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The Great Alone

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4.32  ·  Rating details ·  238,574 ratings  ·  26,393 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
Hardcover, 440 pages
Published February 6th 2018 by St. Martin's Press (first published January 30th 2018)
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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

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4.32  · 
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 ·  238,574 ratings  ·  26,393 reviews


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Deanna
Nov 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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
Aug 15, 2017 rated it liked it
*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  ·  review of another edition
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
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abby
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
KAS
Feb 14, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Angela M
Oct 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“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
Matthew
What a story! I mentioned this in one of my status updates and I think it is the best way to describe this book: every new scene in this book is out of the frying pan and into the fire!

My wife recommended this book to me and we usually have a pretty good idea of what the other will like (probably a 95% success rate). We have both read and enjoyed The Nightingale, which is probably what Hannah is best known for even though she has quite an extensive resume of novels. This book is quite unlike The
...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
Emily (Books with Emily Fox)
(3.5) You know when a book goes from sad, to sadder and then... even more sad? Well that's this book.

As I slowly agonized trough this audiobook I found myself so incredibly frustrated with the characters. Domestic violence, PTSD, coming of age story and overall a pretty solid book but...

You know when some books are heart-wrenching and others you feel like your emotions are being played with just for the sake of making it sad? This felt like the second one a bit too much for my taste. The ending
...more
jessica
Apr 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
its books like this that remind me why reading is such a passionate and worthwhile constant in my life. i have come to rely on books to help me learn, grown, empathise, and sometimes escape. and this story did all of that.

but what i am grateful for, most of all, is how i was able to read about a place i have never been and fall in love with it, how i could find an undeniable softness for the harsh landscape of the alaskan wilderness, how i could come to understand the pure beauty of a place i h
...more
Elyse Walters
Jan 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Diane S ☔
Oct 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Furrawn
Mar 08, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Warning, I usually write quirky lyrical bits about a book. This is going to be more of a rant. There might be accidental spoilers so steer clear if that will bother you.

Again: SPOILERS though not clear spoilers.

Ok. I truly hated this formulaic flat stereotypes-everyone book. I LOVED The Nightingale. Made everyone I know read it. I thought The Nightingale hung the moon and stars. I was excited beyond words for the release of The Great Alone.

The Good:
The first few pages were great... Further into
...more
Amalia Gavea
‘’Outside, night had fallen. A full moon cast blue-white light on everything. Stars filled the sky with pinpricks and elliptical smears of light. Up here, at night, the sky was impossibly huge and never quite turned black, but stayed a deep velvet blue. The world beneath it dwindled down to nothing: a dollop of firelight, a squiggly white reflection of moonlight on the tarnished waves.’’

The Allbright's seem a typical American family trying to find its way in a nation tarnished by the effects of
...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
Jen
Feb 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)
This was okay! I really loved the setting and the atmosphere, but this kind of felt like two different books to me. I did still enjoy it (hence the 4 star rating), but I feel like if it had been a little bit more cohesive this would have been a new all-time favorite.

TW: domestic abuse, death of a parent, alcoholism, depression
Julie
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Karen
Jan 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
*TUDOR^QUEEN*
Jan 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
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
Cheri
Feb 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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
Arah-Lynda
Feb 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: top, i-said
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
Megan
Feb 21, 2018 rated it it was ok
Only 2 stars because she's a "good" writer and I did keep reading until the end to see what happened. Really deserves one star. What schlock! Was this meant to be a Young Adult book? Or the screenplay treatment for a bad Hallmark movie? As mentioned, Hannah's writing is quite nice and she paints quite a vivid and lovely picture of Alaska. But she does it OVER AND OVER AND OVER again. We get it. Alaska is wild and beautiful and harsh. On to the characters - each and everyone is a completely one d ...more
Nat
Feb 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
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
Brandice
Jul 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow! The Great Alone was another captivating story by Kristin Hannah. This was my second book by Hannah, after just finishing The Nightingale and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

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
Theresa Alan
Dec 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Liz
Mar 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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108,300 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
“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.” 70 likes
“You know what they say about finding a man in Alaska—the odds are good, but the goods are odd.” 42 likes
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