Alaska is a beautiful and terrifying place to live. That is why it makes for a great setting in a novel and Kristin Hannah uses it to full effect in The Great Alone.
The Great Alone: Summary
The Allbrights move to Alaska on an impulse. Ernst, who is a former POW and served in the Vietnam, wants a new start with his wife Cora and daughter Leni. But Ernst has demons that he cannot escape from and the family have to live around them or pay the price.
Cora loves her husband a lot but in his darkest moments, he is not himself. Ernst’s temper gets the best of him and he becomes violent. The move to Alaska was supposed to be a new start for the family. However, when they arrive there, the Allbrights find out that Alaska is unlike any other place in the world and it makes you tough or kicks you out.
The family receives help and friendship from their neighbors who live quite a distance because this is Alaska after all. As the family gets acclimated to the new life, they find out that some things you cannot run away from. Now, Cora and Leni must survive the storm that is Ernst while Alaska roars outside.
The Great Alone uses the state of Alaska to perfectly convey the storm that is brewing within the characters. Alaska is not friendly to outsiders and we see how it goes to a foreign place to a second home to Cora and Leni.
Hannah is an amazing writer and I recommend all her books. She has become one of my favorite authors in the past decade with a bunch of memorable books. Her writing style is unique and her books are an emotional rollercoaster and her characters are always full of life.
You can see just that in this novel and which is why I strongly recommend it. The plot is good but the real selling point is how she tells the harrowing story while also utilizing Alaska beautifully. This a book you will be not regret picking up!