Book Review – The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah

The Great Alone is my first Kristin Hannah novel and what a joy ride it was! It was emotional, and rather tugging at your heartstrings with adroit skill. A book that depicts human emotions as well as it shows the beauty of the Alaskan landscape.

Leni Allbright is a young girl who used to the unstable life her parents create, packing up and going from one place to another to find ‘the place’. Her father, Ernt Allbright is a POW of the Vietnam war. He learns that one of his fellow soldiers has bequeathed him a piece of land in Alaska. And off they go to the end of the world. Knowing nothing of surviving in these harsh climes and having lived with all the basic amenities that life in a city could lend, Alaska comes as a shock to the mother and daughter. Leni’s mother, Caro, is her best friend. They are, as they themselves claim, “two peas in a pod”.
The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah
The Alaskan landscape is rugged, the climate harsh but the people are warm and friendly. The community is one big happy family. And into this community arrive Ernt, Caro and Leni. As time moves on Leni and Caro have adapted to life, while Ernt hasn’t. He tried to outrun his demons only to find that they weren’t around him but inside him. Mother and daughter find living with him to be nothing short of sprinting through a landmine-ridden field. The book showcases the passage of time in three sections. 1974, 1978 and 1986. Through this time we learn how much everyone has changed. Leni finds her one best friend, watches him go through the darkest times if his life, she finds love, she becomes a mother.
Honestly, reading The Great Alone makes you feel like you go through the emotional wringer along with Leni. All ups and downs that Leni goes through, you find yourself tagged along. But there is a happy ending and I wouldn’t be surprised if a few tears are shed reading this book. Kristin Hannah portrays relationships so easily, and they are beautiful to read. The complexity of each relationship comes through in the simplest words. You either love a character or you want to punch them in the face and sometimes you might even want to hug them. Kristin Hannah also makes the women in the novel a wonderful group who stand together for each other. They are not the ordinary neighbourhood females who gossip and turn their noses out of joint at times. The women in The Great Alone are helpful and will take your secrets to their grave. Another enjoyable thing about The Great Alone is Kristin Hannah‘s writing about Alaska. The beauty and the ruggedness, the magnificence and the desolation of the land come through in vivid clarity. A great read!
You can pick a copy of The Great Alone here – Amazon, Flipkart, Kobo, Abebooks.


The Great Alone

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

View all my reviews


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