The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah

thegreatalonecoverTitle: The Great Alone
Series
: No
Author(s): Kristin Hannah
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Format: ARC
Release Date: February 6th 2018
Pages: 448
Genre(s): Historical Fiction
ISBN13: 9780312577230


After her wildly successful World War II historical fiction, The Nightingale, Kristin Hannah returns with a story about love and resilience set in the 70s right in the heart of Alaska. Although she has written over 20 other books in her life, The Nightingale ultimately became my first experience of her writing style and proved to be a very atmospheric and captivating story. It’s without hesitation that I had to give her next endeavor a shot, and fortunately for me, The Great Alone was just as compelling as her international blockbuster.

This is the story of the Allbrights. Mostly focused on the youngest girl of this three member family, Lenora Allbright prays for her family to find stability as she continuously hops from one school to another because of her family’s inability to maintain employment. Her father, Ernt Allbright, was a prisoner of war who recently came back from Vietnam and whose mental state is fragile and extremely volatile. Her mother, Cora Allbright, is a bright woman who is blinded by love and would do absolutely anything for her husband and little girl. Upon hearing about a brand new opportunity to start fresh, Leni’s father forces his dreams upon his family and installs hope within everyone by presenting Alaska as their new home, also known as America’s last frontier or The Great Alone. But Alaska isn’t just a beautiful secluded region. It has its own dangers, and some of them aren’t from Mother Nature herself, but within the Allbrights themselves.

thegreatalonequote

This is a coming-of-age story for Lenora Allbright. Young and innocent, heavily in love with classic literature, she has never known what her dad was like before he was a POW and has lived most of her life in loneliness, only belonging to her family. Settling into Alaska is seen as an opportunity for a clean slate where the love they have for each other serve as the foundation to their new life, but she has yet to understand that with the perfect ingredients, chaos can ensue. The cold winter is what the strong and tightly-knit community over in Alaska warns them about as it brings out the worse out of everyone, and for someone like Ernt, it is what he needs to unveil his true self and bring it to life in a bright firework.

This is a story with two completely different love story at the core of it. One that is as toxic as it can get and the other is filled with light, hope and passion. The former isn’t easy to read about and will instigate some very heavy and dark emotions within readers. Kristin Hannah does an unbelievable job at developing and showing readers all the different angles of these two relationships and doesn’t shy away from investigating their darkest facets. Love isn’t only portrayed as the lust that binds two people together, but as the challenge that keeps two individuals together, and sometimes even apart, for their relationship to last forever. The yearning and the reasoning that comes with every action that someone does for another is presented and contextualized in a way that only Kristin Hannah could do to show us how complex it is to even comprehend the concept of love.

To top it off, Kristin Hannah also integrates a whole theme of change and resilience within this story, while successfully capturing the atmosphere of the 1970s in a place as beautiful and dangerous as Alaska. What we thus get is an adventure where character’s are challenged into toughening their will and sharpening their perseverance in the face of adversity. With characters who are brilliantly developed and a setting that forces everyone to be content with basic needs, we are also shown the clash between the mentality of different generations as they struggle to reconcile on the priorities of a community that only strives if everyone has each other’s backs. In the end, The Great Alone turned out to be another fantastic historical fiction written by Kristin Hannah where fans of a brilliant exploration of resilience and love will find joy, and maybe even a little bit of sadness.

1
Thank you to Raincoast Books for sending me a copy for review!

MY OVERALL RATING: ★★★★☆

Have you read it yet? Do you plan to?

What do you think about The Great Alone?

Share your thoughts with me!

Till next time,

lashaansignature

InstagramFacebookGoodreadsTwitter

 

43 Comments Add yours

  1. Omg you read this already!!! I really can’t wait for this one. Nightingale, to this day, is my favourite book ever!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yes I did!!! 😀 I think if you enjoyed The Nightingale, you’re in for a awesome ride with The Great Alone too!! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Really??? YESSSS bec I badly need to read smth as perfect as the nightingale

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Tammy says:

    Great review, Lashaan! I have never read Kristin Hannah but I’m convinced I should check her out very soon. I love the idea of a story set in Alaska, so I hope to give this a shot some day!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Tammy! The Nightingale was something that pretty much popped up everywhere when someone talked about historical fiction so it might also be worth checking out if WWII is an era you want to revisit (nop.. that doesn’t sound right). Glad to hear your interest in this one too though!! 😀

      Like

  3. dilchh says:

    I can’t wait to read this book. I love The Nightingale so much! And your review just made me want to know more about this book and whether it’ll be as good or even better than The Nightingale.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ohhh, if you loved The Nightingale, I think you’ll find everything you need in The Great Alone. It was just as good and might even be better than The Nightingale for you!! Hope you love it when you get the chance to try it out! 🙂

