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Publisher's Summary

Alaska, 1974. Untamed. Unpredictable. A story of a family in crisis struggling to survive at the edge of the world, it is also a story of young and enduring love.

Cora Allbright and her husband, Ernt, a recently returned Vietnam veteran scarred by the war, uproot their 13-year-old daughter, Leni, to start a new life in Alaska. Utterly unprepared for the weather and the isolation, but welcomed by the close-knit community, they fight to build a home in this harsh, beautiful wilderness.

At once an epic story of human survival and love 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 has delivered an enormously powerful story that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the remarkable and enduring strength of women.

About the highest stakes a family can face and the bonds that can tear a community apart, this is an audiobook as spectacular and powerful as Alaska itself. It is the finest example of Kristin Hannah's ability to weave together the deeply personal with the universal.

©2018 Kristin Hannah (P)2018 Macmillan Digital Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

wonderful novel

I thoroughly enjoyed and was entertained throughout, it had a great story line and narration was excellent 5 stars

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Beautiful. Loved the characters and descriptions

Amazingly rendered picturesque scenes of Alaska. I enjoyed this book so much, I can't even tell you.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Wow!

I fell in love with this book. One of the best I’ve listened to in a while. The story was rich in detail and pulled on my heart strings.

A beautiful and heartbreaking look at family dynamics in an Alaska bought to life with wonderful descriptions.

Julie Whelan was amazing as always.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

So many emotions

I must admit it took me awhile to get into this book. I am so glad I persisted. Makes me want to go to Alaska. Brilliant read. Highly recommend.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

An epic story. .. heartbreaking yet full of love

What a wonderful book. I am in love with Alaska! I felt sad when it finished. Although very sad at times there still was a feeling of hope. Fantastic!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

What an emotional roller coaster

This was an amazing novel. l did find the abuse hard to cope with, and wondered if it would ever end, l cannot understand why any woman would tolerate being treated like that, especially continually, or let there child be put in that danger Corra,s stupidity did annoy me, the fact that she continually thought things would change, and to be victim for so long. The story was all about the choices we make and how those choices affect everyone else in our lives. Both parents were very selfish people in that they always put there love first before there daughter's and neither really knew the meaning g of love, love is also letting go, not being possessive. It was a very sick relationship and the book will affect me for a long time, l feel troubled by the book, not the sort of thing l would normally read.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Another great tale

I really enjoy Kristan Hannah's books and this certainly didn't let me down...and loved the ending :)

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Absolutely amazing story

An amazing story and great narration. This rates as one if the best I've read or listened to.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Susan
  • Tomewin, NSW, Australia
  • 11-04-2018

So good, really....

What did you like most about The Great Alone?

the astounding ability of Kristin Hannah to evoke the nature of the environment in which the story is set. I want to go there, I want to live there...

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Great Alone?

Going back to Alaska, toward the end

Which scene did you most enjoy?

this may seem crazy but the scene when mum was dying and daughter was there, talking and being with her, despite everything. I have experienced this, with my husband and the scene evoked some deeply poignant memories, sad yes but beautiful.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Always be prepared, always.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Heidi
  • Australia
  • 23-03-2018

Great setting but too much melodrama for me

I am feeling so very torn writing this review. I loved the first ¾ of The Great Alone. No, I mean I really, really LOVED it! There is nothing better than armchair travel into a wild and remote place, and The Great Alone delivered that in spades. Hannah’s description of the harsh and yet beautiful Alaskan landscape created images so vivid that I could have mistaken them for real personal memories. I was living and breathing the story, and it totally sucked me in.

Hannah certainly knows how to wreak havoc with her readers’ emotions, and she proves this once again with her latest book. Telling a story of domestic violence and dysfunctional family dynamics through the eyes of a beautiful and smart thirteen-year-old was always going to upset your average reader, and the descriptions of Ernt Allbright’s violence evoked almost visceral emotions of anger and fear as he terrorised his poor family. I thought that she did a great job in portraying this man affected by PTSD, self-medicating with alcohol to overcome his demons, misunderstood by society in the era the book was set in. I have met men like him, and whilst I could not condone his actions, my heart went out to him for the damage that had been done to him by war. As the Alaskan winter approached, it was not only Leni who could foresee the problems that the dark and confinement would cause the Allbright family – the reader knows it, too. With the construction of the wall, tension built into such a powder-keg of impending doom that I couldn’t put the book down until I knew how this would play out. There was such great potential here for a nail-biting finale that I felt totally devastated and let down when the story took an about turn and turned into a mixture between a hallmark movie and a tea-time soapie.

At this point the story descended into a YA romance / tearjerker that stood in stark contrast to the tense tale of survival and family drama I had so enjoyed earlier. WTH happened? Obviously, I am not the target audience here, as I avoid those melodramatic stories like the plague, being much too old and cynical for such tearjerker moments. I wanted to go back to the moment it all turned to mush, and follow through with the careful groundwork the author had laid for a nail-biting finale full of tension, danger and fight for survival. Instead, there were a few quick fixes, a huge jump in the timeline and lots and lots of melodrama – I could hear the violins playing in the background.

