Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Audio Review: The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah

When the opportunity arose to review the latest novel in audio of one of my favorite authors I jumped at the chance. #1 NYT Kristin Hannah always delivers a remarkable and unforgettable tale and The Great Alone her latest offering is one of the best books I've read ever.
Enjoy this showcase, my review and an audio sample!



ISBN-13: 9781427287540
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Release Date: 2-06-2018
Length: 15hrs-20mins
Source: Macmillan Audio
Buy It: Amazon/B&N/Kobo/Audible
ADD TO : GOODREADS
Overview:
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 audiobook about love and loss, the fight for survival, and the wildness that lives in both man and nature.


Reviews–
"Listeners, beware: You won't want to stop listening to narrator Julia Whelan's performance of this complex story of survival and family...With pitch-perfect timing and a touch of drama, Whelan exquisitely builds the tension, creating an enveloping atmosphere of foreboding that's difficult to turn away from...a don't miss audiobook experience." —AudioFile Magazine

"Reliably alluring...The Great Alone is packed with rapturous descriptions of Alaskan scenery… Hannah remembers and summons an undeveloped wilderness, describing a gloriously pristine region in the days before cruise ships discovered it." — The New York Times Daily Review

"Kristin Hannah's new novel makes Alaska sound equally gorgeous and treacherous — a glistening realm that lures folks into the wild and then kills them there." — The Washington Post





My Review
The Great Alone
Kristin Hannah

Hannah’s latest, The Great Alone is about new beginnings and dangerous old habits. Set in the recent past of the 1970s with a third person narrative that gives readers the big picture of an enormous landscape this author once again tackles the lasting affects of war and the string of destruction wrought by one damaged war vet left untreated for a condition we now know as PTSD. He’s a villain and yet the audience is expertly led to feel empathy and understanding for him. Her portrayal of Lenny an, always in the middle, daughter who comes of age in Alaska is fantastic and seeing how she deals with the isolation and her father’s condition plus her absolute love of her mother and her coming to love the land of the midnight sun of summer and the endless nights of winter is unforgettable. It’s also a love of the land familial and passionate love stories plus love of community and a reminder that no one man is an island. Kristin has never disappointed me and I have loved everything she’s written but I think this piece of brilliant literature may outshine them all.
NARRATION:
This is my first experience with Julie Whelan and  I enjoyed her beautifully articulate voice which is a perfect way to enjoy this epic tale as she dots all her Is and crosses her Ts and gives an unforgettably emotional rendition of the novel bringing to life the absolute enormousness of Alaska. Her vocal interpretations are remarkable and she catches both female and male intonations perfectly but her child voice is absolutely amazing.
SUMMARY:
In 1974 Ernst Albright had already gone to war for his country and survived a Southeast Asia POW camp but he can’t seem to acclimate back to civilian life. It’s not just the nightmares and flashbacks of some things no human being should have to endure but back home he’s called vile names by people who have no idea what he’s been through. His long suffering family has stood by his side in hopes that their patience will bring back the father and husband they remember but they’re not prepared for his next “Big Idea”. Ernst learns a friend who didn’t survive left him a homestead in Alaska so he packs up his wife Cora and daughter Lenny (Lenora) and heads to the last frontier. When they get there they learn very fast that Alaska is a beautiful and just as deadly mistress and they’re not prepared. Thank God after they arrive they learn they may not be ready but they’re also far from alone in this Great Alone.
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Meet Kristin:
Kristin Hannah is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the The Nightingale, a major motion picture directed by Michelle MacLaren, and The Great Alone, set in Alaska. Hannah is also the author of the New York Times bestsellers Firefly Lane, Winter Garden, Night Road, Fly Away, and Home Front, which has been optioned for film by 1492 Films (producers of the Oscar-nominated film The Help) with Chris Columbus attached to write, produce, and direct. She is the mother of one son and lives with her husband in the Pacific Northwest.