Arah-Lynda's Reviews > The Great Alone

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah
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it was amazing
bookshelves: i-said, top

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 was a child. Back then I read to escape. To slip silently, unnoticed, away from the here and now.

Well now

Kristin Hannah took me to Alaska and I loved every moment I spent with her, within The Great Alone.

As the story opens we meet the Allbright family. Leni is but thirteen in 1974 when her father Ernt comes home with one of his bright idea smiles and tells them he has been left a parcel of land from a deceased war buddy. The land is in Alaska. Leni’s parents share a passionate, tumultuous relationship. But her father Ernt has not been the same since his return, from the Vietnam War. These days he is always on edge, always bristling; he drank too much and had bad nightmares. The worst part was how quickly he angered, and how often he angered. Without the slightest provocation, especially when he drank, which he did, often.
But Ernt is convinced that things will be better in Alaska, the last frontier, free from the daily demands of civilization, free to live off the land and enjoy nature’s bounty.

I have lived in Ontario’s north country, well at least as far north as any road would take you at that time. An isolated post, the government called it. From there we flew further north still, into the native reserves and the magnificent, spell binding, haunting, silent beauty of the north land. Breathtaking and oh so deadly. I have laid under the summer stars and stood frozen, blinded by the winter landscape, kidnapped by the northern lights. Captive and amazed. Even now words fail me. Still I was seriously way south of places like Alaska.

It is really hard to put my finger on the magic that Hannah has created here but I’m going to try and I guess the best place to start is with her characters. I was first introduced to Hannah’s ability to flesh out characters when I read The Nightingale, so I should not have been so surprised at the talent on display here. Her people, the good and the bad, come alive on these pages and fixed themselves firmly in my minds eye. I loved Large Marge and was so positively crushed by Leni’s father Ernt that I found myself forgetting to breath when he was around. And there are more, not the least of which is Leni herself, bound by circumstance to a harsh, resplendent world and an untenable future. Both captivated by and victim to this unrelenting and unforgiving land and her parent’s toxic relationship.

I find myself thinking of Alaska as one her characters, it is such a big part of this story and Hannah’s ability to take me there both baffles and astounds. There is no one passage I find myself wanting to share to further demonstrate this skill, no it doesn’t lie in one or even a handful of passages. It is just there, hidden almost, behind every word, carved out over time and painted with slow, vivid strokes; cut on the very edge of the often lethal, always brutal and delicate artistry of nature’s awesome bounty and sweeping, panoramic vistas.

Oh my. I am far less than equal to the task of relating the awesome power of this novel. You will not want to miss it.

Wow, respect.

Five fully captivated stars.


Pssssssssssssssst
As an added bonus Hannah had me pulling Robert Service (talk about an ode to the North) off my bookshelves and once again exploring his spells of the Yukon and other musings. It was like visiting with an old and trusted friend, one that helped inform my own poetic coming of age. Priceless!
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Reading Progress

February 24, 2018 – Started Reading
February 24, 2018 – Shelved
March 5, 2018 – Finished Reading
March 6, 2018 – Shelved as: i-said
March 6, 2018 – Shelved as: top

Comments Showing 1-50 of 55 (55 new)


Deanna I hope you enjoy this!!


Arah-Lynda Deanna wrote: "I hope you enjoy this!!"

I loved it Deanna.


message 3: by Antigone (new)

Antigone Marvelous review, Arah-Lynda.


Norma * Traveling Sister Great review, Arah-Lynda! I loved this book too!


message 5: by Agnieszka (new)

Agnieszka Great review, Arah-Lynda. I can feel your enthusiasm for the novel. Thanks for sharing.


Marialyce Great book and review, Arah-Lynda!


Cheri Fabulous review, Arah-Lynda, really fabulous. A lovely, lovely review.


Arah-Lynda Antigone wrote: "Marvelous review, Arah-Lynda."

Thanks Antigone.


Licha I am so excited to read your review. I have this book in my stack right now and should be reading shortly. The day I picked it up from the library I had forgotten what it was about and was reading the synopsis to my daughter and mentioned to her how some books excite you just by their sheer existence and happy that people can come up with such wonderful stories. I'm am so looking forward to reading this. I'm glad I came upon your review.


Arah-Lynda Norma wrote: "Great review, Arah-Lynda! I loved this book too!"

Thanks so much Norma. I loved seeing your five stars flying and your own review of this work.


Arah-Lynda Agnieszka wrote: "Great review, Arah-Lynda. I can feel your enthusiasm for the novel. Thanks for sharing."

You are welcome Agnieszka and thank you.


Arah-Lynda Marialyce wrote: "Great book and review, Arah-Lynda!"

Thanks Marialyce.


Amanda - Mrs B's Book Reviews So much love for this book and review. Thank you :-)


Arah-Lynda Cheri wrote: "Fabulous review, Arah-Lynda, really fabulous. A lovely, lovely review."

Oh Cheri you are way too kind. Thanks.


Carolyn Fantastic review of The Great Alone 📖 😊. I'm reading it now.


message 16: by Paula (new)

Paula Kalin What a beautiful review, Arah-Lynda! So touching and heartfelt!


message 17: by Candi (new)

Candi This is a dazzling review, Arah-Lynda! I can feel the love :)


Arah-Lynda Licha wrote: "I am so excited to read your review. I have this book in my stack right now and should be reading shortly. The day I picked it up from the library I had forgotten what it was about and was reading ..."

I too, am glad you came across my review. I am looking forward to reading your own take on this wonderful novel. Thank you Licha.


Arah-Lynda Amanda - wrote: "So much love for this book and review. Thank you :-)"
Thanks Amanda. So happy to see your 5 stars flying.


