The Great Alone: A Novel by Kristin Hannah is a gripping story with unforgettable characters, an unpredictable plot, and exciting themes of family, solitude, and the effects of war; coupled with coming of age themes, it becomes a ripsnorter, hypnotic narrative that puts the reader on the edge of their seat.
A prisoner of war returned from Vietnam a broken man. Now, Ernt Allbright is focused on his family and work. But when he loses his job, he makes an impulsive decision —bring his family to Alaska and live off the grid. For thirteen-year-old Leni and her mother Cora, a new land could mean hope for them. But once in Alaska, they quickly realize that normalcy is far from becoming their reality as the mental health of father and husband deteriorates. They will enjoy the hospitality of a strong and small community, but things changes in winter and mother and daughter discovers they are left on their own. How they survive is what will surprise any reader.
Kristin Hannah is a gifted storyteller who explores the depths of the human psyche and weaves a rare sense of humanity into her narrative. This is a tale of family, of resilience, and survival against the odds. Hannah leads readers to believe in the indomitable human spirit, in the faint, flicker of hope that drives the human person to beat the odds, to survive inclement weather, and to forge a path ahead where there is none. It is filled with grit and pathos and a realism that hits the reader powerfully. One of the best books I have read in a while.