Monday Review of The Great Alone

Is there someone in your life that is also a reader?

Do you share the same love for certain genres?

My mom is responsible for helping me learn to read at an early age. She spent hours reading to me, helping me pick out the words for myself and even walking with me to the bookmobile because we didn’t have a car. I was four or maybe five when we did that. At the time, for someone who couldn’t leave her yard, the trip there was exciting. We had to walk along the side of the road and cross a bridge!

The way back was harder. I was hot, tired, thirsty and couldn’t wait to read my books. How long was that walk? Round trip about a mile. That used to impress me until I had kids and realized just how far they will walk if they are having fun.

Mom loves reading true crime, mysteries, and things that make me want to hide under the covers. Stories were people do terrible things to each other. She says it’s human nature. I think in a different time she might have been a forensic psychologist.

I love the puppies and rainbow kind of books. Happy endings give me great joy, books with endings that end with possible good in the character’s future are my second favorites.

We have found a few places where we connect. The books aren’t true (for me) and the story is well-written and could have happened in real life.

When I finished reading Kristin Hannah’s book The Great Alone I knew it was one of those books mom and I could connect over. I ordered a paperback for mom. She’s reading it now and we are having our own little book club moment discussing it every day.

It’s set in the 1970s so that decade is a familiar one to me as I was in high school then. The angst of being a teenager and moving to another state and not having the right clothes is universal but what follows in this book I pray isn’t a normal life for anyone.

While the relationship between Leni and Cora is unhealthy it brought me back to living with my own mom. The closeness that grows between a mother and daughter when there is sadness and problems they can’t control is what kept me reading page after page. Peas in a pod is her mother’s favorite saying.

If stories of abuse are a trigger for you then please give this book a pass. If not, it’s a book full of relationships, the beauty, and roughness of Alaska, and the possibilities of hope.

Alaska, 1974. Ernt Allbright came home from the Vietnam War a changed and volatile man. When he loses yet another job, he makes the impulsive decision to move his wife and daughter north where they will live off the grid in America’s last true frontier.

Cora will do anything for the man she loves, even if means following him into the unknown. Thirteen-year-old Leni, caught in the riptide of her parents’ passionate, stormy relationship, has little choice but to go along, daring to hope this new land promises her family a better future.

In a wild, remote corner of Alaska, the Allbrights find a fiercely independent community of strong men and even stronger women. The long, sunlit days and the generosity of the locals make up for the newcomers’ lack of preparation and dwindling resources.

But as winter approaches and darkness descends, Ernt’s fragile mental state deteriorates. Soon the perils outside pale in comparison to threats from within. In their small cabin, covered in snow, blanketed in eighteen hours of night, Leni and her mother learn the terrible truth: they are on their own.

The book is $9.99 for ebook or paperback but it is also in KindleUnlimted if you have a subscription this book almost pays for your month, read one more and you’ve saved money. 🙂

About Diana Brandmeyer

Christian author Diana Lesire Brandmeyer writes historical and contemporary romances set from the Midwest to the Mountains. She’s written Mind of Her Own, Frontier Legacy Brides, Small Town Brides, and A Time for Love, among others. Once widowed and now remarried she writes with humor and experience on the difficulty of joining two families be it fictional or real life. *affiliate links are used on this site. It won't cost you more but those extra pennies keep me stocked in tea, thank you!

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