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The Great Alone: A Novel

The Great Alone: A Novel

Scritto da Kristin Hannah

Narrato da Julia Whelan


The Great Alone: A Novel

Scritto da Kristin Hannah

Narrato da Julia Whelan

valutazioni:
4.5/5 (117 valutazioni)
Lunghezza:
15 ore
Pubblicato:
Feb 6, 2018
ISBN:
9781427287540
Formato:
Audiolibro

Descrizione

The newest audiobook sensation from Kristin Hannah, bestselling author of The Nightingale

This program is read by acclaimed narrator Julia Whelan, whose enchanting voice brought Gone Girl and Fates and Furies to life

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 Alaska, where they will live off the grid in America’s last true frontier.

Thirteen-year-old Leni, a girl coming of age in a tumultuous time, caught in the riptide of her parents’ passionate, stormy relationship, dares to hope that a new land will lead to a better future for her family. She is desperate for a place to belong. Her mother, Cora, will do anything and go anywhere for the man she loves, even if means following him into the unknown.

At first, Alaska seems to be the answer to their prayers. In a wild, remote corner of the state, they find a fiercely independent community of strong men and even stronger women. The long, sunlit days and the generosity of the locals make up for the Allbrights’ lack of preparation and dwindling resources.

But as winter approaches and darkness descends on Alaska, Ernt’s fragile mental state deteriorates and the family begins to fracture. Soon the perils outside pale in comparison to threats from within. In their small cabin, covered in snow, blanketed in eighteen hours of night, Leni and her mother learn the terrible truth: they are on their own. In the wild, there is no one to save them but themselves.

In this unforgettable portrait of human frailty and resilience, Kristin Hannah reveals the indomitable character of the modern American pioneer and the spirit of a vanishing Alaska—a place of incomparable beauty and danger. The Great Alone is a daring, beautiful, stay-up-all-night story about love and loss, the fight for survival, and the wildness that lives in both man and nature.

Pubblicato:
Feb 6, 2018
ISBN:
9781427287540
Formato:
Audiolibro

Informazioni sull'autore

Kristin Hannah is a New York Times bestselling author. She is a former lawyer turned writer and is the mother of one son. She and her husband live in the Pacific Northwest near Seattle, and Hawaii. Her first novel published in the UK, Night Road, was one of eight books selected for the UK's 2011 TV Book Club Summer Read. Her New York Times bestselling novel The Nightingale, has been published in over thirty-nine languages.


