My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I say all the time that Nora Roberts is my favourite author, but yooo Kristin Hannah is quickly usurping that title. And no, this isn’t me pitting two women against each other because we don’t do that over here.
I’ve been reading Ms. Roberts for 13/14 years now and the best way I can describe how I feel when reading one of her books is like something magical is GLOWING inside me. Her books are like decadent treats for me that I savour so deliciously, pacing myself yet gobbling them up at the same time. I had never read any of her novels before my second/third year in university, now I cannot count how many I have read since and I love that I still have a long way to go. On the other hand this is my fourth Kristin Hannah book and I can say with utmost certainty that she is now one of my top 3 favourite authors of all time. The Great Alone really cemented her as a must-read author for me as I wasn’t too sure I would enjoy a story set in Alaska in the 70s and early 80s, but this was, simply put, quite excellent. And excellent is not a word I use lightly.
I thought I would struggle with the vast descriptions of Alaska, as it is a place I haven’t had any prior interest in, but I was utterly enthralled by the author’s vivid descriptions of Alaska as a place of incomparable beauty and danger. The story was even more enthralling and I was irretrievably swept away by the fragile, abusive family dynamic of the Allbrights. Ernt is a Vietnam veteran suffering from PTSD before anyone knew what PTSD was, and this poses an even greater danger to his wife and daughter than the unpredictable, unforgiving, untamed Alaskan landscape. I LOVED the cast of secondary characters because if there is one thing Kristin Hannah does well is show the importance and strength of the relationships between female characters. I loved the tension and suspense created from the near-death experiences and more often than not I found myself skipping ahead to find out the outcomes of the multiple tales of survival because I could not turn the pages fast enough.
I loved everything about this book and will forever remember it as the first book to make me cry in over 20 years. TV shows and movies make me cry quite easily but for some reason books, one of the greatest loves of my life, don’t make me cry as easily no matter how sad they are. Hopefully this is the beginning of the waterworks 😅
** A guide to ratings **
1 star – did not like it
2 stars – it was okay
3 stars – liked it
4 stars – really liked it
5 stars – it was amazing