The Great Alone

The Great Alone

Book - 2018
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In 1974, thirteen-year-old Leni Allbright's volatile, unpredictable father Ernt makes an impulsive, desperate decision: he will move the family north, to Alaska, where they will live off the land in a spectacular wilderness. As the vast Alaskan landscape grows smaller and smaller in the darkness, Ernt's fragile mental state deteriorates, and the dangers outside of their remote homestead pale in comparison to the danger within. On their small piece of land, miles from anyone, Leni and her mother, Cora, learn what all Alaskan homesteaders learn: they are on their own.
Publisher: New York : St. Martin's Press, ©2018.
ISBN: 9780312577230
Characteristics: 440 pages :,illustrations ;,25 cm.

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Alaska, 1974.
Unpredictable. Unforgiving. Untamed.
For a family in crisis, the ultimate test of survival.

Ernt Allbright, a former POW, comes home from the Vietnam war a changed and volatile man. When he loses yet another job, he makes an impulsive decision: he will move his family north, to Ala... Read More »


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twhitehead24
Jul 14, 2019

What a heart-wrenching book of family, first love, and survival. Kristin Hannah's writing just tugs at the heart-strings. My dad was a Vietnam vet and there was so much here that I could connect: alcoholism, isolation, PTSD. Ernt inherits a home in Alaska and moves his family there. The Albright's have no idea how harsh the winter can be and how to survive on their own. The locals try to teach them how to survive, plant, hunt, etc., to be prepared but Ernt's paranoia begins to get the best of him. Lenora (Leni) goes to school and meets Matt Walker, whose dad has money and a nemesis of Ernt. The trials that they endure, the tragedies, and how survival of the fittest is a real thing in Alaska. Had me in tears numerous times and a book that I have recommended numerous times.

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Dassa_Alora
Jul 13, 2019

In The Great Alone, Kristin Hannah draws the reader in by writing in great detail about both the beauty and the cruelty that Alaska has to offer and how such characteristics of the Last Frontier are able to affect the characters of the book. From adapting to live in the bush of Alaska to living in the long darkness of Alaska's cold winter nights, Hannah is able to describe the Last Frontier as almost a living entity. She is able to bring characters to life who are strong, determine, and independent. She focuses much on the hardships women endure when it comes abuse and how the women in The Great Alone not only survived, but thrived under harsh conditions and extremely dangerous situations. If you enjoy a book that takes you down into the dark abyss and then lifts you up from the darkness of despair and into an atmosphere of hope, then this book is for you!

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Vegasgirl85
Jul 11, 2019

This was recommended by my sister from her book club in Arkansas, but i checked out this on tape and hated the narrator so my review may be tainted. I loved the colorful names, Large Marge etc but I absolutely knew the ending from the very beginning! Since I was “ listening “ on tape I finished it to the end but it felt like it could never really happen and her Mom would not have stayed so long even if it was the 70’s and their so called friends would have indeed called the police!
Sorry I did not enjoy this even if some of the writings were very descriptive that’s about all I can say I did appreciate. Most of the reviews sound as if they have never been around real abuse because her father was so mean and suffering from PTSD that he should have gone for help somewhere and not taken his family to a remote setting to abuse them.
The author should rethink the narrator, just awful.

JCLHeatherC Jul 09, 2019

Beautiful descriptions of life in Alaska but it could not help me get over how much I hated the bulk of the decisions made by the Allbright family. I read the book knowing something very bad was going to happen it was just a matter of time. And I was right. But it wasn't nearly as satisfying as it should have been.

b
blue_horse_4456
Jun 29, 2019

Wow,
I am in love. This book expressed every emotion i've ever felt. Put words to my pain, joy, and figuring out which is which.
I laughed, i cried, and pulled four all-nighters in row for this book. Which i would not recommend.
Life changes in an instant, or over many years, this captured that for me. If you're looking for a book to change your heart and your mind this, is, it.

i
iloveseaotters
Jun 22, 2019

I read a preview of "The Great Alone" a while back and it was hard not to want to continue it, but when I started the book for real, I wasn't really sure what to expect. I have to say that I didn't expect it to be SO much better than I anticipated!

I really enjoyed "The Great Alone" and at times couldn't put it down. I actually stopped reading Tom Hanks' "Uncommon Type" (see review on my page) to read this (since it was my turn to check it out from the library) and then went back to the Tom Hanks book a few weeks after. I had to give myself time to let "The Great Alone" absorb before going on to something else.

