Kristen Hannah’s The Great Alone highlights women’s rights, domestic violence in Alaska
This compelling story of perseverance in a 1970’s Alaskan wilderness portrays a mother & daughter who are determined to survive both the harsh environment and the abusive husband/father.
Hannah wrote a wonderful ode to Alaska and she has the personal experience to give insight into a climate many of us can only imagine. This women’s tale of grit and determination kept me reading even when the prose became cliche and the dialogue was cringe-worthy sometimes. I like
the first half of the book the best, learning about how Leni and her mother survived harsh Alaskan winters in 1970s and the even more devastating abuse of Leni’s father.
Spoilers ahead: The characters are a bit flat, compared to The Nightingale. Might be unfair to compare in a sense as the topics are in different categories of time periods.
I wish Matthew’s story had more depth and more of his perspective. The whole have a baby and keep a part of the man trope was weak. I think The Nightingale is a better written book but I enjoyed the descriptions of the Alaskan world in Great Alone. And I
wish Large Marge had been the narrator also (she’s the strong female Shop owner who seems so caricatured here).
However my criticism is based on loving the story of a woman am showing grit and perseverance to survive. I know I appreciate the inspiration. Both books highlight women who undergo major life changing tragedies and their families fight for survival is key. Couldn’t we all use more inspiration to
show our grit in our lives as well?