The Great Alone

The Great Alone

Book - 2018 | First U.S. edition.
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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.
Copyright Date: ©2018
ISBN: 9780312577230
Branch Call Number: FIC HANNAH
Characteristics: 440 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm


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Nov 06, 2019

The author did do a great job of describing life in remote Alaska and that part was very interesting however I don't think I could recommend this book to anyone. It was one of the most depressing and sad books I have ever read, with one of the worst characters I have ever read about. Yes, I know the guy had PTSD and that was the main problem but still.......I will take some of the blame because I was expecting more along the lines of the story about the father and daughter who lived in the park in Portland. This was for sure not that!!

Oct 15, 2019

What an amazing book. The author did an incredible job of describing the wild, scenic beauty of Alaska's last frontier. The plot had me hooked from the first chapter. Having seen first-hand how PTSD and alcoholism (especially combined) can break a person's soul, I could empathize with the struggles this family endured. All in all, an intense, yet wonderful read.

Sep 26, 2019

Kristin Hannah shows incredible backbone as she tackles the Vietnam era. The isolation of Alaska helps readers follow this Vietnam Veteran's broken life. I think she did it justice; her fiction brings it to life.

Sep 23, 2019

Awesome book! I loved it! It was sweet, thrilling, true-to-life, a love story, anxiety-producing, and an adventure--all rolled into one story about The Great Alone that is Alaska. It is the story of Leni Allbright, her family (headed my a father who loved and hated to extremes and was a Vietnam Viet who had experienced life as a POW that changed him into a mean tyrant most of the time), her friend/boyfriend Matthew, his family, and the friends Leni created in Alaska.

Sep 14, 2019


Aug 26, 2019

This story can make you shiver with the cold and desperation in its pages. It is also very readable and the character of Leni (Lenora) a 14 year old dependent on her mentally ill parents in a remote Alaska is compelling. The beauty of the land of midnight sun shows through too as well as that long dark cold that one cannot surrender to or they will die. I've always been privately afraid of people who consider themselves survivalist and there are quite of few of them in this book. It creeps me out to think of communities of people who feed off of each others paranoia and hopelessness and create a sickness that infects the vulnerable. But talk about your drama. This book has drama, drama, drama but so does life so I'm giving it a thumbs up because if anything it takes you away from your own dramas.

Aug 18, 2019

Difficult to read.
I found the family situation sad and claustrophobic.
Novel shifts between insight and cliche.

Aug 05, 2019

There is a relentless darkness to Hannah’s novel:
something long and lonely as the land’s winter clock.
The stain of domestic violence spills out and spreads beyond
The family walls;it’s bile harming the daughter’s lover/and saddening
Endlessly giving grandparents.
The terror and brutality these characters endure give the inhospitable
Landscape an ironic and protective charm that only the suffering understand:
A kinship that doesn’t strike back.

Jul 29, 2019

This was a fabulous book!

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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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.“

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

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

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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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.


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Mar 05, 2019

pmeadows2020 thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over


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