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From the bestselling author of The Nightingale
Alaska, 1974. Untamed. Unpredictable. A story of a family in crisis struggling to survive at the edge of the world, it is also a story of young and enduring love.
Cora Allbright and her husband Ernt, a recently-returned Vietnam veteran scarred by the war, uproot their thirteen year old daughter Leni to start a new life in Alaska. Utterly unprepared for the weather and the isolation, but welcomed by the close-knit community, they fight to build a home in this harsh, beautiful wilderness.
At once an epic story of human survival and love, and an intimate portrait of a family tested beyond endurance, The Great Alone offers a glimpse into a vanishing way of life in America. With her trademark combination of elegant prose and deeply drawn characters, Kristin Hannah has delivered an enormously powerful story that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the remarkable and enduring strength of women.
About the highest stakes a family can face and the bonds that can tear a community apart, this is a novel as spectacular and powerful as Alaska itself. It is the finest example of Kristin Hannah's ability to weave together the deeply personal with the universal.
435 pages, Kindle Edition
First published February 6, 2018
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.
They were trapped, by environment and finances, but mostly by the sick, twisted love that bound her parents together.
Mama had quit high school and ���lived on love.” That was how she always put it, the fairy tale. Now Leni was old enough to know that like all fairy tales, theirs was filled with thickets and dark places and broken dreams, and runaway girls.
Thirteen-year-old Leni is living in a desperate situation.
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.
Love and fear. The most destructive forces on earth. Fear had turned her inside out, love had made her stupid.Ernt inherits some land from a friend and suddenly Leni finds herself leaving everything behind for Alaska.
“for we few, the sturdy, the strong, the dreamers, alaska is home, always and forever, the song you hear when the world is still and quiet. you either belong here, wild and untamed yourself, or you dont.”
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, grow their own vegetables, and hunt for food....all while armed and on the lookout for black bears and wolf packs....AND with only three months each year to prepare for the long, dark and treacherous winter months to come.
BUT....harsh weather conditions, isolation and "icy darkness" is NOT their only fear....there is another. "People go batshit in the dark."
THE GREAT ALONE has something for everyone....engaging writing....suspense....adventure and great characters with names like MAD Earl, LARGE Marge and ha!....CRAZY Pete & Matilda.
THERE IS also more than one story of love here, volatile family relationships, and invaluable friendships amidst the environmental dangers. THE GREAT ALONE is written with heart and heartbreak with an emphasis on survival....in more ways than one!
MANY THANKS once again to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for the ARC (coming February, 2018) in exchange for an honest review. Another winner for KRISTIN HANNAH!