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Publisher's Summary

Alaska, 1974. Untamed. Unpredictable. A story of a family in crisis struggling to survive at the edge of the world, it is also a story of young and enduring love.
Cora Allbright and her husband, Ernt, a recently returned Vietnam veteran scarred by the war, uproot their 13-year-old daughter, Leni, to start a new life in Alaska. Utterly unprepared for the weather and the isolation, but welcomed by the close-knit community, they fight to build a home in this harsh, beautiful wilderness.
At once an epic story of human survival and love and an intimate portrait of a family tested beyond endurance, The Great Alone offers a glimpse into a vanishing way of life in America. With her trademark combination of elegant prose and deeply drawn characters, Kristin Hannah has delivered an enormously powerful story that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the remarkable and enduring strength of women.
About the highest stakes a family can face and the bonds that can tear a community apart, this is an audiobook as spectacular and powerful as Alaska itself. It is the finest example of Kristin Hannah's ability to weave together the deeply personal with the universal.
©2018 Kristin Hannah (P)2018 Macmillan Digital Audio
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Marlieke on 05-11-18

Loved iT

I really loved this story. The narrator spoke a little too fast for me though, but performed the story very well. I highly recommend.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By Anonymous User on 08-06-18

Too much

Although I definitely enjoy a sob story every now and again, I agree with other reviewers that this book was a little on the depressing side to the extent that it was difficult to read sometimes.

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Customer Reviews

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2 out of 5 stars
By Hawksamillion on 06-26-18

Not for me

I found the writing very wooden. Often the writer signposts the emotional tone or implication in a rather bland and unsubtle way. The characters are rather two-dimensional. The love story is just too sugary and many characters speak only in jaded aphorisms. For me this is ok as a fast page turner when you want to just read and switch off your brain but nothing more..

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Kim on 03-24-18

Gripping

One of the best books I’ve read in years. Stayed up all night long listening to it.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Prue on 02-16-18

wonderful novel

I thoroughly enjoyed and was entertained throughout, it had a great story line and narration was excellent 5 stars

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By Heidi on 03-23-18

Great setting but too much melodrama for me

I am feeling so very torn writing this review. I loved the first ¾ of The Great Alone. No, I mean I really, really LOVED it! There is nothing better than armchair travel into a wild and remote place, and The Great Alone delivered that in spades. Hannah’s description of the harsh and yet beautiful Alaskan landscape created images so vivid that I could have mistaken them for real personal memories. I was living and breathing the story, and it totally sucked me in.

Hannah certainly knows how to wreak havoc with her readers’ emotions, and she proves this once again with her latest book. Telling a story of domestic violence and dysfunctional family dynamics through the eyes of a beautiful and smart thirteen-year-old was always going to upset your average reader, and the descriptions of Ernt Allbright’s violence evoked almost visceral emotions of anger and fear as he terrorised his poor family. I thought that she did a great job in portraying this man affected by PTSD, self-medicating with alcohol to overcome his demons, misunderstood by society in the era the book was set in. I have met men like him, and whilst I could not condone his actions, my heart went out to him for the damage that had been done to him by war. As the Alaskan winter approached, it was not only Leni who could foresee the problems that the dark and confinement would cause the Allbright family – the reader knows it, too. With the construction of the wall, tension built into such a powder-keg of impending doom that I couldn’t put the book down until I knew how this would play out. There was such great potential here for a nail-biting finale that I felt totally devastated and let down when the story took an about turn and turned into a mixture between a hallmark movie and a tea-time soapie.

At this point the story descended into a YA romance / tearjerker that stood in stark contrast to the tense tale of survival and family drama I had so enjoyed earlier. WTH happened? Obviously, I am not the target audience here, as I avoid those melodramatic stories like the plague, being much too old and cynical for such tearjerker moments. I wanted to go back to the moment it all turned to mush, and follow through with the careful groundwork the author had laid for a nail-biting finale full of tension, danger and fight for survival. Instead, there were a few quick fixes, a huge jump in the timeline and lots and lots of melodrama – I could hear the violins playing in the background.

So, how do you rate a book you both loved and hated equally? It’s hard to even consolidate the two very separate parts of the story. I am left feeling slightly cheated, as if standing in front of Ernt’s wall with the door firmly bolted shut to the fitting end of a story I had loved. But hey, I am one in a million and don’t let my old cynical self stop you from reading a book 90% of readers obviously adored. Seldom has a book made such waves on social media, so Hannah has found a formula that works for most of her audience. Sadly, that obviously doesn’t include me. Whilst the Allbrights will stay in my mind for some time to come, as I imagine different outcomes to their story, the one thing I will take away from the book is the visual image of a wild Alaska, and a truly magnificent armchair travel experience.

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