Arah-Lynda Carolyn wrote: "Fantastic review of The Great Alone 📖 😊. I'm reading it now."

Thank you so much Carolyn. Hope you are enjoying it as much as I did.


Arah-Lynda Paula wrote: "What a beautiful review, Arah-Lynda! So touching and heartfelt!"

Awe shucks Paula. So nice of you to say.


Arah-Lynda Candi wrote: "This is a dazzling review, Arah-Lynda! I can feel the love :)"

My goodness thank you Candi. You put a smile on my countenance for sure.


Deanna Love your review!! Awesome!


Arah-Lynda Deanna wrote: "Love your review!! Awesome!"

Thanks Deanna. I love your 5 stars lighting up the goodreads sky.


Zoeytron Gorgeous review, Arah-Lynda. Wow!


Arah-Lynda Zoeytron wrote: "Gorgeous review, Arah-Lynda. Wow!"

Thanks Zoeytron and Good Morning.


message 27: by Katie (new) - added it

Katie Great review, Aaah-Lynda. So much love for this book floating about. Must read this year.


Arah-Lynda Katie wrote: "Great review, Aaah-Lynda. So much love for this book floating about. Must read this year."

Thank you Katie. It is worthy of all that praise. Hope you enjoy.


message 29: by Maureen (new)

Maureen Terrific review Arah-Lynda😄


Arah-Lynda Maureen wrote: "Terrific review Arah-Lynda😄"

Thanks so much Maureen.


message 31: by Rachael (new)

Rachael Such a beautiful review, Arah-Lynda, really beautiful.


Arah-Lynda Rachael wrote: "Such a beautiful review, Arah-Lynda, really beautiful."

Thank you so much Rachael. It is a beautiful book.


message 33: by Julie (new) - added it

Julie Wow, this review cast a spell on me, Arah-Lynda. Makes me want to hop on a plane to Alaska. . . this June! I’m assuming that you’ve read The Bright Edge of the World?


Arah-Lynda Julie wrote: "Wow, this review cast a spell on me, Arah-Lynda. Makes me want to hop on a plane to Alaska. . . this June! I’m assuming that you’ve read The Bright Edge of the World?"

Thank you Julie. How kind. I confess I have not read To The Bright Edge of the World but I loved The Snow Child.


message 35: by Julie (new) - added it

Julie Please read it soon! Based on this review, you will love it.


Arah-Lynda Julie wrote: "Please read it soon! Based on this review, you will love it."

Thanks Julie, I see it is already on my TBR. Will definitely have to move it up.


Licha I loved The Snow Child too. I've always been fascinated by Alaska, but this book brought out the beauty of it.


Arah-Lynda Licha wrote: "I loved The Snow Child too. I've always been fascinated by Alaska, but this book brought out the beauty of it."

No question, I agree Licha. Thanks for dropping by and weighing in.


message 39: by Supratim (new)

Supratim Fantastic review, Arah-Lynda!


Arah-Lynda Supratim wrote: "Fantastic review, Arah-Lynda!"

Thank you Supratim.


message 41: by Debbie (new) - added it

Debbie Beauteous review, Arah-Lynda!


Arah-Lynda Debbie wrote: "Beauteous review, Arah-Lynda!"

Thanks Debbie.


message 43: by Jaidee (new)

Jaidee Nicely review Arah-Lynda. What were you doing up in Northern Ontario ? Sounds desolate but beautiful.


Arah-Lynda Jaidee wrote: "Nicely review Arah-Lynda. What were you doing up in Northern Ontario ? Sounds desolate but beautiful."

Thank you Jaidee. At the time I was working with The Department of Indian and Northern Affairs. We were working with the Indigenous People to coordinate tourism in the north. Not so densely crowded with people true, but nature's awesome bounty and magnificent splendour was always on full display.


message 45: by Aarya Pillai (new) - added it

Aarya Pillai Lovely review Arah-Lynda!!! After reading yours and Margitte's review...I do feel it is worthy of "five fully captivated stars." Definitely on my to-read list. Thank you for the recommendation !!!


Arah-Lynda Aarya Pillai wrote: "Lovely review Arah-Lynda!!! After reading yours and Margitte's review...I do feel it is worthy of "five fully captivated stars." Definitely on my to-read list. Thank you for the recommendation !!!"

Thank you so much Aarya. So pleased to hear that this one is on your radar. You won't be disappointed.


message 47: by Mike (new) - added it

Mike Wonderful that you pulled out Robert Service and gave us a great intro passage to kick off this astounding review, Arah-Lynda.

The characters, including Alaska itself, are all wonderfully realized and I love how you expressed this:

"I find myself thinking of Alaska as one her characters, it is such a big part of this story and Hannah’s ability to take me there both baffles and astounds. There is no one passage I find myself wanting to share to further demonstrate this skill, no it doesn’t lie in one or even a handful of passages. It is just there, hidden almost, behind every word, carved out over time and painted with slow, vivid strokes; cut on the very edge of the often lethal, always brutal and delicate artistry of nature’s awesome bounty and sweeping, panoramic vistas. "

Don't sell yourself short on relating the power of this book as that passage above certainly does the trick for me.

I would add that I think Hannah nails this sense of place and time - all the little details I found just sucked me right back into the early '70's as I remembered it and she certainly made me feel like I was there in that moment while reading this.

I suspect you are going to highly enjoy "To The Bright Edge of the World" when you get around to that one as well. I will look forward to that review when it comes.


OS MÎRHAT BABA PRO YOUTUBE KANALI bok gibi agzina sicmissin kitabin oc serefsiz amcik


OS MÎRHAT BABA PRO YOUTUBE KANALI icine sicmissin oc serefsiz amcik


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