The Great Alone

The Great Alone

Book - 2018
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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.

May 13, 2019

Disponible en français à la Bibliothèque de Gatineau.

Apr 24, 2019

I'm always looking for great books to read, one that I can read during breaks at work or that I can use to take a break from studying. I have a whole collection of books at my apartment but sometimes, I enjoy checking out a new book from the library. The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah was a peak pick at the Seattle Public Library when it caught my attention and it is now one of my favorites. You can read my entire review on my blog, The Coffee Addict, at

Apr 16, 2019

I preferred the depth of this book over the lack of depth in The Nightingale. Learning about the seasonal life in Alaska was interesting.

Apr 11, 2019

This book is a difficult one for me to review. Parts of it were utterly fascinating. Parts of it ripped my heart out. Other parts made me roll my eyes at the sappiness.

Reading about Ernt, a former Viet Nam POW with PTSD was incredibly sad. The man Ernt ultimately became, as opposed to the glimpses of the man he probably was at one time, was horrifying.

I loved reading about Cora. Taking a city girl and placing her in a shack in the Alaska Bush (with no electricity or running water) would have been the end of me! I'm still amazed by how she became a woman who successfully adapted to that way of life. The total dysfunction of her relationship with Ernt was so very difficult to read, however.

Oh, Alaska! I totally fell in love with the descriptions of its beauty. I fell in love with most of the other characters, as well. Especially Large Marge. Tom Walker. Thelma. There was so, so much I loved about Ernt and Cora's daughter, Leni - and Tom's son, Matthew. They were such a wonderful support system for each other when they were in their early teens. But four years later is where the book started losing its strength, in my opinion. This was where Leni and Matthew's relationship started becoming mega-sappy.

Having written all of that, however, the good definitely outweighed the bad.

Apr 08, 2019

Wonderful characters. Great story with a great ending. Be prepared to cry!

Apr 03, 2019

Thanks to one of my wonderful local librarians I read this book and was pulled into the story from the beginning. I confess that I skipped a few chapters just past the middle, (which I now regret) but read the last third and am so glad I did. The writing is powerful, the story deeply affecting. Then my husband picked it up, and finished it in, I think, three days. He loved it, and he's not often a reader. So well written and such an engrossing story.

Mar 29, 2019

Excellent! The suspense the author created was palpable! The father was truly a monster

Mar 26, 2019

Just cannot read a book about a man who repeatedly beats his wife in the presence of his daughter.

Mar 23, 2019

I just could not get interested in this book. Returned to library.

Mar 09, 2019

I loved this book! Her descriptions of Alaska life are so vivid and the hardships very real. I traveled to Alaska in 2005 and found it to be beautiful, bleak, and rugged. This was a beautiful story from start to finish and I believe it is her best writing to date. A must read.

Feb 12, 2019

Dawn Huntington mentioned reading this one...

Feb 09, 2019

I loved The Nightingale and was a bit skeptical about this one (former POW who comes home changed and violent) even though it was recommended by a friend that continues to recommend great books. It was one of those reads that I just didn't want to put down-Kristin Hannah is an amazing writer!!

Feb 01, 2019

This story started out very slow for me and I kept putting it down. Once the story finally got going I did enjoy it. The characters were well developed and I enjoyed the descriptions of Alaska as well.

Jan 31, 2019

This is a rough book at times......there is domestic violence and it gets explores PSTD, death, fear of death, danger, wild animals and first love....there is a growing tension as the Albright family prepares for surviving the winter in Alaska......absorbing, scary and heartbreaking

Jan 25, 2019

When Ernt Albright, a war veteran suffering from PTSD, makes the decision to move his family from their home in Seattle to a remote homestead in Kaneq, Alaska, they all thought this was the change he so desperately needed to end his nightmares and raging anger. But the beauty of Alaska and the friendliness of the locals can only provide comfort for so long.....until winter arrives.
This story started off quite slow that I contemplated moving on to another book. However, I continued on and realized why building the story was necessary. The characters were bold, the descriptions of Alaskan scenery was stunning and the story itself was powerful. The groundwork for the climax (or inevitability, you could say) was obvious but how and when it happened was Kirstin's masterpiece in this book. Buttttt, having said that, the ending revealed the expected and the unexpected, the latter of which was just a big disappointment.

