Alaska, 1974. Untamed. Unpredictable. And for a family in crisis, the ultimate test of the human spirit.
Alaska is a vast, magical landscape threaded by aquamarine rivers and bordered by immense white wastelands. The state attracts individualists and dreamers, people who are willing to go to the ends of the earth in pursuit of gold or solitude or freedom--whatever it is they desire most. But Alaska is called the Great Alone for a reason. Cut off from the rest of the United States, it is its own world. Up here, it's easy to go too far, to become too separate, and once that happens only a miracle-or a tragedy-can bring them back togethe . . .
Amid a world in political turmoil, Ernt Allbright, a Vietnam veteran and former POW, suffers from symptoms we now call PTSD but that then had no name. His volatile nature and violent temper make it hard to hold down a job. When a friend he served with leaves him a cabin in a remote part of Alaska, Ernt uproots his apprehensive wife Cora and daughter Leni, and heads north, with the promise that living off the land in the spectacular wilderness will solve their—his—problems.
At first, the move seems to heal the family; the sense of community they find in off-the-grid living is exactly the new start they needed. The eighteen hour sunlit Alaskan summer days and the generosity of the locals make up for their pronounced lack of preparation and resources.
But winter approaches. Each day that passes brings more darkness and isolation to the small homestead. As the vast Alaskan landscape grows smaller and smaller in the dark, Ernt’s symptoms become more pronounced. Cora and Leni learn what all Alaskan homesteaders learn: they are on their own. There is no one to save them this far from civilization.
Ernt falls in with a fringe, survivalist group that is preparing for the worst future possible. It doesn't take long before the survivalists clash with the locals who want growth for their small community. As a fight for the soul of their town begins, Leni falls in love with the son of Ernt’s principal adversary, and triggers a full blown crisis that will finally push Ernt over the edge.
At once a novel of the highest stakes a family can face and the bonds that can tear a community apart, The Great Alone is the finest example of Kristin Hannah's ability to weave together the deeply personal with the universal.
- Publication Date:
- 30 / 01 / 2018
- 153 x 234mm