      Like

      1. dilchh says:

        I will most definitely try to get my hands on this book. And I really appreciate your review, btw! 😬

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Ohh thank you so much! 😀 😀 Thanks for reading, that will always make me happy. 😉

          Like

  4. raistlin0903 says:

    The setting alone is enough for me to make me want to read this book. I have seen a lot of movies set in that place and they are usually so incredible. This is a book that I normally probably would not have picked up. But after reading your review I have to admit that it has made me curious. I am adding this one to my to read list 😊 Great post as always!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Got to admit that anything set in the wilderness does stir up my interest and makes me want to see how tough the human spirit is when it’s in extreme conditions! I’m glad to have gotten you interested in this one and hope that you’ll enjoy it thoroughly when you get the chance to try it out Michel! Thank you for reading man!! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Awesome Review, Lashaan! I am so glad you enjoyed this one and it’s definitely going on my TBR because of your awesome review!😄😍

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Dani!! Hooray for expanding that TBR of yours!!! Hope you love The Great Alone when you get the chance to read it, Dani!! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My TBR is huge but I will get around to it! You’re welcome and I love your reviews!😍

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Not your usual love story huh? This sounds so much deeper and rewarding! I have only read one of her books (Night Road) which had also amazing character building, and I know I want to read more of her novels. Yyour review only creates a dilemma about which one I should read first, The Nightingale or this one! Wonderful review!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do remember you being interested in The Nightingale too when I had read and reviewed it way back then! I’m glad to hear that I’ve now made it even more complicated by making you wonder which one to pick up first hahah Hope that whichever you go with you’ll have a wonderful emotional ride! Thank you for reading, Inge!!! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Excellent review. I think this is the most ‘mature’ review I’ve read of yours (I don’t mean that others are childish haha). It just shines with understanding of the story the author tells.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks man! Hahahah I sort of couldn’t help myself but laugh at that “mature” comment. So far, both The Nightingale and The Great Alone have themes within them that are easy to pick up on and are fascinating to analyze. I appreciate the kind words, sir! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Great review, Lashaan! I absolutely loved The Nightingale but wasn’t so sure if I’d enjoy this book as much but I think you convinced me to check it out.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so, so much! You should totally give it a shot. I can see how The Nightingale seemed insurmountable, but The Great Alone is a fantastic follow-up by Kristin Hannah. The only reason anyone could pass on it is if they were ONLY interested in WWII and not in any other time period and story! Hope you do enjoy The Great Alone when you get the chance to read it! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks! I’ll definitely look into picking it up then!

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Great review! This book was a tougher read than I was expecting, but I loved it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! Oh yes, it really was. At times I wanted to beat that father up myself… And then you’ve got all sorts of other things happening that really destroys you emotionally. It was no easy ride. But still a great one! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Wow this sounds like an amazing book Lashaan, I’m especially glad you enjoyed it after loving The Nightingale as well. I guess you won’t hesitate to jump into the next of Kristin Hannah’s books that you come across right? 🙂
    It sounds like The Great Alone deals with a lot of heavy subjects, it definitely can’t be easy for Lenora dealing with everything her father’s return from a POW camp means for her and her family, but based on your review it was brilliantly written and a unique love story in its own way as well.
    Great review Lashaan! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Depends on what the next story is going to be about though! It could turn out to be great but not pique my interest at all hahah Oh yes, Lenora goes through a lot and tries to understand what her family situation is like compared to others, and especially compared to a “normal” family. It was really well-written and developed! Thank you so much for your kind words, Beth, and for reading! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  11. This sounds great. Great review! And that cover looks amazing in actual print. It’s really cool how you always include the actual book. Your graphics are always so spot on.

    I have been seeing this book around a lot lately, but it’s just one of those books that I never read the blurb of xD but it’s about Alaska! Reading about Alaska is something I greatly enjoy, for some reason. Maybe it’s just that it’s a place that can be so hard to live in, that I find stories set in it very inspiring.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is a really nice cover indeed. I do find the four magical trails on it a bit odd though, but overall it’s still pretty awesome. You’re too kind about my graphics. They aren’t that special! 🤣

      Oh yeh, with the popularity that The Nightingale had, I’m not surprised to hear that you’ve been seeing this one around a lot. I honestly blindly asked for it cause of the author and didn’t even know it had a love story focus in it. Who knows if I would have actually tried it out if I had known hahah But I’m glad that there’s plenty to enjoy beyond the romance thanks to Kristin Hannah’s brilliant exploration of beautiful themes. Definitely worth checking out if intrigued! 😀 Thanks for reading, Evelina. 🙂

