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The Great Alone

de Kristin Hannah

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4,9932572,210 (4.08)109
Lenora Allbright is 13 when her father convinces her mother, Cora, to forgo their inauspicious existence in Seattle and move to Kaneq, AK. It's 1974, and the former Vietnam POW sees a better future away from the noise and nightmares that plague him. Having been left a homestead by a buddy who died in the war, Ernt is secure in his beliefs, but never was a family less prepared for the reality of Alaska, the long, cold winters and isolation. Locals want to help out, especially classmate Matthew Walker, who likes everything about Leni. Yet the harsh conditions bring out the worst in Ernt, whose paranoia takes over their lives and exacerbates what Leni sees as the toxic relationship between her parents. The Allbrights are as green as greenhorns can be, and even first love must endure unimaginable hardship and tragedy as the wilderness tries to claim more victims.… (mais)
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The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah is the story of the Allbright family: father Ernt, mother Cora, and daughter Leni. Ernt has come back from Vietnam a changed man: alcoholic, abusive, unable to settle to any job or any place. Now he's decided that the Alaskan wilderness is the place for the family, so they head north to eke out a living near Homer, Alaska. It's rough, and without the help of the local community, the family would not have survived the first winter there. It gets rougher: Ernt uses his fists on Cora non-stop, yet she won't leave, take herself and Leni to safety.

The book is well-written and made me long for long northern summer nights and the aurora, for that clean fresh air and sea-scented breeze that is the smell of the sub-Arctic. I love the Canadian north and this book reminded me of all that is good there. However, the book became too predictable too soon. The originality and the vitality of the text ends at the conclusion of the 1974 section of the novel, and from then on it's pretty commonplace, with an ending you can see a mile away. Still, it was good reading, and absorbing, but ultimately not as good as the only other book I've read by Hannah: The Nightingale. ( )
  ahef1963 | May 5, 2024 |
The ham radio bits lacked the licensing and technical aspects, but as fiction, it worked that way, so I'm OK with that (and probably only note it because I just recently got 2nd level licensing myself), so my opinion is that this book was as educational, spellbinding, and moving as Kristin's novels always are. ( )
  TraSea | Apr 29, 2024 |
I think I have an author crush (not in a creepy way, just in the way I devour her books). Kristin Hannah is simply a master storyteller, and it would be a dream come true if my books were as well-received as hers.

I must admit, I had absolutely no idea what The Great Alone was about. The only thing I've ever really heard about it was how great it was, but never anything specific or simple, like what the storyline was about. (And I thought the cover looked boring, so I kinda avoid it - just being honest.)

I'm torn in half with thoughts over this book. The first camp sits with the book itself, and the second is the fact that I have never quite understood why my son, who chose to move to Alaska when he was twenty, still resides there twelve years later. I've been to Alaska - man, that place is harsh. Gorgeous like no other but harsh.

The book is an incredible story about the Allbrights, Ernt, a Vietnam vet/POW who struggles with serious deep-rooted demons, Cora, who is unnaturally loved by Ernt to the point of obsession and to which she reciprocates, and their daughter, Leni, who at the age of 13 is thrown into the wilderness without running water, indoor facilities, electricity, and so on. Somehow, this family forges a way of life and not just survives but thrives, in their ways, in The Great Alone.

There is great tragedy in the Allbright family, but Ms. Hannah spins the tale to where no matter how awful the event, as the reader, you can't, won't, and don't want to put the book down; you actually turn the pages faster.

If you are like me and thrown off by the dull cover, rip it off and open up this incredible piece of work. You will thank me. And now, I must write my son a letter of understanding. I get it now, as with Leni Allbright, my son, Kowboy, belongs in The Great Alone. ( )
  LyndaWolters1 | Apr 3, 2024 |
This is a very good book. I could not bring myself to finish it at this time because It is a too realistic portrayal of a family living with an abusive father. Was afraid of where it was going and didn't want to go there. ( )
  RuthInman123 | Mar 12, 2024 |
Ernt Allbright left his young wife to fight in Viet Nam. Unfortunately, he spent seven years as a POW and returned a bitter, angry man. Unable to hold a job very long due to his PTSD, when he found himself having inherited some land in Alaska, he packed up his wife and 13 year old daughter, Leni, to make a new start.

He had long admired the survivalist life style, and while he didn’t have the skills to pull it off, his neighbors helped him out and taught him what he needed to know about hunting, building, raising livestock and gardens in the brutal Alaskan conditions, especially the dark and frigid winters.

But while for some, demons are left behind in the wilderness, for others, the demons are empowered. Leni’s friendship with the son of a more prosperous and successful family burned Ernt like fire. His wife had more and more bruises from falls. Eventually Ernt decided that the only way to control his family and keep them safe was to build a literal fortress around their property with himself having the only key.

Although the story is told from Leni’s viewpoint, to me it was the story of her father; his illness twisting and destroying what he loved. Until finally, Leni and her mother had to take their destinies into their own hands.

I found it a fast read. Some of the turns, such as love-interest’s Matthew’s outcome seemed overly optimistic. And while I would love to see neighbors come together to help and shield the most vulnerable newcomers in their midst, I recognize that it takes very special sort of people to do that.

And yet, I was entertained and engrossed by the story which shed light on why people are drawn into this lifestyle and how some become stuck and some move on when the deepest trauma strikes. 3.8 stars ( )
  streamsong | Feb 8, 2024 |
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Nome do autorFunçãoTipo de autorObra?Status
Hannah, Kristinautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Whelan, JuliaNarradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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Nature never deceives us; it is always we who deceive ourselves.
---JEAN-JACQUES ROUSSEAU
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To the women in my family. All of them are warriors. Sharon, Debbie, Laura, Julie, Mackenzie, Sara, Kaylee, Toni, Jacquie, Dana, Leslie, Katie, Joan, Jerrie, Liz, Courtney, and Stephanie.

And to Braden, our newest adventurer.
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"Alaska herself can be Sleeping Beauty one minute and a bitch with a sawed-off shotgun the next. There's a saying: Up here you can make one mistake. The second one will kill you."
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Lenora Allbright is 13 when her father convinces her mother, Cora, to forgo their inauspicious existence in Seattle and move to Kaneq, AK. It's 1974, and the former Vietnam POW sees a better future away from the noise and nightmares that plague him. Having been left a homestead by a buddy who died in the war, Ernt is secure in his beliefs, but never was a family less prepared for the reality of Alaska, the long, cold winters and isolation. Locals want to help out, especially classmate Matthew Walker, who likes everything about Leni. Yet the harsh conditions bring out the worst in Ernt, whose paranoia takes over their lives and exacerbates what Leni sees as the toxic relationship between her parents. The Allbrights are as green as greenhorns can be, and even first love must endure unimaginable hardship and tragedy as the wilderness tries to claim more victims.

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