I just finished up listening to The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah. I had read The Nightingale by this author and LOVED that so when I saw she had a new book out, I put myself on the online library list and waited for my turn. So was it worth the wait?
Yes! I very much liked the book. The setting is in the 70’s for much of the story. A Vietnam vet returns “different” and the family tries to work through the changes. Then one day they pick up their bags, buy a VW van and hit the road to Alaska. The story is good. The writing is good. I listened to it over the course of two days. That’s fast for a 15 hour audiobook.
Here what Amazon had to say….
“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 18 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 audiobook about love and loss, the fight for survival, and the wildness that lives in both man and nature.”
Amazon readers gave the book 4.6 stars. There are over 5500 reviews so that is a real testament that the book is considered a good book. I’m going to agree. The characters have stuck with me for a few days already and that is always a sign that the book was good.