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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

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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
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Philip
  • Upper Hutt, New Zealand
  • 29-08-2018

An Epic story informed by experience

Having only recently returned from Alaska, this novel was truly meaningful. It is such a beautiful if unforgiving country full of characters you don’t associate with The United States, possibly more rural Canadians. This novel also had meaning in other ways. The hidden violence within marriage, the enduring love that seems no longer to exist and the sense of home and family. In most ways a woman’s book - although that in itself is stereotypical. At least this man found it both meaningful and charming. Great writing and impressive narration. It deserves to be a best seller on Audible. My wife I know will love it.

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

Amazing

I loved this book so much! Everything that I want from an Audible book..including a beginning...a middle and an end. Sad, memorable, interesting, educational, disturbing, elevating and mostly edge of my seat waiting for more.

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

Too much detail.

A good plot but could do with some editing - a lot of unnecessary detail, especially around the colour and make of the clothes they were wearing!

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

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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
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kindle Customer
  • 19-08-2018

Loved it.

Loved it, so well written. By far my favorite Kristen Hannah book. A love letter to Alaska

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 06-08-2018

Too much

Although I definitely enjoy a sob story every now and again, I agree with other reviewers that this book was a little on the depressing side to the extent that it was difficult to read sometimes.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    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
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    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
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    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
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 21-08-2018

Outstanding

One of the best books I have ever read! Perfect in every way. Sad to be finished.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • 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
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    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
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Miss
  • 11-09-2018

Best book I've listened to in so long!

Beautiful setting with so many twists and turns. I fell in love with the characters, they were described so well, and the story was just brilliant, really didn't want it to end. loved it!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mrs Linda Best
  • 19-08-2018

Seemed like just a couple of hours long.

I took every opportunity to listen to the next part of the book when listening to this story. I usually listen whilst dog walking, ironing, in the car etc but I found myself literally just sitting still to listen to this story as I was so concerned about the characters that I needed to make sure in my head that they were ok. Its a story of love, resilience and tenacity mixed with brutality, ignorance and weakness. The narrator had a great voice which switched effortlessly between the characters.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • marion callow
  • 23-07-2018

Harrowing and beautiful

Such an amazing story with such depth and understanding of a world so different to most of us. A love story, a crime story and a travelogue all in one,.
Thank you for such an emotional read.

  • 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.