This is not a book I’d typically pick for myself.
Then again, Kristin Hannah is not your typical author.
The Great Alone follows Leni in the years following the Vietnam War. Her veteran’s father with untreated PTSD causes the family to move frequently, ultimately settling in a remote town in Alaska, and the lifestyle that accompanies it.
The work is constant – farming, preserving, hunting, building and rebuilding, only to fall deeply asleep and repeat it all again. The community is tight-knit, always looking after one another. The Allbirght family is adopted by the Harlans, whose veteran son bequeathed the land to Ernt in his will.
Overall, things are good. Until winter hits.
I was riveted by this story – Leni’s struggle between her love for her father and her fear of him, her budding relationship with her neighbor, and pure survival. The Great Alone gave me a new respect for just how diverse the American experience is, given how Leni’s upbringing is worlds away from my own. Hannah weaves a tale of love, loss, adventure, and protecting one’s self from the demons that lurk inside and outside the home.
I couldn’t put this book down. And when I turned the last page, a wave of pure happiness washed all over me.
Quickly followed by sadness that The Great Alone was over.
Until next time, Kristin Hannah.