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The Great Alone: A Novel Hardcover – Illustrated, 6 February 2018
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In Kristin Hannah's The Great Alone, a desperate family seeks a new beginning in the near-isolated wilderness of Alaska only to find that their unpredictable environment is less threatening than the erratic behavior found in human nature.
#1 New York Times Instant Bestseller (February 2018)
A People "Book of the Week"
Buzzfeed's "Most Anticipated Women's Fiction Reads of 2018"
Seattle Times's "Books to Look Forward to in 2018"
Alaska, 1974. Ernt Allbright came home from the Vietnam War a changed and volatile man. When he loses yet another job, he makes the impulsive decision to move his wife and daughter north where they will live off the grid in America's last true frontier.
Cora will do anything for the man she loves, even if means following him into the unknown. Thirteen-year-old Leni, caught in the riptide of her parents' passionate, stormy relationship, has little choice but to go along, daring to hope this new land promises her family a better future.
In a wild, remote corner of Alaska, the Allbrights 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 newcomers' lack of preparation and dwindling resources.
But as winter approaches and darkness descends, Ernt's fragile mental state deteriorates. 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.
Praise for The Great Alone:
An instant #1 New York Times bestseller (February 2018) A 2018 Indie Next Pick
Southern Living's Books Coming Out This Winter That We Can't Wait to Read
Pop Sugar's 10 Most Anticipated Books of 2018
Working Mother's Most Anticipated Books of 2018
Brit & Co's Most Anticipated Books of 2018
Seattle Times' Books to Look Forward to in 2018
The Everygirl's 10 New Novels to Read this Winter
Refinery 29'sBest Books of February
BuzzFeed'sMost Anticipated Women's Fiction Reads of 2018
Featuring a rich cast of characters and elevated by the riveting portrayal of homesteading in Alaska in the 1970s, this is a compassionate story of a family. --People, Book of the Week
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. --Booklist
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
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. --Library Journal
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." --USA Today
A respectful and absorbing page-turner. --Kirkus Reviews
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." --Shelf Awareness
Powerful...an unforgettable portrait of love and war.--People
About the Author
- Publisher : St. Martin's Press; Illustrated edition (6 February 2018)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 448 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0312577230
- ISBN-13 : 978-0312577230
- Dimensions : 16.71 x 3.91 x 24.18 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: 75,447 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from Australia
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An amazing book that you will read and have to stop every now and again just to catch your breath only to rush back and see what happens next.
Top reviews from other countries
A disappointment. Repetitive. Set pieces that lacked authenticity, characters that didn’t engage.
Thin descriptions of Alaska, of the cold, of the scenery.
Far too long a book for little good content. Lazy ending.
Moving to Alaska is supposed to be a fresh start for the Allbright family... Except Ernt, a Vietnam war veteran finds his demons travel to Alaska with him, seeing his wife, Cora, and daughter, Leni, bearing the brunt of it. Note: domestic violence is strong and recurring throughout this book. The Great Alone makes for hard reading, not only because of the domestic violence, but also actions and events that occur due to Ernt’s paranoid state of mind.
The Great Alone spans a course of more than ten years, through which we see the trials & tribulations of the Allbright family – especially the growth and perseverance of Leni; a young girl who we see transform into a woman as we page turn, a female protagonist that possesses an astounding strength.
Without a doubt Leni stands out to me by way of characters, and she is someone who will stay with me for a while, but also I greatly enjoyed the character of Large Marge. Large Marge is a shopkeeper in the Alaskan town the family settle into, and someone who very quickly befriends the females of the Allbright family. She is such a character! I actually quite enjoyed the entire community of Kaneq, liking not only the dynamics of the town but also the individuality of the characters found there.
The setting of the Alaskan wilderness felt like a character in its own right at times; I just love when a location feels like that. There is such beauty to be found there but a severe harshness also, which is depicted so well. I like how we were able to experience Alaska during each season, especially during winter. Upon reflection, I think the way in which Alaska is written mirrors the personality of Ernt Allbright a fair bit.
I have a number of positive thoughts and takeaways from my reading experience of The Great Alone, but I also have quite a significant negative: the ending. The end of The Great Alone felt rushed in my opinion and didn’t have the same depth I found in the first three quarters of the book. Overall, I would still recommend this book to others – especially for the landscape & themes of love, courage, and strength.