The Great Alone was a book I heard so much about prior to picking it up. However, at about 50 pages in, I wondered what all the fuss was about. The slow build was a bit of a grind, but I trusted that the fabulous reviews were not wrong. Boy, am I glad I did not give up. The Great Alone quickly picked up steam, and I was entranced.
When Ernt Allbright came home from the Vietnam war, he was different. With a stormy mood that flips like a switch, he loses job after job. On a whim, he decides to move his family to Alaska, where they will live off the grid. His thirteen-year-old daughter, Leni, caught in the ups and downs of her parents’ relationships, is desperate for a place to belong. Her mother, Cora, will do anything for Ernt, her beloved husband. At first, Alaska seems to be just what Ernt needs to stabilize his moods and his life. But as the harsh winter approaches, Ernt’s fragile mental state deteriorates, throwing the family into a tailspin.
I shared this book with my mom, and she stated it was the best book she’s ever read. It truly is a magical read, as Kristin Hannah transports you to Alaska and brings the Allbrights to life. *SPOILER ALERT* After the lifetime of struggles and pain for Leni, the shocking twist at the end left me in tears. It was a scene that left me wanting more. The characters will live on in my mind for some time.