Saturday, July 31, 2021
The Great Alone
Worth. The. Hype. Honestly, I liked this even better than Kristin Hannah's, "The Nightingale," and that book was a masterpiece! I zipped through this one, unable to put it down. It was gripping from the beginning and I know that this is a book I will return to. Set in the remote Alaskan wilderness, this coming of age story features a young girl trying to navigate her parent's stormy relationship and make friends of her own (a hard task when there are only about 30 people in town). Leni's father came back from Vietnam a changed man, prone to violent outbursts, restlessness, and crazy ideas. When his buddy from Vietnam wills him a cabin up in Alaska, he packs his family into their VW van and moves them across county into the great alone. They are woefully under-prepared for their first winter and that summer the townsfolk comes together to help out the newcomers. Little does Leni's family realize how long the winters are and how short daylight is; Leni's father mood shifts ever darker. Despite the darkness in her father their is beauty everywhere: in their new neighbors, the rugged wilderness, the value of hard work and borrowed books. Beautifully written; this love letter to Alaska will resonate with readers and have readers rooting for Leni. Tears may fall, dreams may be born, anything is possible.