Megan's Reviews > The Great Alone
The Great Alone
Feb 21, 2018
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 dimensional caricature. The beautiful, love-struck mother with the loving, wealthy parents, who allows her crazy, penniless husband to force her and her teen daughter to move into a cabin with no electricity or toilet in Alaska. Glorious Mama (what was with the book being in third person but calling the parents "Mama" and "Dad?) then allows crazy husband to beat the living hell out of her repeatedly (something the daughter never notices until Alaska). Daughter meanwhile just loves living in a shack in the tundra and magically meets the love of her life in the one room school. Never for a moment does she resent her beautiful, perfect mother for foisting this life upon her and refusing to leave her insane, violent husband. Dad is a mysteriously released POW who starts out lovely and ends up a complete nutjob. Neighbors are godsends or Doomsdayers, with no countervailing good or bad characteristics. The plot goes out of control - endless awful and ENTIRELY PREVENTABLE things happen. As Hannah reminds endlessly, Alaska is dangerous! But hey, fall in that ice, run your car off the road, fall down that ravine, take that punch to the face, have unprotected sex, make it as bad as you possibly can so your implausible redemption is all that schlockier. So many idiotic plot holes arise in the last 1/2 of the book and the love story is just so saccharine and unlikely. I rolled my eyes so often, I can't even believe I finished the book. Also, it is at least 150 pages too long. I know I enjoyed The Nightingale, so I was heartily disappointed by this one. SKIP!
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