The Great Alone

The Great Alone

Book - 2018
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In 1974, thirteen-year-old Leni Allbright's volatile, unpredictable father Ernt makes an impulsive, desperate decision: he will move the family north, to Alaska, where they will live off the land in a spectacular wilderness. As the vast Alaskan landscape grows smaller and smaller in the darkness, Ernt's fragile mental state deteriorates, and the dangers outside of their remote homestead pale in comparison to the danger within. On their small piece of land, miles from anyone, Leni and her mother, Cora, learn what all Alaskan homesteaders learn: they are on their own.
Publisher: New York : St. Martin's Press, ©2018.
ISBN: 9781250229533
Characteristics: 440 pages :,illustrations ;,25 cm.


From Library Staff

Alaska, 1974.
Unpredictable. Unforgiving. Untamed.
For a family in crisis, the ultimate test of survival.

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 Ala... Read More »

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Jan 13, 2021

If you would like to read about an alcoholic, abusive man, his co-dependent wife and the daughter that has to live with them then this is for you. It is not about Alaska. It is written in a mediocre style for a young adult. Very disappointing!

Jan 06, 2021

I really enjoyed this book but there is some definitely dark content and there were times the scenes were a bit hard to read. Loved where it ended though.

Dec 28, 2020

Writes beautifully about Alaska. Its cold, desolation yet warm community, and how the people survive. The book however, was too predictable. For all the beauty in the book, the domestic violence was too dark a contrast. Did not enjoy the novel as much as her last one, The Nightingale.

Dec 11, 2020

recommended by kay

Dec 09, 2020

I highly recommend this book! The story is told from Leni's point of view and follows her journey with her parents to Alaska. Many difficult subjects are discussed: PTSD, domestic abuse, divorce, and the death of a parent. The characters are very well developed and the story line is believable. I could feel the emotions of the characters and at times had to put the book down for a break. I am looking forward to reading more of Hannah's books.

Nov 20, 2020

A good read and quite a thick book so it lasts a long time. The description of Alaska is beautiful. I had a hard time with the last 200 pages. It felt like the main character kept having bad things happen just to keep the story going. There were a couple instances in those last 200 pages where I felt the characters made a choice that was out of character or just felt under developed. You want the character to have a hopeful ending but it felt like I was never going to get it because so many bad things happen in the last half of the book.

Nov 19, 2020

An amazing story. At times difficult to read the traumatic situations, but overall an amazing read. The growth and development of the characters; their drive. The world of their lives, came alive in my mind. It truly took me away to the world of Alaska int her dark. A great read. Thank you Kristin Hannah.

Nov 01, 2020

Excellent book. Great writing, characters you feel, you have to read this book.

LCPL_Krystyna Oct 28, 2020

This story stole my heart! It is beautifully written, with gorgeous descriptions of Alaska, and is wonderfully atmospheric. I didn't want to leave this story or these characters. I could write forever about this book, my thoughts, and love for this story.

Oct 12, 2020

Being a visual person, this book was like watching a movie of Alaska and the family unprepared for homesteading in the 70's. Her description of the relationship between Cora and Ernt was from someone who obviously understands the abused woman. The character development was superb with the deep and abiding love of a mother and her child. The book made me want to visit Alaska as it was and not as a tourist.

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LCPL_Krystyna Oct 28, 2020

“All at once, it seemed, the leaves of cottonwood trees around the cabin turned golden and whispered to themselves, then curled into black flutes and floated to the ground in crispy, lacy heaps.”

LCPL_Krystyna Oct 28, 2020

“And the books! She’d never seen so many. They whispered to her of unexplored worlds and unmet friends and she realized that she wasn’t alone in this new world. Her friends were here, spine out, waiting for her as they always had.”

LCPL_Krystyna Oct 28, 2020

“You don’t stop loving a person when they’re hurt. You get stronger so they can lean on you.”

LCPL_Krystyna Oct 28, 2020

“He taught her something new about friendship: it picked right back up where you’d left off, as if you hadn’t been apart at all.”

LCPL_Krystyna Oct 28, 2020

“I think you stand by the people you love.”

LCPL_Krystyna Oct 28, 2020

“It’s scary that people can just stop loving you, you know?”

LCPL_Krystyna Oct 28, 2020

“like all fairy tales, theirs was filled with thickets and dark places and broken dreams, and runaway girls.”

LCPL_Krystyna Oct 28, 2020

“Alaska isn't about who you were when you headed this way. It's about who you become.”

LCPL_Krystyna Oct 28, 2020

“... home was not just a cabin in a deep woods that overlooked a placid cove. Home was a state of mind, the peace that came from being who you were and living an honest life.”

LCPL_Krystyna Oct 28, 2020

“Love and fear. The most destructive forces on earth. Fear had turned her inside out, love had made her stupid.”

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Mar 20, 2019

This book is every bit as good as Nightingale. I got so involved with the characters that, at times, I had to put the book down because it made me so anxious and nervous about what was going to happen to them. I can't wait to read another of Kristin's books. 5 star rating from me!

Sep 11, 2018

This story of life in Alaska evolves around a family (the Allbrights') Ernst, his wife, and Leni, their Daughter who move up to Alaska after Ernst is left the property by a friend he knew during the Vietnam War. Ernst suffered from PTSD and creates havoc and fear whereever he goes. I was unable to put the book down; an excellent read and well recommended.


Add Notices
LCPL_Krystyna Oct 28, 2020

Other: death of a parent, alcoholism, depression, ptsd

LCPL_Krystyna Oct 28, 2020

Violence: domestic abuse

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Mar 05, 2019

pmeadows2020 thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over

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