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The Great Alone: A Novel Hardcover – Illustrated, February 6, 2018
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From School Library Journal
- Publisher : St. Martin's Press; Illustrated edition (February 6, 2018)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 448 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0312577230
- ISBN-13 : 978-0312577230
- Lexile measure : HL720L
- Item Weight : 1.55 pounds
- Dimensions : 6.43 x 1.46 x 9.59 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #4,853 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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Written by Kristin Hannah, this is the story of 13-year-old Leni who moves in 1974 (in an old VW bus of all things) to the uncivilized wilds of Alaska with her parents, Cora and Ernt. Cora is a loving mother, who thinks of Leni as her best friend. Ernt is a former Vietnam POW, who has nightmares and rages of anger that he takes out on his wife with his fists. This is the classic story of danger, and even in the middle of winter in godforsaken Alaska the real danger can be inside the cabin—not out.
While most of the plot is predictable, there are a few unexpected twists and turns that save the book from being totally banal. Still, this is hardly great literature.
Top reviews from other countries
As time passes the females seem to be able to handle the brutal weather, stark living accomodations and foraging and growing food. Leni and her mother learn to use weapons to defend themselves from the wild beasts roaming the land. But it seems that Ernt is becoming the wildest and most unpredictable of them all.
From that point on survival is key. Proven friendships are critical and teen age angst turns to love. The book is bittersweet.
I stayed up all night and could not stop reading and crying and then reading some more and sobbing again. The only other book I can remember crying about was the Nightingale. And Kristin Hannah wrote that as well. She's my hero and a tremendous writer. I couldn't recommend this book more highly.
The story is written from the young daughter's POV, and she refers to the father character as "Dad", so it reads very awkwardly and you start wanting to scream every time you see the word Dad coming (which is pretty much several times every page.)
Could've been a fascinating tale about carving a new life out of a hostile environment, dealing with the growth of the 3 main characters, and the necessity of community in such a place. Instead, we get immature dramas, a predictable trajectory of abuse & drunkenness, and a silly split-down-the-middle in the community because of "Dad's" pernicious influence on others ... oh God never mind.
So much is annoying and wrong about this very long novel.
Kristen Hannah is a bestselling author but I don't know why. I tried The Nightingale too - exactly the same junk as this book. But maybe it's potato chips to the fans?