A friend of mine mentioned this book to me a few years ago and I kept watching for it to be available on my library app. It was so worth the wait! Some of the content was hard to read…it was a really well written book and I had real feelings of fear at times for Leni and her Mom. The Great Alone is the kind of book that you read and still think about from time to time months later.-Janell
Leni is a young girl that lives with her parents. She and her Mom have learned that there are times that are really hard for her Dad. Those are the times Leni stays out of his way. “Its not his fault…he wasn’t like this before he went to Vietnam”, her Mom keeps telling her. Time goes by and day to day life keeps them busy. A series of things happen and on a very impulsive decision, her Dad, Ernt, moves the family to Alaska to unseen land and a cabin that had belonged to a friend in Vietnam that passed away, and left the land to Ernt. Leni and her Mom are not happy about this, but they know they cannot go against Ernt on this, because his dark days are coming, and this move is the most excited and happy they have seen him in a long time.
They make the move, and life in Alaska is even more difficult than they imagined. With help from new friends, they start to learn how to live off the land and how to start to fend for themselves. Ernt makes some new friends and starts to drink more and more. He is short tempered, easily angered and very jealous. He is not always a very nice person when he drinks.
Leni starts school and meets a cute boy, but he is the son of the neighbor that her Dad has decided he doesn’t like. Leni knows if she gets caught dating him, there will be a price to pay. Leni decides its worth taking the chance.
Many things happen and their family is having a very difficulty time. Money is running out, Ernt is being influenced in a bad way. He is becoming unhealthy and, at times, scary. He is drinking a lot and Leni and her Mom are very concerned. When he drinks, he wants to fight, he gets mean and they never know when he might snap.
Will Leni and her Mom be able to help her Dad through this dark time? Will Leni be able to keep seeing her secret boyfriend? Will Leni and her Mom be safe? What if he hits her Mom again?
Kristen Hannah is such a talented writer! Google her to see her large selection of books!
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