Kristin Hannah The Great Alone
I’ve read Kristin Hannah’s The Great Alone, the first book by her I’ve read. It’s been suggested that I should also read The Nightingale, but I’ve not had the time to do so, yet. The Great Alone has spent 19 weeks now on the New York Times Bestseller Hardcover Fiction list. Once something reaches the 15 week mark, there abouts, I read it to study it.
There were some things about this story that I liked. There also were some things that bothered me, considerably. Most of all, the point of view. I’m calling it third/first person omniscient. For me it was weird to read this book. We were in the main character’s head the whole book, except on sub chapter, where we head hopped into another’s, and then we were back only in the lead character’s head, but we weren’t first person in her head, we were third person in her head. But then, even though the book was telling the story from years ago, the late 1970s and the 1980s, there were times when Hannah would say things like, “today,” or “here.” So it was today, but it was years ago all at the same time, and we knew all that was going on in the lead character’s head, but we weren’t in her head. She wasn’t talking to us, the readers.
I also jumped out of the book when Leni, the main character, and her mother, decided after her mother shot Leni’s father in the back, to haul his body off and dispose of it rather than calling the police. There were still about 120 or more pages to go at that point and I’d invested about 300 or more, so I was in, but at that point, I really wanted to stop.
Some of the reviews on Amazon think the ending fit together a little too well, too. That didn’t bother me as much. I was glad to see the denouement coming together so I could wrap up the book with a bow and it be over. This was a YA book, so it had to have something of a happily ever after ending, don’t you know.
Hannah’s writing is good. Her storytelling, the descriptions of being in Alaska were vivid and raw and made me feel like I’d made the journey and were living there. I don’t have a feeling like I want to rush to Seward’s Folly and stake a claim, but it was a good book to have read.