The Great Alone, by Kristin Hannah
The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
“The Great Alone” by Kristin Hannah is a heart-wrenching and breathtaking novel that took me on an emotional roller coaster from start to finish. Once again, Kristin Hannah has written a remarkable story that is both hauntingly beautiful and unforgettable.
My personal introduction to Hannah was her brilliant novel “The Nightingale” (which is still my favourite book of hers) and both this novel as well as the later “The Four Winds” firmly cemented her position as one of my favourite authors.
The story follows the Allbright family as they move to the remote wilderness of Alaska in search of a better life. They are a family struggling with inner demons, and the isolation of Alaska proves to be both a refuge and a danger to them. I was fascinated by the way Hannah portrayed the beauty and the harshness of Alaska through her descriptions. She made me feel like I was right there, experiencing the cold, the snow, and the rugged landscape myself and I felt simultaneously drawn to and repulsed by it.
The characters in the book are well-developed and multidimensional. I found myself relating to them and their struggles, particularly the protagonist, Leni Allbright. Her journey from a scared and lonely teenager to a strong and independent woman was both inspiring and, at times, heartbreaking. I also appreciated the way the author portrayed the relationship between Leni and her mother, Cora, as it was complicated, nuanced, and realistic.
Another aspect of the book that I enjoyed was the way it tackled themes such as love, loss, resilience, and the importance of community. The author did an excellent job of exploring these themes through the characters’ experiences and their interactions with one another.
The one missing star is due to some lengths that I feel are strangely unique to “The Great Alone”. While the detailed descriptions of the Alaskan wilderness were mostly an asset, at some points of the story I was eager to move on with the plot. Also, the romance between Leni and Matthew seemed a bit drawn out.
Overall, though, “The Great Alone” is a great novel that I would highly recommend to anyone. Fans of Kristin Hannah can rest assured that their expectations will certainly be met.
Four out of five stars.
Ceterum censeo Putin esse delendam
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