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Recensioni dei lettori

  • (3/5)
    Just okay. Some sections were drawn out, some repetitive, and some like a YA romance novel.
  • (5/5)
    Ernt Allbright served in the Vietnam War and became a POW; when he comes home to his wife Cora and daughter Leni he is a changed man. Unable to settle back into civilian life he starts drinking heavily, becoming increasingly volatile and violent. He loses job after job, moving his family around in search of the perfect new start which will solve all his problems. Bright, book-loving Leni is moved from school to school, unable to make friends, to feel that she belongs anywhere or, as she watches her parents’ relationship become increasingly turbulent and violent, to feel any sense of physical or emotional security. She feels very protective of her mother, describing how they each take turns in being strong, but she also mourns for the loving, caring father she remembers from before he went off to war. When Ernt discovers that he has inherited a cabin and some land in Alaska from an old army buddy, he convinces his family that this will be the new start they all need. Although both Cora and thirteen-year-old Leni have some anxieties, they are swept along by Ernt’s enthusiasm; Cora because she is always ready to submit to her husband will, Leni because she is desperate to find a place where she can settle, find friends and go to school regularly. They arrive during the long, sunny days of the Alaskan summer, only to discover that the cabin which is to be their new home has no running water or electricity and is more of an abandoned shack, decorated inside with dozens of bleached-white animal skulls, than a habitable cabin. However, they also discover that they are welcomed into a fiercely independent community, surrounded by neighbours who are prepared to do all they can to help them prepare for the coming winter. As they have no idea about just how self-sufficient they will need to become, they need to accept all the help they can get if they are to survive beyond their first winter. Their optimism and enthusiasm is maintained until the days of endless sunshine give way to days of endless dark, when Ernt’s paranoia and violence erupt with increasing regularity, leading to both Cora and Leni becoming ever fearful of his unpredictable moods. This compelling story starts in 1974 when Leni is thirteen. It is told primarily through her eyes as she passes her teenage years in a truly remote corner of Alaska, where people must learn to be self-sufficient because contact with the “outside” world is virtually non-existent during the long winters. Although the tensions at home are becoming increasingly difficult to manage, her blossoming relationship with Matthew, who is her age and shares her love of reading, especially the magical world of Tolkien’s books, helps her to cope, to imagine a future which will enable her to fulfil her potential. I thought that Kristin Hannah manged to effectively capture the combination of innocence and wisdom beyond her years of her main character. From the very start of the book I found myself drawn into the horrors of what Lina was facing as she tried to protect her mother, and herself, from the dysfunctional and increasingly toxic co-dependence of Cora’s relationship with Ernt. The author’s portrayal of Leni’s sense of helplessness and incomprehension as she watched her mother being ever ready to make excuses for Ernt’s behaviour, along with her assertions that she would always forgive him because she still loved him, made me empathise with Leni’s struggle in a very powerful way and affective way. Her gradual realisation that the greatest danger of life in Alaska didn’t come from any external source but was contained within the family was very well captured. Although some of the characters were somewhat stereotypical they were otherwise well-drawn and, as I write this review a couple of weeks after finishing the book, they remain vivid in my memory. They certainly captured the societal norms which were prevalent during the 1970s and the early 80s, when western society was changing rapidly, especially in terms of attitudes towards women and tolerance of domestic violence. Fears about the Cold War, the threat from the USSR, in addition to what amounted to a visceral distrust of the US government during the period following the Vietnam War, all contributed to the veracity of some of the events portrayed in the story, which could otherwise have seemed incredible.The stark, dramatic and ever-changing beauty of Alaska was evocatively described and so it came as no surprise to discover that the authenticity of these descriptions had its roots in the author’s personal experiences of living in that State. The era the book is set in captures a more “primitive” Alaska than the one we know today, before the advent of easy travel to the region, of lucrative tourism and the region becoming a cruise ship destination. It also captures a time when a pioneering spirit remained a prerequisite for living there. I found that the author’s descriptions of an unforgiving landscape and climate really added an important depth to the, at