I hope everyone’s summer is going well. I’m deep into edits on my fantasy series and a new romance story. Plus we decided to renovate. Just one room, but boy, does that list grow when you start a simple thing like painting the ceiling. But I did managed to find some time to pick up a book or two, and I thought I’d share one of my recent reads with you.
Kristin Hannah did it to me again. I always know I’m going to be up late and crying my eyes out when I pick up one of her books. The Great Alone didn’t stray from that pattern. Leni is a formidable kid tossed into a swirling vortex of survival from all different angles. Ms. Hannah shows us the gritty side of life on the Alaskan frontier, giving us an in depth look at life at it’s very basic: the need for food, heat, shelter.
I’ll admit, I wasn’t ready to stare the horror of PTSD in the face. Ernt is not a man I could like. But the resilience of the women kept me reading. Especially Leni, who at thirteen, is tossed into the wild, so to speak. She learns the hard way that the only person she can count on is herself. Well, maybe there’s one other person. 🙂
I cried for about the last 150 pages of this story. It was a cathartic cry, and I was so glad I kept reading all the way to the end. As with every single Kristin Hannah story I’ve read, it was worth it. So yes, this story is a highly recommend from me. It’s not an easy read, but it’s a fulfilling one.
Here’s what the story is all about:
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 eighteen 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 story about love and loss, the fight for survival, and the wildness that lives in both man and nature.
Click here for Kristin’s website.