Book Review – The Great Alone

book review the great alone

You ever get that feeling that you were meant to read or see something just at the right time? Like when you randomly go see a movie and end up loving it? That’s how I feel about this book. The Great Alone, by Kristin Hannah was recommended to me by a fellow book club member. And although I have enjoyed Kristin Hannah’s novels before, for some reason, the synopsis of the book didn’t grab me. But I put it on hold at the library anyway.

Turns out, I loved this book. I loved reading about Alaska. I loved the character Leni. I loved reading about a way of living that doesn’t rely on technology and the latest and greatest trend, a time when your community and your life was quite small, but often, incredibly rich. I couldn’t help thinking about how much of that tight knit community feel is missing from just about everywhere in North America. And don’t worry, I get it. In the case of The Great Alone, they really had no choice but to bond and rely on each other…it was life and death, really.

It was emotional to read Leni and her mom’s relationship as you got to see them evolve over decades and through many life events. I also liked that Cora was self aware enough to admit she was weak when it came to her husband and that she just couldn’t fight the love she felt for him. As always, stories that included lots of family dynamics make for many heart string moments. In this book, I found them touching and raw, and beautiful.

After reading this book, anyone else have a desire to head to Alaska? I do! I know it’s been reported that Kristin Hannah did a ton of research for this book in order to be able to paint a vivid and accurate picture of the Alaskan landscape. It totally drew me in, and I am not usually one to enjoy descriptive geographical details in a book. I am glad to hear that this book has already been optioned to be turned into a movie. Shailene Woodley would make a good Leni I think.

As I mentioned in my last book review, I was feeling done with the thriller genre. While The Great Alone does have some dark parts to it, I think I enjoyed it so much since I was far from a typically thriller story that has been saturating the book market lately. Like I said, the timing just seemed perfect for me to pick up this book and get lost in it’s unique story.

Now, how long do you think we’ll have to wait for her next novel? In the mean time, there are so many other books to read! I just started The Favourite Sister by Jessica Knoll. I know, I know…it’s a thriller.  I’ll report back with thoughts soon!

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