Book review by Aarene Storms: The Great Alone

Saturday, December 28, 2019

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah

It's 1974. Dad is a Vietnam POW survivor and has massive PTSD, including nightmares and rampant paranoia. Mom figures that if she loves him enough, he'll stop bashing her around. Daughter figures if she can keep a low-enough profile, everything will be "fine."

They decide to move to a (then) remote area of Alaska. BECAUSE 6 MONTHS OF DARKNESS WILL DEFINITELY MAKE THINGS BETTER?!?!

As the narrative steadily chugged towards catastrophe, I could not look away-- in fact, I had to shut off the audiobook and switch to print so I could survive it faster.

Recommended, but there are plenty of triggers, including a lot of domestic violence, cussing, sexual situations, bullying, mental illness, alcohol, PTSD, and blood.

Best to read this in summer, when it isn't so dark out there.

The events may not have happened; still, the story is true. --R. Silvern

Aarene Storms, youth services librarian
Richmond Beach and Lake Forest Park Libraries, KCLS


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