BOOK REVIEW: The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah 4/5

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah 
ScrappyMags 3-word review: Escape to Alaska?
Genre: Chic-Lit/contemporary fiction (my 6th Hannah book I’ve read)
Shortest summary ever: It’s the 1970’s and 13 year-old Lenora “Leni” Allbright is suddenly uprooted to Alaska by her Vietnam vet dad and can’t-leave-the-man-I-love mom after inheriting a plot of land in the lush, beautiful wilderness. Hoping her father will “get better”, she acquiesces, but life is hard in Alaska and Leni’s days are full of chores, constantly prepping for winter, and worrying as her father slowly worsens when days grow shorter and shorter and a long, cold winter settles around them. Amidst the cold terrain, friendship and love flourish – a special friend named Matthew provides Leni with what she desperately needs – someone to talk to. Neighbors care for her and pitch in to help the Allbrights. However, the demons battled by her father won’t simply die and her mother’s love for him seem to push Leni’s life in directions she never sees coming…
What’s good under the hood: Alaska. I think there might be a part in all of us that thinks – What if I LEFT, went to Alaska and disappeared and lived in a cabin. Or maybe that’s just me? I adored that flight-from-the-every-day fantasy aspect alive in this book. As a child we had 5 acres in rural Northern Michigan. No TV, phone, or bathroom. And I loved every second of it. I’m sold on Alaska (to visit … I’m not cut out for mountain life) and felt is was almost a character in the story – an entity given breadth and life. That and the town – the people, the LIFE was by far the best part of this book.
What’s bad or made me mad: I will fervently admit that I am and forever will find it difficult to understand women who refuse to leave abusive husbands, particularly when they have children and particularly when they are offered multiple ways to escape. I found some of the book predictable but that was okay, made up for with wonderful writing.
Recommend to:
  • Hannah fans will give this an easy 5.
  • It’s great chic-lit (not really my jam right now, but I can acknowledge it’s a wonderful addition to the genre)
  • If you’re in the mood for love, Alaska, passion, ruggedness, small town life, etc..
Thanks to NetGalley, St. Martin’s Press and the author for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review and for many Googlings of the Alaskan wilderness.

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