Book Review – The Great Alone


The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah (MacMillan) ISBN: 9781447286028

Leni Allbright is thirteen and her greatest ambition is to spend just one school year in one school. They’ve moved a lot since her dad came back from ‘Nam. And nobody realises or cares about the effect on ‘the eternally new girl’. Ernt and Cora are making life work, but it’s not, really.

Enter a wonderful opportunity in Alaska. Alaska, remote, stark, menacing, inhabitable – The Great Alone. Isn’t that going to be worse?

“They were trapped, by environment and finances, but mostly by the sick, twisted love that bound her parents together.”

Kristin Hannah takes a would be carefree Leni, her eager-to-please-everyone mom, Cora and her damaged eccentric father, Ernt in 1974 and creates an uneasy, contrived homeliness with this broken family in a small town where it’s difficult enough even when everyone pitches in to survive just one winter. The unforgiving outside forces them inside, where perhaps the dangers are harsher, with more dramatic consequences.

The Great Alone is an engaging story that keeps the pages turning, until near the end, where the pace slows, and the plot swamps the characters. Enjoyable, nevertheless.

Bev Bouwer
4/5
@BevBou