No Spoiler Book Review
I know I am a little behind on Kristin Hannah. Costco is selling value packs of her books, for god’s sake. I avoided her for a long time because, I don’t like sad books. I know it’s limiting, but it’s true. I finally read Nightingale about two years ago and now, Great Alone. I will never avoid Hannah again. She has earned my trust, and apparently Costco’s.
The Great Alone features a family that decides to live off the land in 1970s Alaska. It does not go well. Basically, if it can go wrong, it does. Which is probably pretty realistic for people trying to survive in Alaska. Somehow, even with all the devastating things that happen there is always the exact right amount of hope to keep you reading. Kristin Hannah is the master of manipulating my emotions.
I don’t usually like books or movies set in the ‘70s. They focus too heavily on the nightclub and drug scene, which is completely uninteresting to me. While this book is set in the 70s, there are none of the typical elements that I avoid. The setting is perfect for this story, post-Vietnam War and limited technology. People living in rural Alaska at the time might not even have electricity, let alone a telephone. Lots of political tension and dangerous isolation. Perfect.
This is my first ever Bossy Book Club selection. The Great Alone would be a great choice for most book clubs. Discussion questions are available from Kristin Hannah’s website. This book will appeal to readers of historical fiction, family drama, general fiction, popular fiction and literary fiction. People who are interested in life in Alaska and living off the grid, might be interested in this fictional rendition of that lifestyle. Read this when you are in the mood for a devastating yet hopeful cry.
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