Wow, where do I begin? Well for starters, I loved Leni from the beginning and the relationship she had with her mother. They were like sisters and I loved that. Her father wasn't a very likeable character (especially in the beginning) but Kristen Hannah has a way of softening even the most abrupt charter to where they become likable.

The journey they took to Alaska was nothing short of amazing and I had visions of a modern day "Little House on the Prairie" as they struggled with the most basic needs like food, money and shelter. Leni was a very strong person and rarely let things get to her.

I loved that it was set in the 1970's and the way Kristin Hannah makes you feel as though you have been transported into that time frame along with the characters. I feel connected to books like this that include popular songs and so forth of the time period and since Kristin is from the Pacific Northwest (as I am) I loved the references to the Seattle and surrounding locations. It definitely brought me closer to the Allbrights.

I appreciated that there was much less swearing in this book than in books of Kristin's that I've read in the past and although some of the descriptions were a bit too graphic for me, they were a necessary part of the storyline.

My heart went out to Leni's mom mainly due to the relationship that she had with her husband. As a war veteran, he had changed quite a bit and it affected Leni and her mom a great deal.
There are some really funny moments as well as a lot of intense moments and some that will make you cry.

I absolutely loved the character of Matthew but I was not prepared for the way his fate changed, nor was I prepared for the shocking twist near the end of the book regarding Leni's father. I am glad that things turned out the way they turned out the way they did. He and Leni were perfect together. And they were very likable characters. I

The townspeople were fun to meet and I loved the way they were straightforward and honest with the Allbrights but they went out of their way to help each other as much as they could as well.

After reading this, I had an urge to go to Alaska. I've been there twice and Kristin wrote the state so beautifully that I could just picture it. I wouldn't want to go in the winter but the way she wrote the transitioning seasons was amazing.

I'm surprised by all of the reviews talking about how "predictable" this book is. There were moments along the way that absolutely floored me and I love when books make me gasp out loud.

I have read every book Kristen has written at least once and this is one that I want to read again. It is now one of my favorite books that she's written. Now I am anxiously awaiting her next book!

s
SR806
Jun 07, 2019

I was drawn in on this novel right from the start. It is hard to read at times due to the violence, but it is captivating. It was hard to put down. Kristin Hannah is good at being so descriptive that I felt like I was there.

This was the first Kristin Hannah book I have read, and I thought it was incredible. Between the depiction of a dysfunctional, almost tortured, family, and the stark, yet isolated beauty of 1970s Alaska, this book has drama that will keep you enthralled til the very last page.

m
mova
May 25, 2019

I loved this book. So much stuff going on, it has stayed with me. Really appreciated the descriptions of what life in Alaska can be like. The drama also was riveting. Highly recommend!!!

e
elewit
May 19, 2019

An engrossing read that lead to some great discussion in our book club. The plot was a bit far-fetched or convenient towards the very end in my opinion, but overall the characters rang true.

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PatriciaUre
May 22, 2019

“Such a thin veil separated the past from the present; they existed simultaneously in the human heart. Anything could transport you - the smell of the sea at low tide, the screech of a gull,the turquoise of a glacier-fed river. A voice in the the wind could be both true and imagined.“

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cknightkc
Dec 20, 2018

“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.” - p. 240

c
cknightkc
Dec 20, 2018

“Love and fear. The most destructive forces on earth. Fear had turned her inside out, love had made her stupid.” - p. 284

c
cknightkc
Dec 20, 2018

“Alaska doesn’t attract many; most are too tame to handle life up here. But when she gets her hooks in you, she digs deep and holds on, and you become heres. Wild. A lover of cruel beauty and splendid isolation. And God help you, you can’t live anywhere else.” - p. 347

ArapahoeMaryA Mar 13, 2018

You know what they say about finding a man in Alaska—the odds are good, but the goods are odd.

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kxlittle
Mar 20, 2019

This book is every bit as good as Nightingale. I got so involved with the characters that, at times, I had to put the book down because it made me so anxious and nervous about what was going to happen to them. I can't wait to read another of Kristin's books. 5 star rating from me!

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firebird770
Sep 11, 2018

This story of life in Alaska evolves around a family (the Allbrights') Ernst, his wife, and Leni, their Daughter who move up to Alaska after Ernst is left the property by a friend he knew during the Vietnam War. Ernst suffered from PTSD and creates havoc and fear whereever he goes. I was unable to put the book down; an excellent read and well recommended.

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pmeadows2020
Mar 05, 2019

pmeadows2020 thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over

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