Brandice's Reviews > The Great Alone

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah
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it was amazing

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 seriously changed him. Leni’s mom, Cora, puts up with Ernt’s abuse but shields Leni as much as she can, and tries to side with Leni in all situations as she remembers what it was like to be young and crave freedom. The Allbright family moves from Seattle to Alaska when one of Ernt’s fellow soldiers gifts him property there. The story follows their journey North and their attempt to adapt to the harsh frontier and Alaskan wilderness, with minimal modern conveniences.

As many other reviews of this book have noted, Hannah’s sweeping descriptions of the Alaskan landscape are wonderful throughout the book. I had no trouble vividly picturing the scenes and this was just another enjoyable element of The Great Alone.

“Even with all the pictures Leni had studied and all the articles and books she’d read, she hadn’t been prepared for the wild, spectacular beauty of Alaska. It was otherworldly somehow, magical in its vast expanse, an incomparable landscape of soaring glacier-filled white mountains that ran the length of the horizon, knife-tip points pressed high into a cloudless cornflower-blue sky. Kachemak Bay was a sheet of hammered sterling in the sunlight. Boats dotted the bay. The air smelled briny, deeply of the sea. Shorebirds floated on the wind, dipped and rose effortlessly.”

I really liked Leni as a character, but I didn’t care for either of her parents. Ernt was clearly dislikable but I also found Cora to be unlikable, less so than Ernt, yet it was tough to appreciate what I thought were poor choices in her actions for the majority of the book. Leni had to endure so much - a lot for anyone - but especially someone so young. There was a lot of sadness in this story but Leni’s resiliency was admirable. I also loved her love of books, and enjoyed many of the characters of the Allbright’s Alaskan community.

”This state, this place, is like no other. It is beauty and horror; savior and destroyer. Here, where survival is a choice that must be made over and over, in the wildest place in America, on the edge of civilization, where water in all its forms can kill you, you learn who you are. Not who you dreamed of being, not who you imagined you were, not who you were raised to be. All of that will be torn away in the months of icy darkness, when frost on the windows blurs your view and the world gets very small and you stumble into the truth of your existence. You learn what you will do to survive.”

Hannah is an excellent storyteller. I highly recommend The Great Alone.
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Reading Progress

November 19, 2017 – Shelved
November 19, 2017 – Shelved as: to-read
July 7, 2018 – Started Reading
July 7, 2018 –
page 114
26.21%
July 8, 2018 –
page 301
69.2%
July 9, 2018 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-40 of 40 (40 new)

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Susanne  Strong Awesome review Brandice! Glad you loved this novel too!!


Marialyce Such a great book. Glad you loved it, Brandice!


Antoinette You are on a roll! Great review. Must get to this book!


Julie Wonderful review, Brandice!! 😊


BernLuvsBooks (Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas) Fab review Brandice! Glad you enjoyed it.


Brandice Marialyce wrote: "Such a great book. Glad you loved it, Brandice!"

Susanne wrote: "Awesome review Brandice! Glad you loved this novel too!!"

Thanks, Susanne and Marialyce! :)


Brandice Julie wrote: "Wonderful review, Brandice!! 😊"

Thabks Julie, I enjoyed your review of this book! :)


Brandice Antoinette wrote: "You are on a roll! Great review. Must get to this book!"

Thanks, Antoinette! Yes, do it - I highly recommend it! :)


Brandice (Bern) Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas wrote: "Fab review Brandice! Glad you enjoyed it."

Thanks, Bern! :)


Deanna Awesome review, Brandice!!! I'm glad you liked it too! One of my favorite books :)


message 11: by Kara (new) - added it

Kara Hansen Great review, Brandice!


Meredith B.  (readingwithmere) Great review, Brandice!


Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader Lovely review, Brandice! I still need to read this one!


message 14: by Dianne (new) - added it

Dianne Terrific review, Brandice!


Brandice Meredith B. wrote: "Great review, Brandice!"

Kara wrote: "Great review, Brandice!"

Deanna wrote: "Awesome review, Brandice!!! I'm glad you liked it too! One of my favorite books :)"

Thanks, Deanna, Kara and Meredith! :)


Brandice Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader & Traveling Sister wrote: "Lovely review, Brandice! I still need to read this one!"

Thanks, Jennifer! I hope you love it too!


Brandice Dianne wrote: "Terrific review, Brandice!"

Thanks, Dianne!


Amanda B So glad you enjoyed it! You should read Winter Garden next.


Brandice Amanda wrote: "So glad you enjoyed it! You should read Winter Garden next."

Thanks Amanda, I just added it to my TBR! :)


JanB I really enjoyed this one too Brandice....great review!


Brandice JanB wrote: "I really enjoyed this one too Brandice....great review!"

Thanks Jan, I’m glad you enjoyed it too! :)


Stephanie Anze Fantastic review! This is one of the best books of 2018 for me.


Brenda - Host of Traveling Sisters & Friends Excellent review, Brandice!


Brandice Stephanie wrote: "Fantastic review! This is one of the best books of 2018 for me."

Thanks, Stephanie! I’ve read a lot of great books so far in 2018 and think this one will stay with me for a long time! I’m glad you loved it too! :)


Brandice Brenda - Traveling Sister wrote: "Excellent review, Brandice!"

Thank you, Brenda :)


message 26: by Sumit (new) - added it

Sumit RK Great Review, Brandice!


Brandice Sumit wrote: "Great Review, Brandice!"

Thanks, Sumit! :)


Jeannie Nice review!


Mariah Roze Our Diversity in All Forms Book Club is reading this for October. We’d love to have you join the discussion on it. :) https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...


message 30: by Debra (new) - added it

Debra Wonderful review, Brandice!


Brandice Debra wrote: "Wonderful review, Brandice!"

Thanks, Debra! :)

Jeannie wrote: "Nice review!"

Thanks, Jeannie! :)


Brandice Mariah wrote: "Our Diversity in All Forms Book Club is reading this for October. We’d love to have you join the discussion on it. :) https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/..."

Thanks, Mariah! I will join the discussion :)


Mary Beth *Traveling Sister* Great review, Brandice! Glad you loved this too.


message 34: by Selena (new) - added it

Selena Beautiful review Brandice!


Brandice Selena wrote: "Beautiful review Brandice!"

Thanks, Selena! :)

Mary Beth *Traveling Sister* wrote: "Great review, Brandice! Glad you loved this too."

Thank you, Mary Beth! :)


message 36: by Tom (new) - rated it 5 stars

Tom Lewis Great review Brandice!! Loved this and Nightingale!


Brandice Tom wrote: "Great review Brandice!! Loved this and Nightingale!"

Thanks Tom, me too!


Staci Great review! This is definitely one of her best!


Brandice Staci wrote: "Great review! This is definitely one of her best!"

Thanks Staci, I think this is too! Loved your review too, aim glad I wasn’t the only one frustrated by many of Cora’s actions/choices.


marilyn Wonderful review Brandice...it's such a great story.


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