So, how do you rate a book you both loved and hated equally? It’s hard to even consolidate the two very separate parts of the story. I am left feeling slightly cheated, as if standing in front of Ernt’s wall with the door firmly bolted shut to the fitting end of a story I had loved. But hey, I am one in a million and don’t let my old cynical self stop you from reading a book 90% of readers obviously adored. Seldom has a book made such waves on social media, so Hannah has found a formula that works for most of her audience. Sadly, that obviously doesn’t include me. Whilst the Allbrights will stay in my mind for some time to come, as I imagine different outcomes to their story, the one thing I will take away from the book is the visual image of a wild Alaska, and a truly magnificent armchair travel experience.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Marlieke
  • 11-05-2018

Loved iT

I really loved this story. The narrator spoke a little too fast for me though, but performed the story very well. I highly recommend.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Nadine Snyman
  • 02-06-2018

Brilliant, Beautiful, Epic (Listen / Read)

This was the first book by Kristin Hannah I have experienced. This book was amazing and the narration was excellent(Julia is soft and easy on the ear and amazing with her character switches giving this book and story the credit and justice it deserves). Often I struggle to rate books because I can’t give half stars so effectively my rating is rounded up - this is not the case with this book. It deserves the full 5 stars. There are many dimensions to consider when rating including but not limited to storyline, accessibility, style, rhythm, prose, underlining themes and its ability to draw you right into the heart of the story.... this book hit the mark on every single one of these. Heart wrenching story - beautifully and eloquently written (and narrated) which can’t be lost in in the multitude of stories in your mind and heart if you are an avid reader.... Both author and narrator deserve such acclamation for this work of artistic excellence!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Matthias Meier
  • 30-04-2018

Awesome Story

great story that sucks you in and doesn't let you stop listening. the 15 hours don't feel long at all

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Eran
  • 23-04-2018

Beautiful!

Finishing the book and feeling sorry I couldn't board a plane to go and see Alaska...
"Alone is overrated " totally agree with that statement.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Carolina Miroslava
  • 21-03-2018

Felt the last frontier

Sorry for the cheese but being a mountain cyclist I loved Alaska as a character.

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Hawksamillion
  • 26-06-2018

Not for me

I found the writing very wooden. Often the writer signposts the emotional tone or implication in a rather bland and unsubtle way. The characters are rather two-dimensional. The love story is just too sugary and many characters speak only in jaded aphorisms. For me this is ok as a fast page turner when you want to just read and switch off your brain but nothing more..

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kim
  • 24-03-2018

Gripping

One of the best books I’ve read in years. Stayed up all night long listening to it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Rakel Osk Eckard
  • 14-07-2018

I loved it

A beautiful story that I enjoyed very much. Can't wait to read or listen to next Kristin Hannah book.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Rebecca
  • 01-07-2018

How a community failed to safeguard a child

There were so many times in this novel when this girl could have been protected from harm it is unbelievable. Her mother may have lost the plot but there were teachers, friends ( written as, as strong women!!) who knew exactly what was happening and intervened intermittently and failed this girl on so many levels because her father (and mother) were truly bonkers. I am glad I do not live in Alaska. Not because of the weather, the hard living conditions, remote living or any other difficulty from the environment but because all those so called supportive neighbors (who often very forcefully voiced their concerns) did not get this girl out. The novel was ridiculous in its plot, disjointed and disappointing.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Rachel
  • 14-06-2018

BEST BOOK I'VE EVER LISTENED TO!!!

Thank you Kristin Hannah. You captured a whole chunk of my life. I worked in Alaska during the years of the setting of this book. I met the people from Anchorage to Fairbanks. The people who worked on the pipeline and their families. I remember the Land of the Midnight Sun. The moose and reindeer who strolled into town, and the black bears who reminded us we were not the top of the food chain in this extraordinary landscape. I saw cabbages the size of VW Bugs in the Matanuska Valley ... and the mosquitoes. People say New Yorkers are tough -- and they are -- but no one who hasn't lived in Alaska will ever be Alaska Tough. These people are the salt of the earth and have roots like an Oak tree. There is no one like them! I remember Alaska as what America, and life, should always remain.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Dolly w
  • 09-05-2018

Stick with it

This book was recommended to me by a few friends. For the first few chapters I thought I had wasted my money. The story felt dull and I didn't enjoy the narrators voice. Then about an hour in it hooked me and I loved it. An epic tale.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Khelger
  • 23-04-2018

Amazing!

Loved this book from start to finish - the characters, the setting, the narration. If you like Kristin Hannah’s other books, you will definitely enjoy this one.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Deep purple
  • 26-03-2018

Enjoyable

Where does The Great Alone rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Not the best, definitely not the worst

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Great Alone?

The descriptions of Alaska

Which character – as performed by Julia Whelan – was your favourite?

The mother - though she needed a shake

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Neither

Any additional comments?

Good insight into violent relationships

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Aisling
  • 06-03-2018

Magnificent but with just a little too much sugar

The descriptions of Alaska and the life style were breathtakingl. The story of the little girl and het dysfunctional family was wonderful in its complexity. worth 5 stars. unfortunately I found the love story just a bit too sugary for my liking so I'm just giving it 4 stars.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Emer
  • 05-03-2018

great read.

loved it, and it was narrated beautifully, descriptive, poignant, captivating, had me hooked from start to finish.