      Like

  12. This sounds like a fantastic study of human nature and all it has to offer. I always enjoy remote settings, kind of living off grid as it showcases people in their rawest form, like you said.
    Very interesting, especially since there are different perspectives from different generations. I’m glad all the characters are super fleshed out and engaging, and that the writing was on point as well.
    Amazing review, Lashaan! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I completely agree with you. Sort of like post-apocalyptic stuff. Well-written ones really do great in showing human nature. The Great Alone does is a bit differently with a “toxic” family that stays glued together and tries to survive the harsh weather that Alaska has to offer. Oh yes, the different generations helped in sort out the priorities and visions of each. It was pretty interesting to see how it impacted each character. Thanks for reading, Sophie!!! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Confession: I have seen Hannah’s books for many many years now and I have yet to pick them up. There is something about the synopsis which always makes me think that she will rip my heart out while I’m reading. I long since stopped checking out the synopses for her books. I rarely pick up books with more intense themes as of late; I use my books for escapism more than anything else.

    Yet I am completely intrigued. I don’t think we explore the fall-out of the Vietnam war and what it means to be a veteran trying to make a living in the world as often as we should in literature. It’s a hard subject for me to find. But one I am completely intrigued with! How do you feel that Ernt’s character is portrayed? Does it feel realistic?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, you’re right about it being charged with a lot of emotional energy. Both The Nightingale and The Great Alone play with your feelings a lot, especially once you’re invested in the female protagonists. I do remember your review for one of Ruta Sepetys’ books and how devastated you were after reading it too. I can imagine similar effects with this one too.

      As for Ernt’s character, I’d say there’s a little dose of dramatization, but it’s all for the sake of fiction. He’s an intense character, very volatile. You’re bound to hate him as you progress through the story. I did wonder if there would be heroin involved in this somehow (Vietnam war and heroin addiction sort of do go hand in hand), but I guess that was something she didn’t want to venture in. Hopefully if you ever do decide to give this a shot, you’ll find it fascinating and satisfying. Thanks for reading, Jackie! Always love your thoughts on my reviews. ❤

      Like

  14. An intriguing sounding title that goes well with the setting in Alaska.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sort of like “Big Apple” for NYC (although a bit harder to understand its meaning), The Great Alone is a pretty cool one for Alaska! Says a lot in just three words.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. This is a beautiful review! I am planning to make an effort to check out Kristin Hannah this year. The Nightingale has been on my list for too long. But for some reason, everytime I pick it up at the story, I put it back down. With what you know of my tastes.. which would you actually recommend as an intro to her work?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Danielle, I appreciate the love. ❤ Yep, I do remember your interest in The Nightingale when I had reviewed it back then too. You said something about being hard to click with historical fictions and that you need to be in the right mood for them too. Honestly, I'd go with The Nightingale first just cause the historical setting is a lot easier to visualize and you'll maybe see why it's such an atmospheric read. The Great Alone, even if its set around the 70s, still feels like something you can spot in certain places around in the States today. They are both excellent in their own ways though and whatever mood you're in, I'm sure your pick will prove to be interesting! 😀

      Like

  16. Gosh I still need to read Nightingale (after your fantastic review) and this sounds just as wonderful. Your description is beautiful. And the way you make the love sound is incredible- it sounds so deep and complex. You’re completely sold me again- absolutely amazing review!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awn, thanks! Makes me feel all warm and fuzzy that you remember that review! 😛 Oh yes, I think the theme of love was nicely explored in it and I had to show everyone why, for that alone, it might be a great historical fiction to pick up. Then again, there might a bit of my own comprehension of love mixed into it! Guess that’s why reviews, and even reading, is such a subjective experience! 😛 Again, thank you so much for your kind words! Hope your time with Kristin Hannah will prove to be just as great in the future, if not better! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. hehe I’m glad! hehe true! But in a good way 😉 Thank you!

        Liked by 1 person

  17. PERFECT! At least it isn’t WW something! I’m mighty sick of that topic… though she does incorporate it to a point with the POW aspect. I’ve watched a lot about Alaska I can see where it would make a great setting for an explosive plot… she must be a youngest because her characters are always youngest, at least one. Still this may be a good choice for my book club at the end of the year! Great review Lashaan!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yep.. Got to admit that historical fiction is often a synonym to WWII stories hahah It’s definitely nice to explore other periods and see how the author brings them to life. Alaska during this period was a nice choice and was pretty well-executed. Thank you Dani! 😀

      Like

  18. If I am usually not interested in historical fiction, would this book convert me? I don’t like the idea of just sticking modern ideas in a historical era, it doesn’t seem like it being true to the time, if that makes any sense at all.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s