I went to see if any of you lovely people had reviewed this book yet and instead turned up the fact that this is the same author who wrote The Nightingale, another book I was sour on. Things are making sense now. I’d forgotten all about that book and I’m not too pleased to be reminded. The Great Alone is better, but not by much.
So much like The Nightingale, this is a book about terrible things happening to good people in a world without gray areas. And it is so long, it’s just exhausting. You get the idea really quickly – the dad character is so badly PTSD’d that there is no normal any more and he’s got a hair-trigger temper, massive paranoia, and wild case of the wife-beatings. To get away from “the man” he drags his wife and daughter to the farthest reaches of Alaska and just GUESS what happens next.
That’s it, that’s the book. It’s page after page of the brutality of Alaska and the brutality of this man. Any bright spots are quickly ripped away because that’s what Kristin Hannah specializes in (until of course the last fifteen pages, because she’s an artist, not a downer, y’all). It’s also got one of those Lord of the Rings endings where the whole thing could have been wrapped up in any one of like fifteen spots but she just. Keeps. Going. I don’t recall where I saw this book recommended but please take it from me – don’t.