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
9780312577230
Characteristics: 440 pages :,illustrations ;,25 cm.

Opinion

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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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.

l
laneway
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.

m
mmyjer20
Sep 21, 2020

This book was good but hard to read in a lot of ways. It is hard to read about abuse and domestic violence. There is a lot of education in the book about the Alaska of the 60's and 70's. The ending was a bit corny.

h
HamerBr
Sep 18, 2020

I have never read a book from this author, and I am looking forward to reading more from her. I love all things related to homesteading and the wilderness. This book was really well done, and I was in love with the first 1/3rd of it. In a way, I do wish I had only read part I, because it felt like it was finished in and of itself. Part II seemed a bit dramatic and unrealistic to me. However, I still enjoyed the whole book and she did a great job writing the characters.

s
SAllcock
Sep 14, 2020

Such a good read! This was my introduction to Kristin Hannah and I can say am in the process of reading all of her works. I cried twice reading it, and once you are finished you will know where. I wish the ending was a little longer, but it was a fantastic read.

w
wmaboyer
Sep 14, 2020

This one should have been the award winner.
It's not a happy story but it is sooo well told.
You get a wonderful feeling for what life is like in Alaska and for the people who choose to live there. It is a book that succeeds on so many levels.
Highly recommend you read it.

g
glotet41
Sep 07, 2020

Dragged out unnecessarily in the first three quarters of the story which for me, made the outcome a little rushed in comparison.

l
lindemuldercr
Sep 02, 2020

Modern Mrs Darcy

e
emschleich
Jul 30, 2020

I could not put this book down. I often feel like novels end before before I’m ready, but this author did a great job and weaving a compelling and complete story.

m
mlhadley1
Jul 11, 2020

Told by 13 yr old Leni of life in off grid Alaska with PSTD Father and Mother she's giving total support; loves Father too. Complex well developed story of may aspects of mental illness, radicalism, survival skills, and heart of others established living in the off-grid Alaska. Centers around Leni's family, family of the PSTD Father's fallen comrade-in-war people who willed them the property, and numerous people that have been established in off grid Alaska.

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Quotes

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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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kxlittle
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!

f
firebird770
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.

Notices

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LCPL_Krystyna Oct 28, 2020

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

LCPL_Krystyna Oct 28, 2020

Violence: domestic abuse

Age Suitability

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pmeadows2020
Mar 05, 2019

pmeadows2020 thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over

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