I met Kristin Hannah and her amazing novels during the heat of an African night. I was sitting in a hostel in Zimbabwe with two fellow volunteers, about to head to bed. I was tanned with permanent Birkenstocks tattooed on my feet by the sun, and I’m almost certain I was eating peanut butter because that seemed like my whole African year- in bed with peanut butter. My friends and I were so thankful to be away from our village homes for a change, exploring one more time before our return stateside.
A few weeks back, Mallory had recommended Firefly Lane to Emily, and Emily was laying in bed crying at the heart-wrenching plot presented before her. Of course, I had to know what the book was about! I was sucked in and quickly became a part of Hannah’s made up worlds. Although I haven’t read all of her books, I can say that of the ones that I have read, her storytelling skills are well thought out and include great research. The Great Alone is no different.
This story that takes us through the Alaskan frontier follows Leni, a young impressionable teenager, and her family as they leave their civilized lives behind and head to Kaneq, a bush town, in a young Alaska. Spanning from the age of 13 to 25 and the years 1974 to 1986, we get to do life with Leni as she matures into a woman and a true survivor of the wild. Shadowed with love and violence, Leni’s family life is not one you dream of having. She is taught how to hunt her prey, survive long winter nights, and truly fight for her life in ways you would least expect. Leni is a depiction of fierce loyalty and wild at heart.
The Great Alone will keep your attention as far and as wide as the Alaskan frontier.