(sometimes) weekly sporadic post in which I share an audiobook recommendation to add to your hitlist rotation.
Title: The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah
Synopsis (from Goodreads):
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 it 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.
You guys, this book! GAH! I read/listened to it months ago, and just the thought of it rips my emotions wide open again. Julia Whelan did a phenomenal job bringing this cast and story to life, and I’m highly highly recommending it.
Hannah’s writing transported me to the Alaskan wild so vividly, it was almost startling to realize I was still in Wisconsin when I looked around. And the characters and storyline were some of the most engaging that I’ve read this year. I waited a long time to dive into this book because I didn’t want all of the hype to affect my reading experience. Honestly? I don’t think that’s even possible. This book was absolutely amazing.
I think it’s important to note that the content of this book may be highly problematic for some readers. Ernt suffers PTSD as a result of his time spent in the Vietnam War, and there is a significant amount of graphic domestic violence within these pages. That being said, if you’re someone who is able to comfortably read this type of content, the story is well worth the time.
Highly recommend. ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
Listening stats: 15 hours, 2 minutes; narrated by Julia Whelan