The Great Alone


The Great Alone, by Kristin Hannah

Started 03.24.20 • Finished 04.08.20 / 4 stars


A girl was like a kite; without her mother’s strong, steady hold on the string, she might just float away, be lost somewhere among the clouds.

This was the March pick for my neighborhood book club. I'd read Kristin Hannah before and enjoyed her very much. It's another book where the descriptions of the landscape actually added to the read, rather than becoming tedious and boring.


“Where are you from?” he asked. Leni never knew how to answer that question. It implied a permanence, a Before that had never existed for her. She’d never thought of any place as home.

This is a coming-of-age story and the process for the main character, Leni, was difficult in a number of ways, and made me as the reader hurt for her. I also felt especially for Matthew as he really did nothing wrong except being the son of the wrong man.


Leni didn’t want to think about a loss like that, the bone-breaking magnitude of it, but at a time like this there was no looking away, and when she did look it in the face, without blinking or turning away, she knew this: if she were Matthew, she would need a friend right now. Who knew how the friend could help, whether offering silent companionship or a clatter of words was better? That, the how, she would have to figure out on her own. But the what—friendship—that she knew for sure.

I docked a star because I found the last part of the story to be borderline unbelievable. However, I was relieved to see some sort of justice done and some form of reconciliation and family emerge from the rubble of broken relationships.


Such a thin veil separated the past from the present; they existed simultaneously in the human heart.
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