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The Great Alone: A Novel Kindle Edition
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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.
From School Library Journal
- ASIN : B06Y5WRS2C
- Publisher : St. Martin's Press (February 6, 2018)
- Publication date : February 6, 2018
- Language : English
- File size : 7493 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Sticky notes : On Kindle Scribe
- Print length : 450 pages
- Page numbers source ISBN : 1447286006
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,505 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Reviewed in the United States on February 20, 2018
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If the following passages do not whet the appetite, I don't know what will:
"Two kinds of folks come up to Alaska, Cora. People running to something and people running away from something. The second kind-you want to keep your eye out for them. And it isn't just the people you need to watch out for, either. Alaska herself can be Sleeping Beauty one minute and a bitch with a sawed-off shotgun the next. There's a saying: Up here you can make one mistake. The second one will kill you."
"Even her laugh seemed at home here, an echo of the bells that tinkled from wind chimes in front of the shops."
"Leni stared down at the sea, rolling inexorably toward her. Nothing you did could hold back that rising tide. One mistake or miscalculation and you could be stranded or washed away. All you could do was protect yourself by reading the charts and being prepared and making smart choices."
"She was sweating hard, scooping a bucket of water from the creek, slopping it across her boots, when night fell. And she meant FELL; it hit hard and fast, like a lid clanging down on its pot."
"Dad's intentions were good, but even so, it was like living with a wild animal. Like those crazy hippies the Alaskans talked about who lived with wolves and bears and invariably ended up getting killed. The natural-born predator could seem domesticated, even friendly, could lick your throat affectionately or rub up against you to get a back scratch. But you knew, or should know, that it was a wild thing you lived with, that a collar and leash and a bowl of food might tame the actions of the beast, but couldn't change its essential nature. In a split second,, less time than it took to exhale a breath, that wolf could claim its nature and turn, fangs bared."
"A girl was like a kite; without her mother's strong, steady hold on the string, she might just flat away, be lost somewhere among the clouds."
"Fear and shame she understood. Fear made you run and hide and shame made you stay quiet, but this anger wanted something else. Release."
"There it was: the sad truth. Mama loved him too much to leave him. Still, even now, with her face bruised and swollen. Maybe what she'd always said was true, maybe she couldn't breathe without him, maybe she'd wilt like a flower without the sunshine of his adoration."
"Everyone up here had two stories: the life before and the life now. If you wanted to pray to a weirdo god or live in a school bus or marry a goose, no one in Alaska was going to say crap to you. No one cared if you had an old car on your deck, let alone a rusted fridge. Any life that could be imagined could be lived up here."
"It made Leni feel as if she were a coil of rope drawn around a cleat with the wind pulling at it, tugging, the rope creaking in resistance, slipping. If the line wasn't perfectly tied down, it would all come undone, be torn away, maybe the wind would pull the cleat from its home in fury."
"There were a lot of bumper stickers like that out here, deep in Alaska's wild interior, far from the tourist destinations of the coast or the majestic beauty of Denali. Alaska was full of fringe-ists. People who believed in weirdo things and prayed to exclusionary Gods and filled their basements with equal measures of guns and Bibles. If you wanted to live in a place where no one told you what to do and didn't care if you parked a trailer in your yard or had a fridge on your porch, Alaska was the state for you."
"The farther away you got from civilization, the stranger things got. Most people spent one dark, bleak, eight-month winter in Fairbanks and left the state screaming. The few who stayed-misfits, adventurers, romantics, loners-rarely left again."
"Sometimes you had to go backward in order to go forward."
"He hadn't realized how time could unspool the years of your life until for a second you were fourteen again, crying from a place so deep it seemed to predate you, desperate to be whole again."
"Time was not something she usually paid much attention to. On the homestead, the bigger picture mattered-the darkening of the sky, the ebbing of the tide, the snow hares changing color, the birds returning or flying south. That was how they marked the passage of time, in growing seasons and salmon runs, and the first snowfall."
"After that and all the way home, he said nothing, which should have been better than yelling, but it wasn't. Yelling was like a bomb in the corner: you saw it, watched the fuse burn, and you knew when it would explode and you needed to run for cover. Not speaking was a killer somewhere in your house with a gun when you were sleeping."
"Love and fear. The most destructive forces on earth. Fear had turned her inside out, love had made her stupid."
"Five out of every thousand people went missing in Alaska every year, were lost. That was a known fact. They fell down crevasses, lost their way on trails, drowned in a rising tide. Alaska. The Great Alone."
"Someone said to me once that Alaska didn't create character; it revealed it."
"This state, this place, is like no other. It is beauty and horror; savior and destroyer. Here, where survival is a choice that must be made over and over, in the wildest place in America, on the edge of civilization, where water in all its forms can kill you, you learn who you are........You learn what you will do to survive. That lesson, that revelation, as my mother once told me about love, is Alaska's great and terrible gift. Those who come for beauty alone, or for some imaginary life, or those who seek safety, will fail. In the vast expanse of this unpredictable wilderness, you will either become your best self and flourish, or you will run away, screaming, from the dark and the cold and the hardship. There is no middle ground, no safe place; not here, in the Great Alone."
The physical descriptions throughout the novel are ethereal...you can touch and feel and see what the author paints for you.
I think the author did an exquisite job with this novel - my one-time journey through Alaska will never be forgotten.
I'm not sure I would classify this book as historical fiction, but it was an interesting/entertaining read that kept me coming back to it day after day.
Admittedly, my favorite genre is non-fiction, second to that is historical fiction. This book didn't leave me feeling breathless or shaken, but it was well written and I don't have any regrets of spending my time reading the 500+ pages.
That sucks you in and puts you right in the middle of it. With all the emotions the characters feel. Bravo!
My library is limited on her books so the ones I buy I will donate to them and share her with more readers.
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.
This author has an outstanding talent for descriptive writing which literally transports you to the time and place. I could see every aspect of the Alaskan landscape, homes and towns in every page.
It left me in tears. Such a beautiful story.
I will never understand why anyone could criticise this novel, or any of her books - Kristin Hannah is fast becoming my favourite author of all time
The characters are beautifully written and have real depth, you can feel the love and the anger of the different people as their stories are told.
This is a truly beautiful story