Tuesday, July 10, 2018

The Great Alone gets 4.5 Stars {adult fiction}

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah is an adult lit (older teens could handle it especially if they loved Nightingale or Picoult books) book.  This strong female character is amazing. Set in the 70s. Deals with abuse and PTSD, and a page turner.  In my book review it gets 4.5 out of 5 stars.  Fantastic book! Check it out. Fiction. Vietnam War, Family, Alohamora Open a Book; alohamoraopenabook; www.alohamoraopenabook.blogspot.com

I absolutely adored Kristin Hannah's The Nightingale; it earned 5 stars from me and remains one of the best books I've ever read.  When I saw that Hannah wrote another book I was anxious to check it out.  Even though it comes in at almost 450 pages, The Great Alone is a fast read; it's a page turner.  I found the story to be captivating, riveting, and pulls on your heart strings. 

The Great Alone follows the Allbrights, a family in the 1970s who move a lot and finally settle in Alaska.  Ernt, the father was a POW in Vietnam and suffers from PTSD, leads his family to Alaska to get away from most of civilization and claim some land and a cabin Ernt's war buddy gifted him.

Alaska is a place of strength, but its winters are full of dark days.  The winters are tough, and one must be prepared for them.  The Allbrights don't know how to prepare, but the small community pulls together to help them, and that same community then help them survive the many dark days of the winters there.  Cora and her 13 year old daughter Leni also strengthen one another and have a beautiful relationship.   

I had several thoughts while reading this story.  One of them was, "Wow! Alaska sounds beautiful and amazing." and the other thought was, "I wish I was tough enough to handle Alaska."  Another thought I had was that I hope we all can have a Large Marge sometime in our life, or maybe the time in our life we need the most help. I especially loved the character Large Marge; she is maybe one of my favorite characters of all time.  She is smart, tough, kind, and fighter through and through.  

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah gets 4.5 out of 5 stars in my book review.  I thoroughly loved this book.  I loved the depth of the story line that involves abuse, friendship, and making the tough decisions that can define and change our lives.  I loved the entire story from beginning to end.  Sure, there were times the characters with their naivety frustrated me, but their strength and growth had me cheering along with them.  I was concerned, happy, scared, and worried throughout the novel.  I loved how the story seemed realistic, but that realism also caused predictability in a climatic moment.   Overall, The Great Alone didn't leave me in WOW like Hannah's previous book, but it's a really great read. Definitely check it out.  

One thing I love about Kristin Hannah's books are the strong female characters and that every day people can be heroic.  Her books are really just fantastic, and inspire greatness!  Love. 💗 

I also loved reading the epilogue and the personal connection Hannah has with the story.  It was powerful, and maybe made me love the story a bit more.  

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
Best For: Adults, and 16 year old+ teens who like Picoult books.
Clean Read: Yes. There's a little language, action, spouse abuse, and sex is mentioned.  

Worth a Check Out: Yes.
Buy It or Not: It's a great book to purchase, but I won't be buying it.
Read Aloud: No, but it is a great audiobook too.
Book Club Discussion Ideas: Vietnam War and the culture in America there.  Are we ever really prepared for the harsh winters of our life?  Could you survive life in Alaska? Abuse, is it harder to get away in solitude? Alcoholism.  PTSD. How do you cope with the Dark Days?

Did you read The Great AloneWhat did you think? 

Just a couple quotes and thoughts I loved from The Great Alone:

"You know what they say about finding a man in Alaska: the odds are good but the goods are odd." 

"Leni will always ache for the dad she always wanted and Matthew aches for the mom he lost." 

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