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Addison Public Library 1 FIC HAN Adult Fiction Book
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On Order

Summary

Summary

An instant #1 New York Times bestseller!

"A TOUR DE FORCE." -- Kirkus (starred review)

Alaska, 1974.
Unpredictable. Unforgiving. Untamed.
For a family in crisis, the ultimate test of survival.

Ernt Allbright, a former POW, comes home from the Vietnam war a changed and volatile man. When he loses yet another job, he makes an impulsive decision: he will move his family north, to Alaska, where they will live off the grid in America's last true frontier.

Thirteen-year-old Leni, a girl coming of age in a tumultuous time, caught in the riptide of her parents' passionate, stormy relationship, dares to hope that a new land will lead to a better future for her family. She is desperate for a place to belong. Her mother, Cora, will do anything and go anywhere for the man she loves, even if means following him into the unknown.

At first, Alaska seems to be the answer to their prayers. In a wild, remote corner of the state, they 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 Allbrights' lack of preparation and dwindling resources.

But as winter approaches and darkness descends on Alaska, Ernt's fragile mental state deteriorates and the family begins to fracture. 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. In the wild, there is no one to save them but themselves.

In this unforgettable portrait of human frailty and resilience, Kristin Hannah reveals the indomitable character of the modern American pioneer and the spirit of a vanishing Alaska--a place of incomparable beauty and danger. The Great Alone is a daring, beautiful, stay-up-all-night story about love and loss, the fight for survival, and the wildness that lives in both man and nature.


Author Notes

Kristin Hannah was born in Southern California in September 1960. Before becoming a full-time writer, she worked in an advertising agency and practiced law in Seattle.

Hannah and her mom began writing a novel together when her mother was suffering from cancer. When her mother died, she put the draft away and continued to practice law. While pregnant with her son, and on bed rest, she took out the draft that she and her mother had written and began to write in earnest. Her draft was done by the time she gave birth. In 1990, she became a published writer and has been writing ever since.

She has won numerous awards including the Golden Heart, the Maggie and 1996 National Reader's Choice award. In 2004, she won the Rita Award for Best Novel: Between Sisters. Her title Winter Garden made the New York Times Bestseller List for 2011. Many of Hannah's other titles have made the New York Times Bestsellers List since then including: Night Road, Home Again, Home Front, Fly Away, The Nightingale, Comfort and Joy, True Colours, and The Great Alone. She has written a series entitled Girls of Firefly Lane which includes the books, Firefly Lane, and Fly Away.

Two of her books are being made into feature films, The Nightingale, and Home Front.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 4

Booklist Review

Hannah (The Nightingale, 2015) takes readers on a journey to Alaska in the 1970s with the Allbright family: damaged Vietnam vet Ernt; his devoted wife, Cora; and their 13-year-old daughter, Leni, the novel's protagonist. Initially unhappy to leave her Seattle home, Leni soon falls in love with the wilds of remote Kaneq. Leni adjusts to the lack of electricity, running water, and indoor plumbing, but her father's increasingly erratic and violent behavior is much harder to endure. Leni finds an escape in her books and her one-room school, where she meets Matthew, the only other kid her age in the area. Matthew becomes Leni's best friend and eventually her first love. But Leni's father's irrational hatred of Matthew's family threatens to keep them apart, and Leni fears her father's uncontrollable rage could be the death of her and her fragile mother. Though smaller in scope than her previous blockbuster, in this tightly focused drama, Hannah vividly evokes the natural beauty and danger of Alaska and paints a compelling portrait of a family in crisis and a community on the brink of change. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: In addition to the draw of Hannah's massive popularity, this dark family adventure will be rolled out with an enormous first print run, extensive media coverage, and a major author tour.--Huntley, Kristine Copyright 2017 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

Voice actor Whelan ratchets up the suspense in her tense narration of this tale of Ernt Albright, a Vietnam vet with PTSD, who takes his wife, Cora, and 13-year-old daughter, Leni, to Alaska to live off the grid. After a soldier buddy dies and leaves Ernt a plot of land with a shack, the family moves there, hoping that a life among nature and fending for themselves will be a fresh start and a good fit for Ernt. But the isolation, darkness, and cold only exacerbate Ernt's irrational paranoia and anger. Whelan easily differentiates the voices of the three main characters: Ernt growls with rage, and Cora's voice trembles with fear while attempting to sound light and casual as she tries to placate Ernt, and Leni sounds both youthful and frightened. The secondary characters are just as memorable. Whelan gives a no-nonsense tone to Large Marge, a neighbor; she also perfects the ranting and raving of Mad Earl, a conspiracy theorist whose far-out beliefs fuel Ernt's paranoia. Whelan is especially effective during the violent scenes: instead of getting louder or more emotional, she drops her voice to a tense and chilling whisper. This edge-of-your-seat audiobook will keep listeners riveted. A St. Martin's hardcover. (Feb.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Library Journal Review

Meet the Allbrights: post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)-afflicted Vietnam War returnee Ernt, his perennially in-denial wife Cora, and mature-beyond-her-years teenager Leni. Bequeathed a remote homestead in 1974 by a fallen army buddy, Ernt relocates his family to wild, remote Alaska, chasing dreams of self-sufficiency and simple independence. The family's dramatic unraveling as unprepared pioneers is exacerbated by Ernt's alcoholism-fueled brutality, Cora's desperate forgiveness, and Leni's unwillingness to reveal her parents' toxic bond even to the most welcoming, experienced locals. Despite her complicity, Leni finds friendship and love-and, eventually, salvation. Chameleonic veteran Julia Whelan makes the 15 hours of Hannah's (The Nightingale) latest best seller unstoppable, as she agilely narrates the twists and turns. Her characterizations beyond the fearsome trio are especially affecting, including general store owner (and former DC prosecutor!) Large Marge and Leni's soulmate Matthew in all his post-accident frustration and miraculous struggles toward recovery. Throughout the darkness and destruction that abounds, remember the name is Allbright-glimmers of lightness illuminate, with a final on-the-bright-water scene that will leave readers swathed in relief and joy. VERDICT Libraries should prepare for guaranteed demand. ["Not a cozy read, yet Hannah's fans will appreciate the astuteness of the story and the unbreakable connection between mother and child": LJ 10/1/17 review of the St. Martin's hc.]-Terry Hong, Smithsonian BookDragon, Washington, DC © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


School Library Journal Review

Set in 1974 Alaska, this sweeping tale follows a girl coping with the dangers of domestic violence. Though ill-prepared for the extreme and harsh conditions, 13-year-old Leni and her parents, Ernt and Cora, have to learn how to survive in the unforgiving wild of their new home on the Kenai Peninsula. With the help of the small-knit community of endearing fellow homesteaders, the Allbrights manage to just barely stay afloat. But Ernt, who has never recovered from the trauma of fighting in the Vietnam War, struggles with the isolation and the interminably dark days of winter. Leni grows up witnessing her father (who is increasingly unable to control his paranoia and jealousy) abuse her beloved mother. Leni's greatest comfort and escape is her schoolmate and neighbor Matthew. Over the years, their friendship evolves into a forbidden romance. Hannah highlights, with vivid description, the natural dangers of Alaska juxtaposed against incongruous violence. VERDICT Give to teens who loved the author's The Nightingale and to fans of Jodi Picoult.-Tara Kehoe, Charlotte Mecklenburg -Library, Charlotte, NC © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


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