Published by St. Martin's Press on February 6, 2018
Genres: Emotions & Feelings, Family, Fiction
Start Your Book Club Right with THE GREAT ALONE by Kristin Hannah
Prize Pack sponsored @StMartinsPress
The Perfect Book Club Pick!
The Great Alone is a perfect pick for Book Clubs!
About The Great Alone
An instant #1 New York Times bestseller (February 2018)!
“A TOUR DE FORCE.” —Kirkus (starred review)
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 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.
My review and why you should pick this for your next book club!
If your book club enjoys emotionally rewarding reads that lead to spirited conversations, then you should really consider THE GREAT ALONE by Kristin Hannah. I am a huge fan of her writing and they never fail to make me think – and cry a bit. I don’t think I have ever made it through one of her books without emotions.
You can find ideal questions on Kristin Hannah site HERE
Be aware – there are plot spoilers there!
Ernt and his family are moving to Alaska after compatriot has died during a battle in Vietnam. He has left a parcel of land with a home. The small outpost has only 30 or so residents and his teen daughter, Leni doesn’t think life can get any worse in 1974. I was this exact age in 1974 and that age is especially difficult and even more difficult since Watergate, Vietnam, and the gas crisis are all intersecting.
As the family finds themselves in a desolate landscape, I can only imagine the terrors that Ernt is experiencing from his days as POW. Leni loves to read (again, something I relate to) and when she meets Matthew who comes from another shattered family. The community does rally around them and Ernt takes a job on the new oil pipeline. The romance that develops from a friendship between Leni and Matthew is a true Romeo-Juliet moment.
Leni’s mother, Cora seems lost in the wilderness of Alaska and it is only through the help of local residents will the family survive the long night of winter. Large Marge runs the local general store for the year-round residents and as a former prosecutor, she knows how to read people. There would be a tragedy if the locals didn’t reach out to help Leni and as the story progress, we get more insight into her formative years. The fact that Leni returns to Alaska tells you how strong the pull is to that wild land.
About the Author
Kristin Hannah is the New York Times bestselling author more than twenty novels. A former lawyer turned writer, she is the mother of one son and lives with her husband in the Pacific Northwest and Hawaii.
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Read an excerpt from The Great Alone
Watch a video of author Kristin Hannah on The Great Alone
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