I’m still reeling from this one. Kristin Hannah‘s novels reach deep into your soul. In The Great Alone, 13-year-old Lenora (Leni) and her parents, Cora and Ernt, have moved repeatedly following her father’s release as a POW in Viet Nam. After a fellow soldier leaves land and a homestead in Alaska to him, Ernt believes he will “get better” in the freedom of the remote land.
The Great Alone takes the reader on an emotional roller coaster as Ernt’s PTSD comes and goes, getting worse and worse. This achingly beautiful yet frightening story explores the lack of mental health that was available to our returning warriors and their families. It is a commentary on how our court system treats abused women who strike back. It reminds parents of young love, and that, to be too strict can often backfire. It is also a travelogue for the fierce beauty that is Alaska.
Kristin Hannah clearly loves Alaska, for she describes the land, the brilliant colors, the Northern Lights, the water in a hauntingly beautiful language. The descriptions were intriguing and appealing, yet there was a bit too much of it. Still, this story and these characters will stay with me for a very long time. I loved this book. It will be in stores February 6, 2018.