The Great Alone Book Summary - The Great Alone Book explained in key points

The Great Alone summary

Kristin Hannah

Brief summary

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah is a gripping story of survival and resilience set in the wild and unforgiving landscape of 1970s Alaska. It follows the Allbright family as they face the brutal challenges of nature and their own inner demons.

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    The Great Alone
    Summary of key ideas

    The Alluring Yet Harsh Alaskan Wilderness

    In The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah, we are introduced to the Allbright family, who are struggling to cope with the aftermath of the Vietnam War. Ernt, the father, is a former POW who is grappling with severe PTSD, and his wife, Cora, is trying her best to support him. The couple's teenage daughter, Leni, is caught in the middle of their tumultuous relationship. In a desperate attempt to start afresh, Ernt decides to move his family to the remote wilderness of Alaska.

    Initially, the Allbrights are captivated by the untamed beauty of their new surroundings. They are welcomed by a tight-knit community of fellow homesteaders who teach them the necessary survival skills. The family begins to believe that they have finally found the peace and tranquility they were seeking. However, as the long, sunlit days of summer give way to the harsh, unforgiving Alaskan winter, Ernt's mental state deteriorates, and the family's idyllic life starts to unravel.

    The Unraveling of a Family

    As the winter sets in, Ernt's PTSD intensifies, and he becomes increasingly paranoid and violent. The family is isolated, and the darkness and cold of the Alaskan winter only serve to exacerbate their situation. Leni, who had initially been excited about the move, now finds herself living in constant fear, both for her own safety and that of her mother.

    Despite the harsh conditions and her husband's erratic behavior, Cora remains loyal to Ernt, believing that she can help him overcome his demons. She refuses to leave him, even when it becomes clear that their lives are in danger. Leni, on the other hand, begins to question her mother's decisions and struggles with her own feelings of anger and helplessness.

    Survival and Self-Discovery

    As the family battles the elements and Ernt's increasingly violent outbursts, Leni finds solace in her friendship with Matthew, a boy from a neighboring homestead. Matthew's family provides a stark contrast to the Allbrights, offering a stable and loving environment. Through her friendship with Matthew, Leni begins to see that there are healthier ways to live and love.

    As the winter draws to a close, the situation at the Allbright's homestead reaches a breaking point. In a harrowing climax, Leni and Cora are forced to confront the reality of their situation and make difficult decisions about their future. It is a test of survival, not just against the Alaskan wilderness, but against the very person who was supposed to protect them.

    Lessons Learned and New Beginnings

    In the aftermath of the climactic events, Leni and Cora are left to pick up the pieces of their shattered lives. They come to terms with the fact that they cannot change Ernt, and that their priority must be their own safety and well-being. The novel ends with the two women leaving Alaska, determined to start anew and build a life free from fear and violence.

    In conclusion, The Great Alone is a powerful exploration of the impact of PTSD on a family, set against the backdrop of the stunning yet unforgiving Alaskan wilderness. It is a story of survival, resilience, and the enduring bond between a mother and daughter. Through their experiences, Leni and Cora learn valuable lessons about love, sacrifice, and the strength to break free from destructive cycles.

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    What is The Great Alone about?

    The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah is a gripping story that takes you to the wild and remote landscape of Alaska. It follows the journey of a young girl named Leni and her family as they try to build a new life off the grid. With themes of resilience, survival, and the power of love, this book will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very end.

    The Great Alone Review

    The Great Alone (2018) by Kristin Hannah is a captivating story set in the wilderness of Alaska, where a teenage girl faces the challenges of love, survival, and self-discovery. Here's why this book is a must-read:

    • With its richly-described setting and evocative prose, it transports readers to the rugged beauty of Alaska, creating an immersive reading experience.
    • The book delves into complex familial relationships and explores themes of resilience, forgiveness, and the enduring power of love, making it emotionally gripping.
    • The Great Alone tackles important social issues such as domestic abuse and PTSD, shedding light on the human capacity for strength and healing.

    Who should read The Great Alone?

    • Readers who enjoy immersive stories set in remote and rugged landscapes
    • Those who appreciate complex and multifaceted characters
    • People who are interested in explorations of resilience, survival, and the human spirit

    About the Author

    Kristin Hannah is an award-winning author known for her captivating storytelling and emotional depth. With a career spanning over three decades, she has written numerous bestsellers, including 'The Nightingale' and 'Firefly Lane'. Hannah's ability to create rich and complex characters, as well as her skill in exploring the intricacies of human relationships, has earned her a dedicated following of readers. Her work often delves into themes of resilience, love, and the power of the human spirit.

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    The Great Alone FAQs 

    What is the main message of The Great Alone?

    The main message of The Great Alone is the resilience of the human spirit in the face of adversity.

    How long does it take to read The Great Alone?

    The reading time for The Great Alone varies depending on the reader. However, the Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is The Great Alone a good book? Is it worth reading?

    The Great Alone is worth reading for its captivating story and powerful exploration of family and survival.

    Who is the author of The Great Alone?

    The author of The Great Alone is Kristin Hannah.

    What to read after The Great Alone?

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