The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah: Book Review

Prepare to embark on an emotional rollercoaster through the wilds of Alaska in Kristin Hannah’s gripping novel, “The Great Alone.” Join the Allbright family as they navigate love, loss, and resilience in a harsh and unforgiving landscape.

Sneak Peak

“The Great Alone” follows the Allbright family – Ernt, Cora, and their teenage daughter Leni – as they move to the remote wilderness of Alaska in the 1970s. Battling Ernt’s PTSD from the Vietnam War, they try to build a new life off the grid. The family faces numerous challenges as winter approaches, testing their bonds and pushing them to their limits.

My Take

I found “The Great Alone” to be a compelling and heartbreaking tale of survival and sacrifice. Hannah’s vivid descriptions of the Alaskan landscape make you feel like you’re right there with the characters, experiencing both the beauty and brutality of nature. The complex relationships between the characters, especially the mother-daughter bond between Cora and Leni, are beautifully depicted, with moments of love and tension that feel genuine and raw.

One aspect that stood out to me was the way the author delves into themes of resilience and the strength of the human spirit. Despite the challenges they face, the characters show incredible courage and determination in the face of adversity. However, I did find some parts of the story predictable, especially in the romance subplots, which detracted slightly from the overall impact of the narrative.

What Makes the Book Unique

What sets “The Great Alone” apart is its powerful portrayal of the Alaskan wilderness as both a character in itself and a force that shapes the lives of the protagonists. The setting plays a central role in the story, influencing the characters’ decisions and actions in profound ways. Additionally, the exploration of PTSD and its effects on individuals and families adds depth to the narrative, shedding light on a topic that is not often addressed in mainstream fiction.


In conclusion, “The Great Alone” is a beautifully written and emotionally resonant novel that will stay with you long after you’ve turned the final page. With its vivid setting, compelling characters, and exploration of themes such as love, resilience, and survival, Kristin Hannah has crafted a story that is both harrowing and heartwarming. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys gripping family dramas set against rugged and unforgiving landscapes.

Rating: 4.5/5 stars

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