The Great Alone

By Kristin Hannah

7.5/10
(7.5/10)

438 pages

What’s it about?
This novel centers around 13-year-old Leni Allbright.  It is 1974 and Leni’s father, Ernst, is home from the Vietnam War and having trouble assimilating after his experience as a P.O.W.  He decides that moving to Alaska, the last great frontier, will fix everything.  So Leni, Ernst, and her mother Cora load up the VW bus and make their way to Alaska.  But will Alaska be the answer to all their problems?

What did it make me think about?
This is a novel of equal parts about PTSD, abusive relationships, the bond between a mother and her child, and perhaps most of all this book is a love letter to the state of Alaska.

Should you read it?
Many of us read “The Nightingale” by Kristin Hannah.  It was hugely popular.  Much like her previous book- the characters in this story seem to be written as either all good or all bad.  The characters can feel a little too simplified for me.  It is usually pretty easy to see what is coming.  However the plot really does move along- especially in the second half.  I also found myself really drawn in by the end of the novel and reached for my Kleenex more than once…  If you liked “The Nightingale”, or Jodi Picoult novels, then you should definitely pick up this book.

Quote-
“She could never tell him how it felt to live with a dad who scared you sometimes and a mother who loved him too much and made him prove how much he loved her in dangerous ways.”

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