If you are having difficulty navigating this website please contact us at member.services@bookofthemonth.com or 1-877-236-8540.

Get your first book for $5 with code PETALS at checkout.

Join today!

We’ll make this quick.

First, enter your email. Then choose your move.

By tapping "Pick a book now" or "Pick a book later", you agree to Book of the Month’s Terms of use and Privacy policy.

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah
Historical fiction

The Great Alone

BOTY FINALIST

Each year thousands of members vote for our Book of the Year award—congrats to The Great Alone!

by Kristin Hannah

Excellent choice

Just enter your email to add this book to your box.

By tapping "Add to box", you agree to Book of the Month’s Terms of use and Privacy policy.

Quick take

Following a shattering tour in the Vietnam War, Ernt Allbright attempts a fresh start by moving his family to Alaska, where they encounter old demons and new challenges on the last American frontier.

Good to know

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Romance

    Romance

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_400

    400+ pages

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_WellKnownAuthor

    Famous author

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Inspirational

    Inspirational

Synopsis

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 story about love and loss, the fight for survival, and the wildness that lives in both man and nature.

Read less

Free sample

Get an early look from the first pages of The Great Alone.
The Great Alone

1974

ONE

That spring, rain fell in great sweeping gusts that rattled the rooftops. Water found its way into the smallest cracks and undermined the sturdiest foundations. Chunks of land that had been steady for generations fell like slag heaps on the roads below, taking houses and cars and swimming pools down with them. Trees fell over, crashed into power lines; electricity was lost. Rivers flooded their banks, washed across yards, ruined homes. People who loved each other snapped and fights erupted as the water rose and the rain continued.

Leni felt edgy, too. She was the new girl at school, just a face in the crowd; a girl with long hair, parted in the middle, who had no friends and walked to school alone.

Now she sat on her bed, with her skinny legs drawn up to her flat chest, a dog-eared paperback copy of Watership Down open beside her. Through the thin walls of the rambler, she heard her mother say, Ernt, baby, please don’t. Listen . . . and her father’s angry leave me the hell alone.

They were at it again. Arguing. Shouting.

Soon there would be crying.

Weather like this brought out the darkness in her father.

Leni glanced at the clock by her bed. If she didn’t leave right now, she was going to be late for school, and the only thing worse than being the new girl in junior high was drawing attention to yourself. She had learned this fact the hard way; in the last four years, she’d gone to five schools. Not once had she found a way to truly fit in, but she remained stubbornly hopeful. She took a deep breath, unfolded, and slid off the twin bed. Moving cautiously through her bare room, she went down the hall, paused at the kitchen doorway.

“Damn it, Cora,” Dad said. “You know how hard it is on me.”

Mama took a step toward him, reached out. “You need help, baby. It’s not your fault. The nightmares—”

Leni cleared her throat to get their attention. “Hey,” she said.

Dad saw her and took a step back from Mama. Leni saw how tired he looked, how defeated.

Create a free account!

Sign up to see book details, our quick takes, and more.

By tapping "Sign up", you agree to Book of the Month’s Terms of use and Privacy policy.

Member ratings (38,430)

  • Stephanie R.

    Le Mars, IA

    This. Book. I haven’t cried while reading a book in forever but this one, oh man. The love, hurt, trauma, celebrations, fear, happiness, and sadness; you feel it all. Absolutely incredible. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  • Cheyenne L.

    Glendale, OR

    🍂🍂🍁🍁BOOK REVIEW 🍁🍁🍂🍂 @kristinhannahauthor #thegreatalone was it’s own masterpiece. @kristinhannahauthor combined the beautiful state of #alaska , domestic violence, teenage love, #youngmoms

  • Anna S.

    Bellevue, WA

    Kristin Hannah does it again. A beautiful story, full of resilience and overcoming. I’m not a cryer and this one got me a couple of times. Trigger warning for DV! But beautifully done. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  • Yenny D.

    Fairfax, VA

    Kristin Hannah does it again! A beautiful story of bravery and resilience. The first half does drag a bit but the ending makes it worth your while. I have a new appreciation for Alaska. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  • Mathea C.

    Vancouver, WA

    ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ I don't think I've finished a Kristen Hannah novel yet without shedding a few tears for the characters. A tale of survival, love, loss, and life. Paints a vivid picture of rural Alaska. Love it!

Create a free account!

Sign up to see book details, our quick takes, and more.

By tapping "Sign up", you agree to Book of the Month’s Terms of use and Privacy policy.