The Great Alone: A Novel by Kristin Hannah is a really good book. I gave it 5 stars. Sometimes Kristin can be as cheesy as a Hallmark Christmas movie; I agree 100%. This is not a Hallmark movie, this is a really great story, and it actually made me tear up a few times. Okay, one part actually made me cry.
The story is about a family that moves up to Alaska in the 70’s. The father is a Vietnam vet. The mother loves him and would follow him anywhere. And the daughter is 13 years old. He had trouble dealing with society after the war, so the last frontier is their hope for a fresh start.
Especially in the wake of all our recent craziness in the news, it was interesting to be reminded of the craziness of that decade. For the first time, veterans were not welcomed home as brave heroes. Protestors were all over the place. Girls were going missing in Washington, Oregon, Utah, Colorado, and Florida because of Ted Bundy. The 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich were actually better remembered as the Munich massacre. Palestinian terrorists held Israeli athletes and coaches hostage and then killed 11 of them. This whole world is going to poop thing isn’t new. Back then, you had to wait for the newspaper or evening news to hear about it, though. Or listen to an AM radio news station. And most of the time, unless it was a really crazy event, local news is all that’s reported.
Back to the book, the first half is good. The way she describes Alaska’s landscape makes me want to go there right now and see how beautiful it is for myself. The characters are really well developed, and the story is not predictable.
The second half is a page turner, I need to know what happens right now kind of book. I dropped Violet off at preschool this morning at 9:30. Came home to read for a little bit, before I got to some housework. Then somehow it was 11:50, time to pick her up, and it was at such a good part, only 30 pages from the end. But I stopped reading and got her, of course.
I wasn’t sure how it would end, until it actually ended. It’s not a mystery or a thriller, like I seem to be gravitating towards lately. But it is #4 on Amazon’s most purchased books list right now. And it’s also on the New York Time’s Bestseller List. NBD.
If you love to read like I do, you should seriously look into joining The Book of the Month Club. You get access to books before they’re released, and so far, all of my hardback books have been $9.99 or free. Each month, you get to pick from 5 books hand picked for you based on your reading preferences. You can skip a month, or pick them all. Up to you. So far, I have gotten “The Chalk Man”, “The Woman in the Window”, “The Wife Between Us”, and this book from them.
Night Road is also a really good book by Kristin Hannah. It’s the first one I ever read from her. I haven’t read The Nightingale yet, but it’s being made into a movie and was #1 on the New York Time’s Bestseller. So I’m guessing it’s also good and it’s on my list of books to read. Have you read it?