Linda’s Book Obsession Review of “THE GREAT ALONE’ by KRISTIN HANNAH

St. Martin’s Press, February, 2018



 Kristin Hannah, Author of “The Great Alone” has written an amazing literary masterpiece of epic proportions. I loved absolutely everything about this novel.


I appreciate the way that Kristin Hannah weaves the narrative, colorful cast of characters, literary elements, genres, scenic descriptions, and history of Alaska in one novel.


The Genres for this novel are Fiction, Historical Fiction, and there are moments of Suspense and Adventure. The timeline of this story is in the turbulent 70’s around the Vietnam War. The location of the story is in Alaska, a land of contradictions, light and darkness, beauty and danger.  The author writes several times in the novel, “Alaska is a place people are running to, or running away from”. To live in the wilderness of Alaska, one has to learn to survive.


 The author describes the characters as complex and complicated, strong and weak.

My favorite character is Leni Albright, a thirteen year old, coming of age, who has moved from place to place, always feeling alone. Leni’s father, Ernt, a former POW in Vietnam comes back an emotionally damaged man. Ernt takes Leni and his wife Cora, to live in Alaska , where they can live off the land. The local people try to help make their transition easier, and stress the dangers of winter, and wild animals.


 Despite the fact, that Leni has come from a dysfunctional family, she wants to find a place where she is not alone. Leni wants to go to school, and at time seems too mature for a young girl.  As the winter sets in Alaska, and there is darkness, Ernt steps into his own darkness and becomes abusive and paranoid. Leni fells that she has to look out and protect her mother.


Kristin Hannah writes about the importance of survival, the importance of family, friends, working hard, love and hope.


I appreciate that the author writes about important issues that exist today as well, emotional and physical abuse, PTSD, soldiers suffering from stress after coming home, and seeking professional help. Mental health for those victims of abuse is important as well. Self-worth, loyalty, compassion, and survival are issues in this novel as well.


I would highly recommend “The Great Alone” for all readers. I can see the transition of this amazing novel to the movie screen. I received an Advance Reading Copy for my honest review.



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