times, almost unbearable tension of story-telling.The title of the book is taken from The Shooting of Dan McGrew, written in 1907 by Robert Service – “Were you ever out in the Great Alone, when the moon was awful clear, And the icy mountains hemmed you in with a silence you most could hear?” As there were moments when I felt as though I was experiencing some of what he was describing, I think the title choice is a very apt one!I must admit that there were moments during the book when, had I allowed myself to reflect for too long on some of the plot development, I might have felt a need to suspend disbelief at some of the all too convenient coincidences which moved the story along and, particularly, of how these influenced developments in the later stages of the story. However, my involvement with the characters, the convincing psychological portrayal of dysfunctional relationships, a recognition of the very human need for a belief in a better future and the wonderful portrayal of Alaska, almost as a character in itself, were all factors which enabled me to overlook these and to immerse myself in a story which was, ultimately, full of hope and optimism. I have struggled a bit with my rating but the fact that it remains so vivid in my mind has persuaded me to give it five stars – although four and a half would probably be a more accurate reflection of what I think it deserves! I do think that this book would be an excellent choice for reading groups because of the wide range of themes which it encompasses – toxic, dysfunctional relationships which rely for survival on a “neurotic-fit”; different aspects of love (e.g. of a child for its parents, parents for their children, adult love, sexual love etc.); the effects of loss and bereavement; the primal urge for survival; what it takes to be a pioneer; the supportive power of a strong community; forgiveness and redemption – to name just a few!
  • (5/5)
    What a stunning story! Kristen Hannah takes the reader to the wild terrain of Alaska, which is just as much a character in this novel as the exquisitely drawn characters of Ernst and Cora Allbright, their daughter, Leni and neighbors Large Marge, Tom and Matthew Walker and the Harlan clan. Hannah touches on controversial topics of abuse, PTSD, gentrification and love in its many forms. This novel is sure to make you a bit emotional, the untamed vistas will take your breath away and Kirstin Hannah will be put on your to read list for many years to comeHighly recommend.
  • (4/5)
    Sometimes I feel a book gets better as you read on. Conversely, I enjoyed the beginning of this better than the end. I don't want to be a spoiler so I can't relate the event that flipped it for me. It's definitely worth reading for the excellent portrayal of the hurdles involved in living in Alaska in the seventies and a small picture of how things are changing. That is what I enjoyed most about the book. Julia Whelan is an excellent reader.
  • (4/5)
    Beautiful prose that puts the reader in this dysfunctional family on their journey. The kind of journey best experienced vicariously.
  • (5/5)
    4.5 stars. Kristin Hannah is a master story teller. This is my second of her novels and I loved them both. She does an amazing job of following characters through their lives but having the story flow easily. Great read!
  • (4/5)
    Even though the subject matter in this book is about a very dysfunctional family and a coming-of-age novel for a young girl who is exposed to way too much violence all her life, it is also a novel that depicts the beauty of Alaska - it's majesty and its ruggedness, and the resilience of the people who live in this beautiful but unforgiving country. The story begins in 1974 when Leni and her family decide to leave Seattle and head north to Alaska to try to find a simpler life. Leni and her mother Cora and her father Ernt lead a secret life. Ernt is a Vietnam vet who was held in a Vietnamese prison, and who is suffering from what we now know as PTSD. He is very unstable and has blinding rages and hurts Leni's Mom. Even at the young age of 14, Leni takes over the protective role of trying to keep her mother safe. The family is not prepared the majesty and beauty of Alaska, but they are also not prepared for the demands of the climate. But they find a group of supportive people that do all they can to help them learn what they need to know to survive an Alaskan winter. Ernt's fragile stability begins to fray, and he becomes increasingly more violent, and isolates his family. Leni's fight to protect her mom, and how she grows up to be a strong young woman is the theme of this book. But the rugged beauty of Alaska is the glue that holds it all together. I enjoyed the book, but probably shouldn't have read it after the book "Where the Crawdads Sing". It just was not quite as stellar as Crawdads.
  • (4/5)
