The Great Alone

The Great Alone

Book - 2018
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Lenora Allbright is 13 when her father convinces her mother, Cora, to forgo their inauspicious existence in Seattle and move to Kaneq, AK. It's 1974, and the former Vietnam POW sees a better future away from the noise and nightmares that plague him. Having been left a homestead by a buddy who died in the war, Ernt is secure in his beliefs, but never was a family less prepared for the reality of Alaska, the long, cold winters and isolation. Locals want to help out, especially classmate Matthew Walker, who likes everything about Leni. Yet the harsh conditions bring out the worst in Ernt, whose paranoia takes over their lives and exacerbates what Leni sees as the toxic relationship between her parents. The Allbrights are as green as greenhorns can be, and even first love must endure unimaginable hardship and tragedy as the wilderness tries to claim more victims.
Publisher: New York :, St. Martin's Press,, 2018
Edition: First U.S. edition
Description: 440 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Copyright Date: ©2018
ISBN: 9780312577230
Branch Call Number: Hann
Additional Contributors: Hannah, Kristin. Great alone


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Jul 08, 2021

Really enjoyed reading this book.

Jun 26, 2021

June 26, 2021
One of my favorite books about the beauty of Alaska, the pain of adolescence, the dynamics of a damaged POW with an anger problem with the beauty of the wilderness and the thrust of a first love... I forgot who I was reading it every moment absorbed. 5 stars for me!

Jun 22, 2021

I didn't get very far with this book. It didn't ring true at all. Small things bugged me. Why would the family boil water from a supposedly pristine stream for drinking? Why would the previous owner have built a two-story shack? Wouldn't one story be enough of a job? How could any one of these people get so much work done in a day?

The author's imagination sure went wild.

Jun 16, 2021

Dec/21 book club

Apr 28, 2021

How many people, in 2018, allowed a thin white woman to create a “magical negro”/ “mammy” trope character AND call her “LARGE MARGE”??!! I couldn’t pick my jaw up from the floor when she had the audacity to DESCRIBE HER HAIR at one point calling it “etch-a-sketch shavings GLUED TO HER HEAD” and constantly described her size and the furniture “groaning in complaint against her weight”. Disgusting. Do. BETTER.

Additionally, the story has about 3 too many tragedies, it would have been more poignant, and drawn a stronger thematic metaphor between the characters and the terrain they inhabit if the book had ended after the “main event” you see coming the whole way. It also felt really regressive AND lazy to have forced, unplanned, trauma-born motherhood as a “redemption” plot. Booo.

I loved the setting and imagining living there, but beyond that you can tell she’s a commercial novelist. Will NOT give her any support/money again. She needs to educate herself.

ArapahoeJulia Apr 26, 2021

Wow. Just wow. This book was INTENSE and WILD and RIVETING. I highly recommend. There is immense pain, but also unbelievable strength and resilience. The reader experiences incredible love, heartbreaking loss, and the power that lies in surviving another day.

Apr 16, 2021

This was, at best, a 3.5 star book. I was expecting big things after all the hype and this book just dragged. I think it suffered from previous-book-fame wherein the editors in charge of the next book overlook a myriad of issues because they know it will sell anyway. What was so wrong you ask? It was just overlong, by at least a hundred pages. The pace was too slow and there were lost opportunities for show don't tell. The entire first part of the book would have been better served as a series of select flashbacks. I spent 300 pages waiting for the big 'something' to happen. Once it did, the book hummed along at a good pace but until then it was a slogfest.

JCLSteveC Mar 29, 2021

A well written adventure with intense situations.

LCPL_Vivian Mar 08, 2021

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah is a hard-hitting historical fiction that is set in Alaska. It's a survival story, but the characters are trying to endure more than just the weather. The father in the story has PTSD from the Vietnam war, and he becomes very toxic and abusive to everyone around him. The story mainly follows Leni, his daughter, and the struggles she goes through while living in Alaska with what seems like no escape...until she meets Matthew Walker. I really enjoyed it, but I wouldn't recommend it to just anyone. There are many content warnings, so proceed with caution when picking this up.

Mar 07, 2021

I loved Kristin Hannah's Nightingale, and this one was equally as awesome. It had adventure, romance, strong women (and one weak link), and huge insight into life living in Alaska. One also got a inside look at domestic abuse. I love fiction with a dose of education. Terrific read!

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LCPL_Krystyna Oct 28, 2020

“All at once, it seemed, the leaves of cottonwood trees around the cabin turned golden and whispered to themselves, then curled into black flutes and floated to the ground in crispy, lacy heaps.”

LCPL_Krystyna Oct 28, 2020

“And the books! She’d never seen so many. They whispered to her of unexplored worlds and unmet friends and she realized that she wasn’t alone in this new world. Her friends were here, spine out, waiting for her as they always had.”

LCPL_Krystyna Oct 28, 2020

“You don’t stop loving a person when they’re hurt. You get stronger so they can lean on you.”

LCPL_Krystyna Oct 28, 2020

“He taught her something new about friendship: it picked right back up where you’d left off, as if you hadn’t been apart at all.”

LCPL_Krystyna Oct 28, 2020

“I think you stand by the people you love.”

LCPL_Krystyna Oct 28, 2020

“It’s scary that people can just stop loving you, you know?”

LCPL_Krystyna Oct 28, 2020

“like all fairy tales, theirs was filled with thickets and dark places and broken dreams, and runaway girls.”

LCPL_Krystyna Oct 28, 2020

“Alaska isn't about who you were when you headed this way. It's about who you become.”

LCPL_Krystyna Oct 28, 2020

“... home was not just a cabin in a deep woods that overlooked a placid cove. Home was a state of mind, the peace that came from being who you were and living an honest life.”

LCPL_Krystyna Oct 28, 2020

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

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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!

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.


Add Notices
LCPL_Krystyna Oct 28, 2020

Other: death of a parent, alcoholism, depression, ptsd

LCPL_Krystyna Oct 28, 2020

Violence: domestic abuse

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Mar 05, 2019

pmeadows2020 thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over

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