The great alone a novel
The Great Alone by Kristin HannahAlaska, 1974.
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.
The Great Alone: A Novel
Author of a string of powerful novels, Kristin Hannah likes to do emotion on a grand scale…. At the heart of this remarkable story are a mother, a father and their teenage daughter, living at the edge of the world and coping with a personal crisis that they cannot fully understand. But this is also a tale of young love, the hidden strengths of a close-knit community, and a nation struggling to be at peace with itself. They had been happy until her father Ernt came back from the war in Vietnam. Scarred by his experiences, he is moody, restless, quick to anger and aggressive to her beloved mother Cora whose fragility has been dangerously exposed.
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Some books are meant to be devoured. Others should be savored. After losing yet another job and inheriting a house in Alaska from a fallen comrade, Ernt Allbright, a Vietnam veteran, tells his wife, Cora, and his daughter, Leni, that they are moving to Alaska. In Alaska, the Allbrights get a crash course in homesteading. Winter is coming. Leni starts school and meets Matthew. She falls in love with Matthew and grows up while dealing with her erratic father and ineffectual mother.
It's , and year-old Leni Allbright lives with her devoted mother, Cora, and abusive father, Ernt, who was a prisoner of war during Vietnam. America is changing after the war, and Ernt thinks their best chance at a fresh start is to move off the grid, to America's last frontier - Alaska. Grizzlies, wolves, and dropping temperatures are Leni's worries outside of her family's cabin, but as Ernt's battle with his demons rages on, it's no safer inside. The result is a beautifully descriptive, heart-wrenching adventure. Alaska,