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 (From Goodreads)
I rate this book a Five out of Five Stars.
Thanks to BookSparks and St. Martins Press for sending me a free copy of this book, in exchange of an honest review. All opinions are my own.
I don’t even know how to start this review. THE GREAT ALONE, is a beautifully written, tragic story of a family suffering through things like P.T.S.D., Domestic Abuse, and Paranoia. This is NOT a light-hearted read. It’s heavy, its intense, it’s heart-breaking, it will make you cry, and you will, several times. If you can’t stomach reading about domestic violence, than please proceed with caution. I at one point didn’t think I was going to be able to finish it. But don’t let my warning sway you, because there is so much more to this book than that.
I loved the relationship between Cora and Leni, the strength these two characters showed throughout this novel was very inspiring. They were brought to the most remote part of Alaska, after living a nice life in Seattle, and they adapted and overcame. They learned to survive, to become homesteaders, and to make a shack a home.
One of my favorite characters was Large Marge, she was demanding, and fierce, and the most loyal of friends. I really loved her.
The last 100 pages or so of this book, completely gutted me, I was an emotional wreck, at one point my husband came in and asked if I was okay, and what was I reading, I couldn’t find the words to describe this book. What I was reading was a masterpiece. This book is going to stick with me, forever. I think the ending was perfect, I loved how everything was wrapped up, and you got to see everyone get the ending they deserved. Such a beautiful book. I cannot wait for more Kristin Hannah.
It comes out Feb. 6th, I will include order link, and Goodreads link below.
**POTENTIAL SPOILER, DO NOT READ BELOW IF YOU HAVE NOT READ THE BOOK.**
What I can understand about Ernt, is he had P.T.S.D. in a time when that wasn’t even diagnosed, he was a prisoner of war, who came back and broken man, and had no way to fix himself. He became a monster trapped in his own mind. While he loved the women in his life, he couldn’t see past his own fear, his own anger, and the violence that just was a first nature to him. So while I absolutely hated him, and his character made me very upset, I kind of understood that he was almost powerless to the demons in his own heard, he was a mentally disturbed man, with no help on fixing it.