    Leni's father, feeling bitter and alienated after his return from Vietnam, moves his family to some land he inherits in Alaska. The wild beauty of the place captivates Leni, but the harsh and unforgiving aspects of northern life prove difficult for their family to overcome, especially because they brought all of their troubles with them to their new home.This was a powerful melodrama, painting a sweeping picture of the Alaskan landscape and way of life, as well as believable, flawed characters. I enjoyed it, though found myself not entirely satisfied with the ending. I thought it was too good to be believed. I think the breaking point for me was when Matthew stood up out of the wheelchair. I could believe that his mind had healed enough to recognize her, but I think, realistically, he would have lost that leg. They could still have had a happy ending, but I think the one she wrote, complete with more babies in the epilogue, was a little too rosy. If you're intrigued by Alaska, or stories in general with family drama and elements of wilderness survival, give this one a try. It's not a book I would normally pick out, but I read it for my library's book club and enjoyed it.
  • (5/5)
    I have a cousin in Alask sa and I have always wondered about her experiences growing up. Her fathe r and mother left Minnesota when she was younger and took their four children into a place that was wilder than I ever would dream of. Her father worked on the pipeline. There was no way that I could ever pass listening to this book.This story did not disappont and made firm my resolve to visit Alaska in the furure. The family in this story left for Alaska with just VW van and very few supplies. Ernst a POW from the VietNam War, he wanted to get out of Seattle. They had moved often before because of him losing his temper and jobs. He refused treatment. He had started to abuse his wife, Cora. Cora and their daughter Len were afraid of Ernest. They did find enduring friends, Ernst found a drinking partner. Except for ssome overly melodramtic scenes which had tears pouring down my face, I decided not to deduct a star because the wonderful depiction of Alaska's beauty and terror, the powerful story of domestic abuse and the rewards of surving. I highly recommend this audio book which was done beautifully.
  • (4/5)
    Kind of a coming-of-age novel that develops into a romance.
  • (4/5)
    “The Great Alone” is a novel that joins several other books, fiction and nonfiction, that have become popular in the past few years featuring dysfunctional families. Two nonfiction titles, “Hillbilly Elegy” and “Educated,” became cottage industries on their own. “The Great Alone,” unlike those two, is fiction, but it reads so much like nonfiction, it’s hard to separate it from the others. The story is about Leni Allbright and her ill-prepared family who migrate to the backwoods of Alaska when her abusive Vietnam POW father attempts to escape his past. He carries his problems with him, and his wife and daughter suffer for it. He creates a living hell for both of them. With help for incredibly loving neighbors, the two women manage to survive. I enjoyed this book, but I must say, as a former high school English teacher, some of the imagery—similies and metaphors—were a bit much for me. The temptation when writing about Alaska (and I understand because I’ve been there) is to turn every sentence and each view into a metaphor. That said, there are limits to which images work and which don’t. Hannah uses many that are beautiful but a few that are awkward....at least in my humble opinion. I would also classify this book as primarily a book for female readers. I know that sounds sexist, and I don’t mean it to be, but I would guess that the vast majority of readers of “The Great Alone” are women. One review service named “The Great Alone” as the year’s best historical novel, and it is richly deserving of that recognition.
  • (5/5)
    I listened to the Great Alone and was pulled in completely. I did get exasperated at the bad decision after bad decision after bad decision. Leni completely loves her mother and her mother loves her, but I also found Cora to be selfish. I also understand the time period because I am only a bit young than Leni, so I grew up in the time when women were considered almost property of their husbands and fathers. I know that Cora felt trapped, especially in the great alone of Alaska. They are both a combination of so strong and so weak, but doesn't that reflect the human condition? Cora shows strength in her ability to take abuse from her husband but weakness in her love for this man and inability to believe she can survive alone raising a child. Leni is survival strong but weak in being smart with decisions. Of course, that's easy for me to say because I'm listening instead of living with an abusive father.It's 1974 and Leni and Cora move to Alaska. Leni's father, Ernt, was a POW and has PTSD, as we now know. Living in a place that is dark most of the year is bad for someone with nightmares trailing him. The great outdoors is great for him in the summer. They can leave the noise of civilization and be independent. Of course, they are totally unprepared. Their cabin, left to them by a dead soldier from Vietnam, is a wreak. They must prepare for winter, but they have no money. Ernt is also paranoid, which is good and bad. He insists they can live off the land, be able to shoot, and be able to kill/catch food; but, the paranoia drives a wedge between them and civilization. This is a place where people must depend on each other. Relationships and Alaska frame the novel. The harsh land is brutal where the second mistake can kill you. In a land like this, relationships can keep you alive and give you reason to live. The Walkers have been settled this area, but Ernt sees the Walkers as representing all he is running from. He's jealous of their success although he can't consciously admit this truth. The relationship between these families, the harsh land, and Ernt's illusions pushes the plot to the heart wrenching choices that must be made.I listened to this novel and the narrator was outstanding. Pulling the earplugs to sleep or go to work or do anything that needed to be done was a challenge.
