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The Great Alone Bets On...

The Great Alone

February 2018

I was lucky enough to read THE GREAT ALONE in manuscript. When you read a book like that, there is no setup, no flap copy, no intro to the story. It’s just you and the words on the page, with no one telling you what you are going to see. Immediately I was caught up in the beauty and grandeur of Alaska that Kristin Hannah describes on the pages, as much as I was by the story. Alaska is a place that I have wanted to visit for a long time.

The novel opens in 1974 when the Allbright family moves there to "get off the grid." Living is primitive; one must work on surviving, and for this family that posts a lot of challenges. Even in the '70s, people were homesteading; Alaska was the new frontier. It was, and still is, a location where the terrain and the weather make it a place that is not for everyone.

For a family where someone is suffering from PTSD, the long hours of darkness coupled with the aloneness of days on end is a bad combination, which rapidly spins out of control. There is a family drama here played out through the eyes of a teenage girl, the daughter in the family, named Leni. She’s at an age when she wants stability, and her world is anything but that. There is a lot of emotion packed into these pages.

There are the challenges of winter that are played against another backdrop as Alaska begins to mature and businesses begin to encroach the frontier spirit.

Kristin comes from a family that has a long line of being adventurers. She talks about that in a video here. She traveled and moved a lot when she was young (recently, I learned she went to four high schools in four years), and books were always her companions. Her family has an adventure lodge in Alaska. So she writes with authenticity. By the time I finished reading, I wanted to see Alaska more than ever!

The Great Alone
by Kristin Hannah