The Great Alone - By Kristin Hannah
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Binding: Hardcover / Paperback / Audio CD
Pub Date: February 06, 2018
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.
"This epic atmospheric novel examines humans' will to endure the unthinkable."
--Real Simple magazine
"There are many great things about this book...It will thrill her fans with its combination of Greek tragedy, Romeo and Juliet-like coming of age story and domestic potboiler. She recreates in magical detail the lives of Alaska's homesteaders...and is just as specific and authentic in her depiction of the spiritual wounds of post-Vietnam America. A tour de force."
--Kirkus (starred review)
"Hannah vividly evokes the natural beauty and danger of Alaska and paints a compelling portrait of a family in crisis and a community on the brink of change."
"Reliably alluring...The Great Alone is packed with rapturous descriptions of Alaskan scenery... Hannah remembers and summons an undeveloped wilderness, describing a gloriously pristine region in the days before cruise ships discovered it."
--New York Times Daily Review
"In this latest from Hannah, the landscape is hard and bleak but our young heroine learns to accept it and discover her true self...fans will appreciate the astuteness of the story and the unbreakable connection between mother and child."
"Hannah skillfully situates the emotional family saga in the events and culture of the late '70s... But it's her tautly drawn characters--Large Marge, Genny, Mad Earl, Tica, Tom--who contribute not only to Leni's improbable survival but to her salvation amid her family's tragedy."
--Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Hannah turns the written word into wonderful prose...Times are difficult for so many in this novel and Hannah captures their suffering with sensitivity. The author expertly shows how love, death and birth run the full circle of life."
--RT Book Reviews
Praise for The Nightingale: "Haunting, action-packed, and compelling."
--Christina Baker Kline,
#1 New York Times bestselling author "Absolutely riveting!...Read this book."
--Dr. Miriam Klein Kassenoff, Director of the University of Miami Holocaust Teacher Institute
"Beautifully written and richly evocative." --Sara Gruen, #1 New York Times bestselling author "A heart-pounding story."
"A respectful and absorbing page-turner."
"Tender, compelling...a satisfying slice of life in Nazi-occupied France."
--Jewish Book Council
"Expect to devour The Nightingale in as few sittings as possible; the high-stakes plot and lovable characters won't allow any rest until all of their fates are known."