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

4.33  ·  Rating details ·  315,124 ratings  ·  32,792 reviews

Alaska, 1974.
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

Paperback, 440 pages
Published January 30th 2018 by Pan Macmillan
More Details... Edit Details
Featured Notes & Highlights
Kristin Hannah
Kristin Hannah - author, historical fiction

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)
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.33  · 
Rating details
 ·  315,124 ratings  ·  32,792 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Great Alone
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,
*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, shes 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 lifelinerestoring faith, inciting love and in some cases, leaving me in complete and utter awe.

Naturally, having experienced a number of her noteworthy
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.

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
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
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
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 W.
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
Apr 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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
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. Kristins 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
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 the
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, ...more
Nilufer Ozmekik
Mar 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The year 1974, Vietnam War is over but war against the inner demons, struggles, psychological damage residues on peoples minds, hearts and souls still out there!
Allbright family wanted a fresh start and brand new life but they chose the wildest, harshest, cruelest place to live

Welcome to Kaneq, Alaska Im making a correction. This was not family decision. Ernt made her family move there. His wife Cora who is suffering from his anger management issues left from traumatic experiences from war and

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,

Feb 21, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Dorie  - Cats&Books :)
This is a great book with wonderful descriptive writing about the landscape and climate in Alaska. The majority of the book takes place there and its amazing to me that anyone would love to live there, mainly because the lack of much daylight all winter long, and that winter lasts nine months.

It is 1974 at the start of the book and Leni Allbright is the new girl in middle school in Seattle, at the age of thirteen she has already been in many new schools, having moved around the country with her
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 doesnt fit in anywhere and that everyone is against him. In an incredible turn of events, a home is
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
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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Norma * Traveling Sister and proud Grandma!!!
*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 couldnt think of anything else but this story and I dont think I have felt so many different emotions from reading a book in quite some time. The way that
Lindsay - Traveling Sister
4.5 stars!

Beautiful. Emotional. Atmospheric. Heart-wrenching. Stunning. Raw. Intense.

I love Kristin Hannahs writing! Ive been a fan of her for years, but fell absolutely head over heels in love with her writing after reading The Nightingale. Though I wouldnt 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 highly
Jan 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
5 Stars for The Great Alone... Alaska. Its 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 here
Katherine Elizabeth
I am feeling extremely raw after reading this. This book is so wonderful, but also so terrible and heartbreaking. I swear, I dont think Ive 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.

Its funny how I ordered this book purely because of its cover and because it was about Alaska (Im in a random stage where I want to move there). And now its one of my all-time favorite novels. Funny how these things
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
Feb 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: top, i-said
Theres gold, and its haunting and haunting;
Its luring me on as of old;
Yet it isnt the gold that Im wanting
So much as finding the gold.
Its the great, big, broad land way up yonder,
Its the forests where silence has lease;
Its the beauty that thrills me with wonder,
Its 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 was a
Feb 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pink-covers
And you, Large Marge said. Whats your story, missy?
I dont 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 begins,
Jan 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is almost one of the best books I have ever read next to where the crawdads sing by delia owens , I'm 100 % sure that I love these kind of books , a coming of age story in a nature setting but don't let the cover trick you it is so much more , so keep in mind that this book has trigger warnings for domestic violence , alcohol abuse,... so make sure to check those out first , seriously
guys just read this book it made my heart sing but also made me tear up and furious with anger , 5
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
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 dads 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 seriously
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Great Beginnings ...: March 2020 - Reading Questions 1 4 Apr 01, 2020 11:16AM  
Girlfriends Book ...: May 2020 book discussion 4 6 Mar 27, 2020 01:11PM  
Lakeland Public L...: That ending 3 12 Mar 09, 2020 03:17AM  
Play Book Tag: The Great Alone - Kristin Hannah - 4 stars 3 19 Feb 14, 2020 12:51PM  
Read With Me!: The Great Alone 1 6 Feb 01, 2020 01:47PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Where the Crawdads Sing
  • Educated
  • Before We Were Yours
  • The Giver of Stars
  • An American Marriage
  • The Silent Patient
  • The Tattooist of Auschwitz (The Tattooist of Auschwitz, #1)
  • The Dutch House
  • Little Fires Everywhere
  • Nine Perfect Strangers
  • The Alice Network
  • Daisy Jones & The Six
  • Ask Again, Yes
  • A Talent for Killing
  • The Woman in the Window
  • City of Girls: A Novel
  • Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine
  • The Wife Between Us
See similar books…
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 ...more

Articles featuring this book

Well, here we all are, sheltering in place, buying canned beans, and generally trying to figure out how to stay inside and keep our minds busy....
83 likes · 55 comments
“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.” 98 likes
“You know what they say about finding a man in Alaska—the odds are good, but the goods are odd.” 53 likes
More quotes…