Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Novels with Nell - The Great Alone

We are nearly to the single digits when it comes to my classroom's countdown to summer vacation which means that I will finally have a chance to pick up the books that have been waiting to be read on my bookshelf. Admittedly, I hadn't even heard of this book before Nell wrote about it although it did remind me of a book that I read to my students. While the similarities may be a bit of a stretch,  Alabama Moon, the book I read to my students, is about a young boy who lives off the grid hoping to make it to Alaska after his father passed away. The adventures the boys take in  Alabama Moon seem to be slightly more lighthearted although I'll have to add  The Great Alone to my own list to see if there are some similarities between the two books. 

By: Kristin Hannah

New this year from Kristin Hannah, author of The Nightingale among many other books, is The Great Alone. I went through this book quickly and really enjoyed it! Leni Allbright and her parents move to the Alaskan bush seeking a new way of life. Her father is a Vietnam vet and hasn’t been the same since the war. He can be angry and volatile and hopefully this new place will be a fresh start for everyone but things don’t always work out as planned. You’ll have to read the book to find out how this adventure turns out in the end - a captivating read!

“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.”

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