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The Great Alone: A Novel by Kristin Hannah
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The Great Alone: A Novel (edition 2018)

by Kristin Hannah (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,5662272,933 (4.06)94
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.… (more)
Member:tayritch
Title:The Great Alone: A Novel
Authors:Kristin Hannah (Author)
Info:St. Martin's Press (2018), Edition: First Edition, 448 pages
Collections:Your library, Currently reading
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The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah

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» See also 94 mentions

English (220)  German (2)  Dutch (2)  Spanish (1)  All languages (225)
Showing 1-5 of 220 (next | show all)
Wow, what a story of survival, strength, pain, and love. I cried several times at the end because I fell in love with the characters and everything they overcame and persisted through.
It was honestly a little hard for me to get into at first, but at the same time I can now see why the character development was so important.
Some heavy parts throughout but also many wonderful, beautiful parts. The beauty and strong community along with the challenging, intense winters of Alaska will stay in my memory for a long time! ( )
  Kamanjes | Jun 21, 2022 |
An amazing book about a family who moves to Alaska to be safe. Little do they know there is as much danger inside their little cabin as there is outside...maybe more. It is also a coming of age and first love story that are wonderfully told. The sudden drama towards the end of the book was an unexpected twist but it brought the characters full circle. This is my 2nd book by Kristin Hannah and I have yet to be disappointed. ( )
1 vote Micareads | Jun 21, 2022 |
Well, that was depressing. Even so once I got a few chapters in I could not put The Great Alone down due to the beautiful writing. I loved the descriptions of the Alaskan scenery.

First half was amazing, great story, character development was spot on, I was hooked. After that things went down hill and I disconnected a bit. Very typical story of teenage love, not what I expected.
I don't love sadness and heartache just for the sake of it and that's what this felt like to me. The last third was very predictable, disappointing since there was such a strong start. ( )
  NicholeReadsWithCats | Jun 17, 2022 |
Really good book about a family moving to Alaska. Leni is a very likable character. Great storytelling, the setting in Alaska is well described. Awesome ending. Overall very well done novel, if I related to it more I would have ratted its higher. Love this author. ( )
  Zach-Rigo | Apr 21, 2022 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Hannah, Kristinprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Whelan, JuliaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Nature never deceives us; it is always we who deceive ourselves.
---JEAN-JACQUES ROUSSEAU
Dedication
To the women in my family. All of them are warriors. Sharon, Debbie, Laura, Julie, Mackenzie, Sara, Kaylee, Toni, Jacquie, Dana, Leslie, Katie, Joan, Jerrie, Liz, Courtney, and Stephanie.

And to Braden, our newest adventurer.
First words
That spring, rain fell in great sweeping gusts that rattled the rooftops.
Quotations
"Alaska herself can be Sleeping Beauty one minute and a bitch with a sawed-off shotgun the next. There's a saying: Up here you can make one mistake. The second one will kill you."
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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.

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Book description
Here's my metaphorical review of this book. A plane takes off from Seattle. It flies to Alaska, and despite a lot of turbulence, it climbs - though a small plane - higher than Denali. Then for 500 pages or so it goes into a nose dive in which things go from bad to worse to worst (rinse and repeat). As the plane is inches away from a nose in smash-up, a gust of wind pulls it out of the dive onto a perfect three point landing on a gravelly bak beside a river bed. I hated the darkness, cried at the end, and couldn't put bit down throughout. 

Here are my memorables: 
"You know what they say about finding a man in Alaska – the odds are good, but the goods are odd." (46)

"What's it really like?" . . . . "What?" "Winter. . . ." "Terribe and beautiful. It's how you know if you're cut out to be an Alaskan. Most go running back to the Outside before it's over." [114]

"Leni saw suddenly how hope could break you, how it was a shiny lure for the unwary. What happened to you if you hoped too hard for the best and got the worst?" [150]

"It was one of those moments – an instant of grace in a crazy, sometimes impossibly dangerous world – that changed a man's life." 

"We came to Alaska to run away from he world. Like so many cheechakos before and since, we planned poorly. . . . Someone said to me once that Alaska didn't;t create character; it revealed it.
(544) 

This state, this place, is like no other, It is beauty and horror; savior and destroyer. Here, where survival is a choice that must be made over and over, in the wildest place in America, on the edge of civilization, where water in all its for can kill you, you learn who you are. Not who you dream of being, not who you imagined you were, not who you were raised to be. All of that will be torn away in the months of icy darkness, when frost on the windows blurs your view and the world gets very small and you stumble into the truth of your existence. You learn what you will do to survive." That lesson, that revelation, is Alaska's great and terrible gift.. . . There is no middle ground, no safe place,; not here, in the great alone.  (544-545)
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