What a wild and harrowing ride this book was. This is my first Kristin Hannah novel and it certainly will not be my last. This was a big book to undertake for the tale end of my cannonball, but it is our January book club selection and though hefty, it is a book that you can fall into and devour.
Ernt, Vietnam veteran, and his wife Cora have a deep, consuming toxic love, and their daughter Leni is caught between them. Ernt is a damaged man looking for a place in this world and has been on to the next scheme and his latest, and the one that sticks, is moving the family to Alaska to live off the grid.
A friend of mine had the misfortune to read this back-to-back with Tara Westover’s Educated and when I found that out was like, “Oh nooooes.” Those books have very similar origins with a female protagonist in an awful family environment in a wilderness environment. However, with Educated as it is a memoir you know that in the end Westover is going to be okay. The trauma of reading Hannah’s book though is that because it is fiction, you have no idea if that is the case, so there were a few plot points that cropped up and I had to put the book down for a while and come back as I was afraid to see how it was all going to turn out.
As a sidebar, the back of the book has a great interview with her where she talks about why she chose to set her book in Alaska, and her families history there, which I liked that she had a direct and personal connection to the setting.
I saw some reviews that felt that this book wasn’t as good as The Nightingale so because I liked this one so much, I’m intrigued to jump into that sooner, rather than later.