Hillsboro_ElizabethH Jan 20, 2019

Warning: Spoilers ahead! This book was recommended to me by a friend and teammate. It is not a book I would usually read, but I decided to pick it up when he told me what it was about. Honestly, I couldn't put it down! What an amazing story! You follow Leni Allbright and her family through some turbulent times - her father, Ernt, is a POW from the Vietnam War with PTSD - before it was widely recognized. Her mother, Cora loves Ernt with all her heart, and refuses to leave him, even though he beats her regularly. When Ernt is left a cabin the remote Alaska wilderness by a friend, they pack up their things and head on out. What they find is harder than they ever imagined. From what I've been told, their plight is very true-to-life for many Alaskans living in the backwoods.

I really enjoyed reading about Leni growing up, and how she copes with the cold and isolation. The town they move to, however, is very welcoming and help her family as much as they are able. They really bind together at the end, but I don't want to give too much away.....

Jan 18, 2019

One of the best books I've read in a long time, couldn't put down. Loved the ending. Will read more from this author.

Jan 10, 2019

Like I mentioned, I saw a bunch of my friends mentioning how much they loved her books, so when I went to the library for the first trip of the year I picked up the two titles that kept repeating on everyone's "must read" lists. As you saw, I really enjoyed The Nightingale was was excited to give this one a read. I'll be honest, I didn't like it as much as the first one I read. Maybe the topic of domestic abuse is too jarring for me (I know, you would think that war and the genocide of millions of Jews would be even more horrific, but maybe in my mind war is an 'out there' type of topic whereas domestic violence seems so real and 'up close'). Don't get me wrong, the story was one I bought hook, line and sinker (although I would say it felt slower to me than the first book), but there weren't as many ugly tears with this one. PS Does it make me crazy if living in Alaska, in the Great Alone, would be an adventure I'd totally be interested in doing?! I would give it an 8 out of 10.

TSCPL_Miranda Jan 07, 2019

So, so good. 13-year-old Leni is used to moving around. She's a reader, an unwilling loner, and tough as nails. Since her dad returned from Vietnam, he's been restless and angry, always seeking a fresh start in a new town. Their move to Alaska could be just what he needs--or it could be a huge, dark mistake. I would have been Sam in Leni's Frodo, if we'd met in high school. I cheered for her all the way, and cried at the final twist.

Jan 07, 2019

Brilliant, hard to put down, heart-wrenching, soul-depth. One of Kristin Hannah's best.

DCLadults Jan 02, 2019

A New & Noteworthy Best of 2018 pick. Another atmospheric novel from Kristin Hannah and this one is complicated. Alaska is as much a character as the members of the Allbright family who move there to homestead and find they are not prepared … at all.

Dec 28, 2018

4.75 STARS!

Near perfection! I knew this would be a tough read since the blurb indicated a troubled and volatile husband/father suffering from the after-affects of being a POW in the Vietnam War. That only touched on this family's saga. This story was mainly told through daughter Lenora's POV from the ages of 13-28 with a few moments peppered in with alternate character POV's. Lenora was a reliable and captivating narrator with an evolving maturation that was well beyond her years due to her circumstances. Seeing the rugged and intimidating 1970's Alaska through her eyes was informative and often shocking. Towards the last 25% of the book, the story felt a little more rushed, but overall it was in turns an exhilarating and heartbreaking story with an utterly satisfying conclusion. Highly recommended reading.

Dec 26, 2018

Recommended by Elaine. Story of former Vietnam POW who moves his wife and daughter to remote area of Alaska. Excellent!

Dec 24, 2018

Noir adventure story from the voice of the daughter of a violent Vietnam POW. He returns and moves her and her mother to Alaska in 1974 when the girl is 14. She falls in love with the son of her father’s rival and takes us to 1986. The voice is too grown up and too childish, which produces a wonderful plot and good nature writing if only banality and sensationalism didn’t enter too often. Flawed ending saved by strength of character.

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