Book Review Of The Enchanting The Great Alone By Kristin Hannah - 2019 - Much Ado About Everything
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Book Review of the Enchanting The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah – 2019

by AniM
The Great Alone book review

Book Review – The Great Alone

My Rating – 4 out of 5

Book Review – Plot Summary

Kristin Hannah has made a habit of churning out thrillers which climb onto the bestseller lists worldwide and tenaciously clings on there!
The Great Alone follows the life of Leni Allbright and her parents Ernt and Cora, who are very much in love and dream of making a better life for themselves and their 13 year old daughter, Leni.
Ernt, has just returned from Vietnam where he was held as a PoW and it’s the year 1974. Ernt went to war a happy man, but came back damaged. He was brooding, had mood swings and sometimes turned unpredictably and uncontrollably, angry. He, finds it difficult to hold on to jobs and predictably, loses one after the other.
This is when he decides to move the family to Alaska, and start life anew. Cora, the ever loving wife, decides to go along, burying her own misgivings. Leni, the city girl, is terrified. But Ernt prevails and the Allbrights reach Alaska to make their final stand.
In Alaska, they come across a community, which is not only warm and caring, but unbelievably resilient. They heartily welcome Leni and her folks and help them set up. But the Alaskan wilderness is unforgiving, throwing fresh challenges everyday, and though overwhelmed initially, the Allbrights cope, though Ernt still struggles with getting acceptance in the community and makes more enemies than he does friends. And then, winter comes…
18 hours of night, and the darkness is just not all around, in Ernt, it simmers within. A mentally fragile man with uncontrolled demons lurking within, he explodes through violence on Cora. Like most instances of domestic violence in society, the women not only accept it, they make excuses for it.
Besides the victim, the sisters, daughters and mothers of the perpetrators all compartmentalise the violence and let it go on. The men carry on unabashed. Well, mostly, only a very few ever come to justice.
But, I digress….Leni grows up, falls in love with Matthew Walker, who is the local rich man, Tom Walker’s son. Ernt doesn’t like Tom, mostly because Cora likes him! It goes steadily down hereafter and the romance between Matt and Leni is over-sappy and at times cringe worthy. Another likable character is Large Marge, an African American ex-lawyer from Washington D.C. who runs the local store and is everyone’s shoulder to cry on!

Conclusion of the Book Review

However, the story spirals and ends with a telling note – Alaska doesn’t build a man’s character, it reveals it…
Couple of flaws – Kristin glosses over any native Alaskan presence, and issues like domestic violence, marital rape, teen pregnancy, PTSD are subjects which have been superficially treated and not addressed. But unarguably, a good read.

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