Reader reviews and comments on The Great Alone, plus links to write your own review.

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The Great Alone

by Kristin Hannah

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah X
The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah
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  • First Published:
    Feb 2018, 448 pages
    Paperback:
    Sep 2019, 608 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Kim Kovacs
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There are currently 10 reader reviews for The Great Alone
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Lynn M. Castro

The Great Alone
Kristin Hannah is a brilliant story teller. If life can be hard, life is harder in Alaska. Leni, the main character moves here from Washington with her mother and her father, a POW who is suffering from PTSD, and trying to escape the inner turmoil he feels and lead a more peaceful existence. It becomes anything but peaceful, setting off unprepared for the challenges ahead. So many tragedies throughout. I loved Big Marge. The women are hardworking and strong. There are some horrific parts to get through. Hanna doesn't want us to tread lightly through this book, but to experience the challenges and injustices that Leni, the main character, goes through, although no child should ever have to go through them. The ending is a bit bitter sweet, yet Leni can still find beauty and peace through it all. A rainbow lies ahead. There is so much more to say - Read the story.
Power Reviewer
Beckyh

a terrifying love story
Which would you rather do? Die by freezing, starving or being mauled to death by “Alaska” or die at the hands of your abusive, PTSD addled father?
Hannah has written a tense, terrifying love story. But is it a story of love for the beautiful wildness of Alaska or the wildly beautiful love of a father for his wife and daughter? Leni’s father has decided the family will move to Alaska where he will finally be happy. They are woefully unprepared for the rigors of homesteading in America’s last wilderness. Taken under the wings of Large Marge, a successful homesteader and formerly successful big city prosecutor, the family quickly learns to be relatively self-sufficient. Leni learns to love Alaska and the “wild” life style her father has decreed for the family. Unfortunately, Leni’s father is friend and compatriot with Mad Earl, a rabid anti-government survivalist. Matthew, a classmate of Leni’s, becomes her only friend.
The wildness of nature and the difficulties of surviving in Alaska during the 1970’s and 80’s is made excruciating clear. The terror of living with an out of control abuser suffering from PTSD after surviving as a POW in Viet Nam is also clear. The relationships between mother and daughter, mother and father, Leni and Matthew, father and Mad Earl, among others, are clear and determine the vector and velocity of the plot.
B. Stalzer

So Worth Your Time
Reading this novel I felt I was watching a story unfold page by page, character by character. It showed the beauty and allure of Alaska along with the reality of life in Alaska which was as difficult as it was wonderful. The people in town became their own family as much from necessity as from needing to connect with others who sought out the adventure of living "off the grid" in one of the most beautifully natural areas still considered a frontier. The people knowing that each has come for their own reasons, are careful in not overstepping their boundaries allowing everyone to find their own way but knowing no one can survive if they aren't able to take help when it's needed. Although the story centers on Leni and her first best friend, Matthew, there are so many intertwined stories throughout that enrich the reading and enjoyment of this book. Hannah has made all the pieces of this story work together to make it richer and true to life in a town so far removed from the rest of us. I cared about these people and came to understand them and know them. They became more than just characters in a book because Hannah's character development was so well done. From the beginning to the end, this novel kept my interest. Even as I was anxious to know what the final chapter would reveal, I was aware that I would miss the people, their town, and life in Alaska.
I also listened to the audio of this book and it was one of the best books on audio I've heard.
Kelly Probst

A Great Read
I don't claim to be an avid book reader and I won't attempt to offer a 'clever critique'. This novel was passed on by a friend, we both lived in Anchorage, Alaska during the 1970's. The Great Alone did an amazing job of depicting the era and bringing the reader close into the lives of the characters. I felt like I was actually there! Also, because I recently experienced complicated grief and mourning, I knew exactly the guilt Leni felt in relation to Matthew. It was a powerful book for me and so well written. Thank you Kristin!
Power Reviewer
lalni

Fractured families and the wilderness
For those of you who have read Hannah's previous novel, do not expect a carbon copy of her work. This new book is, however, a wonderfully atmospheric and poignant look at the Alaska wilderness, PTSD, and fractured families. 13 year old old Lani Allbright is growing up in the 70's in the age of EST, Patty Hearst and Vietnam, where free love is all the rage. When her hippie parents decide to leave and move to land bestowed to them by a Vietnam buddy they hope getting away from the chaos of city life will be healing for the father and for the family as a whole. At first, it feels like this might be the answer to their prayers. With a colorful cast of characters, they plunge into a very rustic way of life yet awed by the majestic beauty of the state. However, the people keep warning them about the winter dangers and the people itself. As time goes on the winter darkness does takes hold but it becomes apparent that the real issue is not Alaska's winters but the darkness within the family. We watch Leni's growing awareness of the weakness within her family and her rising maturity regarding its dangers. Be warned-there is a lot of physical abuse in this book and for those who are sensitive to this issue, it may be a trigger. However, Hannah's beautiful prose portrays the splendor and ruggedness of a world we know too little about. It is easy to see how this world could unfurl difficulty for those running away from something. Note that this has already been optioned for film rights.
Veronica

Breathtaking
I read this book in one setting. I couldn't put it down. The characters just captured me and kept me enthralled. I visited Alaska in the 70's and the descriptions of the state are right on. Beautiful, but brutal. Just as the characters were beautiful, but brutal. I believe Kristin Hannah did it again.
Roe P

Get ready to stay up late!
Ms Hannah really knows how to tell a story. This book has it all...Adventure, Love, Tragedy, Mystery.

It takes place in the 70's in rural Alaska. At times while reading this book you actually feel like you are right there beside the characters. I read through the whole book (approx 430 pages) in a little over one day...Just could not put it down...Scheduled for release in February..do not miss it...
Ann

Enjoyable yet predictable
This is a very well written book that flows. It is a letdown after “the Nightingale” as that plot was quite original. I felt the characters and plot in this book were cliche and predictable. Like the story was designed to fit a framework.
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