Book Talk: The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah
Photo by Richard Price on Unsplash
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It’s been a little while since I read this book, but it has stayed with me. Well, what else do you expect from Kristin Hannah’s books? It’s no news that I adore this woman and her writing, but that could be because I happened to meet her in person at a luncheon and she had some very kind advice for the struggling writer in me.
Coming back to the book talk, The Great Alone is set in 1974, and is narrated by Leni who is thirteen when the story begins. As the story progresses, we see the struggles of the family as it moves to Alaska. But everything that they are running from is within, and the darkness only amplifies when they move.
It’s an emotional read, to say the least. The author has done a fantastic job at developing the characters and the plot. You can literally see the places described in a style that is uniquely Kristin’s. She makes you care for the characters so much that I couldn’t help but cry. It’s not a story of a happy ending in the traditional way, and everything is not hunky dory or tied up in a bow. And life is like that. I listened to the audiobook and the narrator Julia Whelan, who happens to be one of my favourite narrators, has done a great job at bringing the words alive.
My rating: Five Stars.
Kristin Hannah is the award-winning and bestselling author of more than 20 novels including the international blockbuster, The Nightingale, which was named Goodreads Best Historical fiction novel for 2015 and won the coveted People's Choice award for best fiction in the same year. Additionally, it was named a Best Book of the Year by Amazon, iTunes, Buzzfeed, the Wall Street Journal, Paste, and The Week.
Kristin's highly anticipated new release, The Great Alone, will be published on February 6, 2018 (St. Martin's Press). The novel, an epic love story and intimate family drama set in Alaska in the turbulent 1970's is a daring, stay-up-all-night story about love and loss, the fight for survival and the wildness that lives in both nature and man. It has been listed as one of the most anticipated novels of the year by The Seattle Times, Bustle.com, PopSugar, Working Mother, Southern Living, and Goodreads.
The Nightingale is currently in production at Tri-Star, with award-winning director Michelle MacLaren set to direct. Home Front was optioned for film by 1492 Films (produced the Oscar-nominated The Help) with Chris Columbus attached to write, produce, and direct. Movie news on The Great Alone is coming soon.
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Unpredictable. Unforgiving. Untamed.
For a family in crisis, the ultimate test of survival.
Ernt Allbright, a former POW, comes home from the Vietnam war a changed and volatile man. When he loses yet another job, he makes an impulsive decision: he will move his family north, to Alaska, where they will live off the grid in America’s last true frontier.
Thirteen-year-old Leni, a girl coming of age in a tumultuous time, caught in the riptide of her parents’ passionate, stormy relationship, dares to hope that a new land will lead to a better future for her family. She is desperate for a place to belong. Her mother, Cora, will do anything and go anywhere for the man she loves, even if it means following him into the unknown
At first, Alaska seems to be the answer to their prayers. In a wild, remote corner of the state, they find a fiercely independent community of strong men and even stronger women. The long, sunlit days and the generosity of the locals make up for the Allbrights’ lack of preparation and dwindling resources.
But as winter approaches and darkness descends on Alaska, Ernt’s fragile mental state deteriorates and the family begins to fracture. Soon the perils outside pale in comparison to threats from within. In their small cabin, covered in snow, blanketed in eighteen hours of night, Leni and her mother learn the terrible truth: they are on their own. In the wild, there is no one to save them but themselves.
In this unforgettable portrait of human frailty and resilience, Kristin Hannah reveals the indomitable character of the modern American pioneer and the spirit of a vanishing Alaska―a place of incomparable beauty and danger. The Great Alone is a daring, beautiful, stay-up-all-night story about love and loss, the fight for survival, and the wildness that lives in both man and nature.