  • (2/5)
    I found myself, over 140 pages into this book, wondering when it would begin to live up to all the hype it generated in the media. Sadly, it never happened. Bottom Line: None of the characters ever felt real to me, and I never grew very concerned about what was happening to them. When I found myself wondering over and over again whether or not I had missed the YA label on this one - and went back twice to double check both the book and the internet - I knew it was time to put it away, at least for now. Too many books, too little time, etc.
  • (5/5)
    I was totally intrigued with Hannah's ability to describe---I felt as though I was right there watching everything take place, almost as part of the scene. She is extremely attentive to developing the personalities and emotions of her characters so that they become real. There was not a boring page in the book---almost an odd version of a thriller, with something unexpected always happening. It is a long book and I was glad---I hated to see the end coming. I was so glad to read in her acknowledgments why Hannah seemed to know so much about Alaska but she had very personal as well as family/friend sources.
  • (4/5)
    Ernt Allbright is A Vietnam Vet with PTSD but since this book is set in the 70s that syndrome had not been identified as yet. He is a violent man but he loves his wife Cora, and his daughter Leni. However, as in most domestic abuse situations, the batterer continually says he won't do it again and the battered believe him. This book, set in the wilds of Alaska, put the abusive environment in isolation, with only a few neighbors not really near and no method of emergency communication or rapid assistance. A scream would never be heard and injuries would be left undiscovered.When we put a teenage girl into this position with her parents, and the anger of the father turns away from the mother to that daughter, bad things will happen and do. Frightening to think that these things really do occur even in today's world.The story of Ernt and Cora is very sad in that they really do seem to love each other but the horrors of war have destroyed Ernt's ability to control his violent nature. Leni's romance with Matthew is a catalyst waiting to explode and destroy her family and those that love them.My ladies' group chose this book for discussion because I am planning a trip to Alaska. I was stunned by the details presented as to how primitive life was there even in the 70s.
  • (4/5)
    Meine Meinung zu diesem Buch muss ich in zwei Teilen darbieten:Die beiden ersten Drittel fand ich sehr gut. Es geht um Leni, ein Kind zweier Eltern, die in eher schwierigen Verhältnissen leben. Schon bevor Lenis Vater im Vietnamkrieg war, waren die Eltern arm und lebten ungebunden und von der Hand in den Mund. Lenis Mutter war bei ihrer Geburt erst 16 gewesen und mit dem Vater durchgebrannt. Nach dem Vietnamkrieg war Ernt hochgradig traumatisiert, aber auch selbst unberechenbar und gewalttätig. In Verbindung mit der Armut der Familie war er eine tickende Zeitbombe, auch wenn er seine Frau und seine Tochter liebte. Ernt erbt ein Grundstück in Alaska und recht unbedarft brechen die drei auf um dort neu anzufangen. In gewisser Weise gelingt es, in anderer Weise nicht. Diese Teile finde ich großartig. Zum einen ist es wirklich ausgezeichnet dargestellt, wie Leni ihren Vater liebt und in Schutz nimmt, obwohl sie weiß, dass er nicht gut für sie ist. Auch das Leben in Alaska mit seinen Mühen und den Schönheiten ist wunderbar beschrieben. Unweigerlich fragt man sich, wie man selbst dort bestehen würde.Im letzten Drittel verändern sich dann die Lebensverhältnisse ein weiteres Mal. Ich möchte jetzt nicht zu viel spoilern, aber schon von Anfang des Buches an nervt mich die Figur der Cora Albright. Sie hätte es durchaus in der Hand gehabt, die Verhältnisse für sich und ihre Tochter zu verändern, aber sie tut es lange Zeit nicht und so nehmen schlimme Dinge ihren Lauf. Was das alles auch mit der Familie Walker macht, wird kaum reflektiert. Dass sich aber Leni nie von ihrer Mutter trennt, diese sie bis zum Schluss an sich bindet, das finde ich furchtbar, zumal es immer unter dem Deckmantel der Liebe geschieht ("Durch Dick und Dünn", "Ein Herz und eine Seele"). Ich finde das ein sehr ungutes Mutter-Tochter-Verhältnis und es hätte sowohl Leni als auch Cora und auch den Walkers gut getan, wenn sie sich rechtzeitig voneinander gelöst hätten. Der letzte Teil hat mich in vielerlei Hinsicht gestört. So gut und in gewisser Weise auch realistisch ich die ersten beiden Drittel fand, so kitschig, unpassend und unglaubwürdig fand ich das letzte Drittel. So kann ich dem Buch insgesamt nur eine durchwachsene Bewertung geben.Das Hörbuch ist grandios gelesen. Der deutsche Titel ist nicht so passend, zu nichtssagend und dramatisch. Da fand ich "The Great Alone" sehr viel passender, zumal Robert W. Service, der Autor des Gedichtes, aus dem diese Zeile stammt, eine Rolle im Buch spielt und auch immer wieder Bezug auf das "Great Alone" genommen wird.
