CHARGE (What was the author trying to say?): The book was inspired by the author’s own experiences and is a juxtaposition between Alaska’s beauty and the danger the Allbright family faces.
FACTS: Having loved Hannah’s The Nightingale, I had great expectations for The Great Alone. Ernt, A Vietnam POW, moves his family to a primitive cabin in the the Alaskan wilderness to find a new life. The harshness of life in Alaska ignites the flames of an already simmering dysfunction. The Alaskan scenery is the star of the story. The plot follows a predictable course, pitting Leni, the heroine, against her family and her environment. As Leni says, “Someone said to me once that Alaska didn’t create character, it revealed it.”
VERDICT (Was the author successful?): Hung jury. The descriptions of Alaska were beautiful, but the plot was formulaic.