In 1974, when thirteen-year-old Leni Allbright’s volatile, unpredictable father, Ernt, a former POW, loses another job, he makes an impulsive, desperate decision: he will move the family north, to Alaska, where they will live off the land in a spectacular wilderness.
At first, the eighteen hour sunlit Alaskan summer days and the generosity of the locals make up for the family’s lack of preparation and dwindling resources, but winter in Alaska will reveal their every weakness. As the vast Alaskan landscape grows smaller and smaller in the darkness, Ernt’s fragile mental state deteriorates, and the dangers outside of their remote homestead pale in comparison to the danger within. On their small piece of land, miles from anyone, Leni and her mother, Cora, learn what all Alaskan homesteaders learn: they are on their own. There is no one to save them this far from civilization.
At once an epic story of human survival and an intimate portrait of a family tested beyond endurance, The Great Alone, offers a glimpse into a vanishing way of life in America. With her trademark combination of elegant prose and deeply drawn characters, Kristin Hannah once again delivers a can’t-put-down novel that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the remarkable, enduring strength of women. A novel as big and spectacular as Alaska itself.