  • (4/5)
    This one took a while to grow on me. I LOVE Kristin Hannah's books and actually suggested this for our book club without even reading the summary. I don't need to for her books. In the beginning, I was really regretting the choice and I'm not sure if I would have read far enough into the book to enjoy it if it hadn't been a book club book. There are SO many books I want to read (including some of Kristin Hannah's I haven't read yet) and so little time. I read quickly, but still don't always finish books if I don't enjoy them.Fortunately, this was a book club book, since I ended up really enjoying the book and even got teared up a few times. Initially, I wouldn't have expected to care enough about the characters for that, but I did. The book made me want to visit Alaska even more than I already did. We're definitely going to go on an Alaskan cruise one of these days and possibly stay there a bit beyond that. If you don't like this book right away, give it time to grow on you. It just might.
  • (2/5)
    Stereotyped characters. Disappointing!
  • (4/5)
    The best and worst parts of The Great Alone are the detailed descriptions of the expansive, rugged Alaskan wilderness. The author, Kristin Hannah, goes to great depths in describing the Alaskan terrain, as well as the cabin in which the McBride family resided in Homer. At times I appreciated these explicit descriptions, and at other times, I wanted for the book to proceed along more expediently. This ended up being a rather lengthy story, and much of the novel was devoted to depicting the Alaskan backdrop. In this story a 13 year-old girl Lena moves to a remote area of Alaska with her parents in the early 70’s, so that her dad Ernt can escape the confines of the city. As a former veteran in the Vietnam war, Ernt suffers from post traumatic stress disorder, and he becomes abusive of his wife Cora. The family relocates to Alaska, hoping for a new start toward Ernt’s recovery. But as the story progresses, Ernt becomes more mentally ill and continually abusive. This juncture is where the story fulfills such a sterotype, in that Cora continues to stay with Ernt in spite of extreme physical abuses, even after community members offer their support to her. It was difficult for me to accept her acquiescence of a terrible situation, both for herself and for her daughter. Without giving too much away, I do like the romance element in the story when Lena falls for her handsome best friend and schoolmate, Matthew. This romance is so much about a young and first love, and how that relationship is tested through life’s hardships and pain. Overall, I thought that this was a very interesting novel, and I learned so much about life in the remote wilderness of Alaska.
  • (4/5)
    The information about Alaska was fascinating, but the characters are stereotypical and the childbirth scene could have been written by anyone who watches tv. Not her best.
  • (3/5)
    My take away from this book is the author's love of Alaska. To be honest, I almost abandoned the book about halfway through, but took a break and came back to finish it. Rounded up in stars.
  • (2/5)
    Hannah does a good job here of describing and defining Alaska, which is almost a much of a character in the book as her human protagonists. But the story itself descends into soapiness as the author tries to twist it into a Happy-Ever-After, and the main character's mother is wildly inconsistent.
  • (5/5)
    Told from the perspective of the daughter who was 13 yo when her Vietnam POW Dad and her meek mother move to Alaska, when a fellow vet dies and leaves them his Alaska homestead. Nothing could have prepared the family for what life would be like in a teensy town on the Kenai Peninsula, when the winter makes the father's abuse and nightmares worse, the paranoid family compound next to them and the town that rallies around the new family, teaching Cora and Leni what they will need to survive the winters.
  • (3/5)
    When Leni's father returns from Vietnam, he has changed. He has sudden bursts of rage which make it difficult for him to hold a job and keeps both Leni and her mother constantly making sure they aren't doing anything that might set him off. So when he decides that they will pack up and move to a small, isolated community in Alaska, they both agree. Life on a farmstead in Alaska is hard, but Leni makes a friend in the only other child her age at the school and she grows to love Alaska. But as the years progress, her father's paranoia and extremism increase, alienating everyone they know and the long winter nights make his rages worse. But what can Leni do when her mother refuses to leave?This is the first novel I've read by Kristen Hannah and, while it was fine, it will probably be the last. While the setting was wonderful, the secondary characters were reliably one-note and didn't change over the course of the novel. And there was so much drama. Just tons of it. And then there would be more. But I can see why this was a bestseller, I certainly kept turning the pages, long after I'd begun rolling my eyes with every new plot development.
