The Great Alone – one fantastic book!

greatalone

Just finished reading this amazing book and decided I needed to do a review on my blog, ASAP!  I waited seven weeks to receive this one from the library, and whoa buddy, this was SO WORTH THE WAIT!  It’s not often I get so engaged with characters in a book, but this one grabbed me from page one, and would not let me go.  Starting in 1974, we follow the lives of Ernt, Cora, and Leni Allbright. Ernt is a Vietnam veteran and spent several years in a POW camp – and no surprise, the camp had big time ill effects.  Ernt can’t hold a job, so as a last ditch effort to find happiness and stability, the family move from Seattle up to Alaska {dubbed “the Great Alone” by poet Robert Service, many years ago} to a remote, sparsely populated village on the Kenai peninsula. As a Northwest native, I thought that all the descriptions of Alaska would be “ho-hum…. been there done that”, but oh my goodness – Kristin Hannah the author brought that state alive!  She made me think how cool it could be to live up there in the wilderness, without all the pressures of daily life in a city. The sights, sounds, smells, and traditions of our beautiful 49th state really come to life in this book – and I’m just guessing here, but I have a hunch there will be an influx of folks heading north in the near future – looking for one heck of an adventure. Anyway, we quickly discover that Ernt Allbright has a serious anger and jealousy problem and becomes very abusive towards his wife, Cora. Cora blames it on the long winters, the POW camp, and also herself. Leni, their daughter, is witness to the violence and is horrified to see her mom harmed…. and as Leni becomes a teenager, she’s horrified that Cora “loves” Ernt too much to leave him.  Now here is where some people say that the story is flawed.  They say that any woman who was being hurt by her husband repeatedly would never stick around and believe the promises that “it’ll never happen again”.  The sad truth is that MANY women do stay, even in today’s world – believing that it was their fault or that he is ‘so very sorry’.  So yes, there were parts of this book that made me mad – REALLY mad.  But what a read.  Oh my goodness, a wonderfully woven tale of love, anger, adventure, resilience, hope, and perseverance. Of raw nature and raw emotion.  I’m happy to say that Ms Hannah weaves this story in a VERY realistic way, without the use of profanity, which is something that I personally admire.  We get the drift of Ernt’s anger and foul moods without having to hear all the cursing that a guy like him would probably spout off.      This book is a definite 5 star read for me.  I can’t recommend it highly enough.  It’s raw, realistic, and remarkable. Read it.

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One thought on “The Great Alone – one fantastic book!

  1. I have ordered this book from the UK and cant wait to read it………….thanks in anticipation of another wonderful read!

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