The Great Alone: Book Review

Alaska is a beautiful and terrifying place to live and Kristin Hannah utilizes it perfectly in her novel The Great Alone. Find out why you should read this amazing novel by one of the best recent authors!

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 Great Alone
The Great Alone book review

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. Writing like that is why I have become an avid fan of Hannah. Her writing is unique and a fresh breath of air in this day and age.

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 such as The Nightingale. Her writing style is unique and her books are an emotional rollercoaster and her characters are always full of life.

While Hannas has gotten popular because of The Nightingale, her older books are hidden gems. Books like Winter Garden and Magic Hour are amazing writing that you won’t see on most lists. But once you give them a read, you will be a fan and be grateful you gave these books a try. I know I was!


I strongly recommend this novel if you have never read a book by Hannah before. The plot is good but the real selling point is how she tells the harrowing story while also utilizing Alaska beautifully. This is a book that you will be not be able to put down once you start reading it!

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