The Great Alone
by Kristin Hannah
St. Martin’s Press, 2018. 440 pgs. Fiction
Leni Allbright is a thirteen-year-old just trying to fit in. Her father, a form Vietnam POW, is constantly moving his family from place to place promising with each move that things will be better. Thanks to a surprise inheritance, Leni and her parents move to the Alaska wild. Completely unprepared for survival during the long brutal winter, the Allbrights need the help of the close knit community. Initially,Leni’s father seems to be thriving in the wide open wilderness, but with winter comes darkness and his own dark past starts to emerge.
Watching Leni grow up in a home threatened by domestic violence is definitely not easy, but her courage and loyalty keep the narrative from becoming too oppressive. I loved everything about this novel. The writing was as beautiful as the Alaskan landscapes it describes. The characters are wonderfully complex and the plot unexpected and engaging.