (The Books of History Chronicles)
    $11.49 $3.99
  • A Promise of Hope (Kauffman Amish Bakery, #2)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • 'Round Midnight: A Novel
    $13.99 $2.99
  • Ulterior Motives (Sun Coast Chronicles, #3)
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Prisoner B-3087
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Midwife's Revolt (The Midwife Series, #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • A Place of Peace (Kauffman Amish Bakery, #3)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Beekeeper's Promise
    $4.99 $2.49
  • The Two-Family House
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Where Do I Go? (Yada Yada House of Hope, #1)
    $7.99 $1.99
  • The Bloodletter's Daughter
    $4.99 $1.99
  • A Gift of Grace (Kauffman Amish Bakery, #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Luxe (Luxe, #1)
    $3.74 $0.99
  • A Dream of Home (Hearts of the Lancaster Grand Hotel)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Thing About Jellyfish
    $7.99 $2.99
  • Broken Angels
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Lioness of Morocco
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Girl from the Savoy
    $10.74 $1.99
  • The Inexplicable Logic of My Life
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Wish
    $5.67 $2.99
  • Treason: A Novel
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Wednesday Wars
    $6.99 $1.99
  • Red Mountain
    $4.99 $1.49
  • She Who Remembers
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Hearts of Resistance
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Nantucket Nights
    $8.99 $2.99
  • The Midwife of Hope River: A Novel of an American Midwife
    $8.99 $1.99
  • Life and Other Near-Death Experiences
    $4.49 $1.99
  • Where Hope Begins
    $8.99 $1.99
  • Somewhere in France: A Novel of the Great War
    $8.74 $1.99
  • Skin
    $1.99 $0.99
  • Endangered (Ape Quartet, #1)
    $5.99 $1.99
  • Inamorata
    $3.99 $0.99
  • Penmarric
    $17.99 $1.99
  • A Life of Joy (Kauffman Amish Bakery, #4)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Poisonwood Bible
    $11.99 $2.99
  • The Hippopotamus
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Cometh the Hour (The Clifton Chronicles #6)
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Question of Red
    $3.99 $1.99
  • A.D. 30 (A.D., #1)
    $7.99 $3.99
“It’s scary that people can just stop loving you, you know?” 17 likes
“A thing can be true and not the truth,” 15 likes
More quotes…