The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah is not a novel for the faint of heart. It is however, an excellent book about several harsh realities. Set in the wild Alaskan territory in the 1970’s, the author vividly describes the lives of people living in the wilderness. Many of the characters are people who, for one reason or another, sought escape from civilization as we know it.

The main characters are Ernt, a Vietnam veteran and former POW, his wife Cora, and their thirteen-year-old daughter Leni. Ernt suffers from PTSD and as a result, abuses his wife. The many challenges faced by the family unprepared for survival in Alaska exasperate Ernt’s emotional instability and as the years go by, he, rather than bears and wolves, becomes the predator to be feared.

As the former wife of a Vietnam veteran who suffered from PTSD, this was a very emotional book for me to read. It brought back nightmares of a period in my life living with a time bomb who desperately needed help prior to help being available.

The novel is very well-written. I highly recommend it.

About dianeledet

Professional Writing Consultant, Graduate of DePaul University School for New Learning 2008
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