  • (5/5)
    A great novel. One of the best hat I have read in a long time. Dramatic, touches on many phases of life such as love, abuse, illness, loneliness, and grief. It was one of those books I could not put down and have recommended to others and is a good book for book clubs as it would generate much discussion.
  • (4/5)
    If you have been hesitating to pick this up since it is Historical Fiction, pick it up. This reads more like a contemporary read. The historical fiction parts are not overwhelming, and just add to the story and setting. I promise you, it will be worth it.I can see why so many people thought this was very emotional, as it was. I think since I work with victims of child abuse and domestic violence the emotional aspect of this book was lost on me. I do think this was a great look into domestic violence and the reality of why it takes victims several attempts before or if ever leaving their situation. It was very emotional seeing the relationship between a daughter and her mother. This part definitely hit my emotions more! I still ended up shedding tears in this one which Kristin Hannah is very well known for. OK! A lot of tears!I do feel this was a little too long. I think there was a little too much filler and would have rated this 5 stars if some parts were cut down a little more.Overall, I do think this was an amazing read and highly recommend it.
  • (3/5)
    The Great Alone explores the beauty and brutality of Alaska in the 1970’s, during an era when many flocked to Alaska to work on the pipeline and make a tidy fortune and then to return to the real world. Kristin Hannah’s book briefly touches on the pipeline, which brings back vivid memories of my own quest to trudge to Alaska during this time. Hannah portrays the tribulations of the Allbright family as they leave Washington and head for Alaska. The father, Ernt, a Vietnam POW, battles each day to support his family. Cora, the mother, blindly loves her husband even though he has started to beat her. Leni, the daughter, struggles as a teenager who has discovered friendship just recently. The cast of characters show the range of individuals who have given all to live in Alaska, a land of beauty at a price.
  • (4/5)
    Fourteen year old Leni and her parents leave what her father sees as the decaying civilization of the lower 48 states for a rugged life in the Alaskan bush. The weather and terrain are rough and unpredictable, and winters last most of the year. In the beautiful, but isolating, landscape Leni's father, a PTSD-plagued Vietnam veteran, loses the last vestiges of his sanity and takes out his bottomless anger on Leni's mother, who refuses to seek help from the few outside resources available to her. Leni grows up both loving the land and fearing the man her father has become. Then she makes the mistake of falling in love with the son of the man her father hates most of all.The Great Alone is a decent read, if a little predictable in its "Romeo and Juliet in the wilderness" trope. At approximately 450 pages, redundant descriptions make it too long for the story it is trying to tell. There's also a lot of faux-profound statements about mother-daughter relationships that rang false to me. And then there's the pat ending, in which every plot point is tied up neatly. Recommended with reservations.
  • (5/5)
    I enjoyed reading about life in Alaska. The winters are long and hard to endure. The summer seems like the best time to visit. The mountains and waterways sound beautiful. The character of Leni was very interesting. She had a very hard life growing up and her father Ernt was very abusive to her mother, Cora. Ernt was easy to dislike but also to feel sorry for as he had post traumatic stress from his tour in Vietnam. He was nasty to everyone he came in contact with. Cora should have left her husband from the beginning and that is basis for the story. The consequences of Ernt not getting the help he needs and Cora and Leni getting the brunt of his anger. The book is a bit depressing and you have to be in the right frame of mind to read it. I look forward to reading another Hannah book but I hope it's not another tearjerker.
  • (5/5)
    Kristin Hannah has a way of picking up a topic that affects us - in this case someone with PTSD from the Vietnam war and weaves a story around him. Always loosing his job and drinking, he inherits a piece of land in Alaska and moves his wife and daughter to what he believes will be a new start. And it is. But the demons return. His abusive relationship with a wife who loves him dearly, his drinking and his associations with a group of people he believes to be survivalists turns deadly. A quick read. Sad topic. Nice ending.