REVIEW: The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah
The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah explores PTSD, preppers, death, fear of death, danger, wild animals, and first love. It’s a lot for a teenager to contend with, as well as for the reader. Absorbing, scary, and heartbreaking – I expected a wilderness adventure, but there is so much more I didn’t anticipate. Wow.
Leni’s life is scary-real and real-life scary. All of it is very believable and realistic in author Kristin Hannah’s capable hands. The 1970s persuasively come alive. I couldn’t stop reading and yet, I was afraid of what would happen next. The setting bursts forth from the pages – making me want to see Alaska and fearing it in tandem. So good!
I would love to see this book become a movie or series. Domestic violence trigger warning. This novel is vivid and deep, but it has a beautiful ending — just tread carefully if you’ve experienced abuse. It’s not an easy road – gut-wrenching at times, but well worth the experience.
Written from a teenage girl’s point of view, the reader often gets a glimpse of the terrible reality of adulthood and what some people do to their kids. Understanding the abused and why they stay with the abuser is expertly portrayed here. Not that I agreed with the characters’ choices all the time, but I could empathize with them due to their isolation and hopelessness.
I loved this book the first time I read it, and I found it just as absorbing the second time. I’m so glad my book club chose it to read this month. It’s rare that I re-read, but I love the main character’s voice – as she sees the world around her as a teenager. So young, and yet, she has experienced too much for her age, like so many of our youth today.
I was probably more shocked at the contents the first time I read this novel. I loved it, but I wasn’t sure how I’d review it. I sat on my thoughts for a long time, so I was glad to read it again to finally articulate how it made me feel. It’s the type of book that you can love and hate at the same time because the characters are so real, and not very nice. But I was always rooting for their survival, hoping they’d find their way out of the darkness.
In the end, I realize these characters will have a lifetime of regret, as well as an understanding that it could be no other way for them at that time in their lives. I’m not sure I could have survived it. It epitomizes “what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger” in a way that leaves the reader gasping for air.
The Great Alone is deep emotion surrounded by adventure and wrapped up in the best storytelling, starring quirky characters who made me laugh and cry. I may just have to read it a third time. Kristin Hannah proves again why she easily is becoming one of my favorite authors. Now I know she’s also brave – this book took guts.
Review by Dorine, courtesy of TheZestQuest.com. Digital copy provided by the publisher for an honest review. Thanks in advance for sharing this review!
The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press (February 6, 2018)
Rated 5 out 5 – Recommended Read!
Do you enjoy adventure stories that push the envelope?