I first came across this book sometime last year after reading another stunning read- Nightingale by Kristin Hannah. I could not wait to dig into it. With my previous experience with the same author was an awesome read, The Nightingale see my review here. This makes Kristin Hannah officially on my list of favorite authors.
Great Alone is set in the United States during the late sixties and goes up to recent times. We meet the Albright family that is struggling in the midst of turmoil within the country that includes; bombings and kidnappings. Mr. Albright also known as Ernt, had a friend who he met while away during the Vietnam War. This friend left him a piece of land back in Alaska.
Since Ernt left the Vietnam War he is a different man. He battles alcoholism, post-traumatic stress. He promises his wife Cora and daughter Lena that he will be a better person once they land in Alaska. Do things change? Themes of love, family, hope bring this family together as well as tear them apart.
I loved the Alaska community, a group of people who helped the Albright family settle down as newbies in the town. As they became part of the community they also came to the family’s rescue when they needed financial and emotional support.
The character and plot development was on point. The characters are carefully laid out and as a reader, you grow with them as the book progresses. Lena was certainly a favorite for me as she had hope and determination that her family will have a better life at Alaska. I connected with Lena as she reminded me of her my teenage self and how I would react when I liked a boy. I loved her connection with her boyfriend Mathew. Since their family moved from place to place, she never really connected and had friends and Mathew seemed to be her first friend. Another favorite character was large Marge who helped develop the story line as well as came through for the Albright girls.