I read The Great Alone and Winter Garden with a few of our Traveling Sisters and I loved both of them. One thing that both books definitely have going for them is Kristin Hannah’s ability to write such powerful thought-provoking stories with strong, brave females fighting incredible odds and finding their way.
The Great Alone lead to a very interesting and insightful discussion as we shared our thoughts on this story. As the discussion progressed I started to see things differently and had more of an understanding of the depth of this story. I really love when that happens and one of the reasons I love reading in the group.
The Great Alone is an insightful, inspiring and emotional family saga, part coming of age story with a little romance to it that brought out many emotions for me. My heart raced with anxiety as I worried for our young, strong, brave and determined main character, Leni.
Kristin Hannah does such a wonderful job creating a character here with her vivid description of Alaska and the community with these rich, quirky and interesting characters. I could feel their generosity, support, and kindness. Hannah brings insight, magic, and life to Alaska and I could feel the danger of living in such an unforgiving place.
At times I wanted Kristin Hannah to have gone in a different direction here with Ernt’s character and didn’t like the way his PTSD was portrayed, however after our discussion I came to realize that’s not the story she was telling. I felt the story she was telling was of a teenage girl Leni trapped in her parent’s toxic relationship and their obsession with each other. “The twisted love that bound her parents together.”
I loved the ending but at times thought it was a bit too over dramatic and maybe forced some emotions but I reminded myself it is a family saga. I highly recommend.
THE GREAT ALONE by KRISTIN HANNAH is an absolutely wonderful, spellbinding, powerful, tense, touching, and heartbreaking domestic family drama story that was an all-consuming and emotional read for me. I was totally captivated with what I was reading and it was extremely hard for me to put down. I couldn’t think of anything else but this story and I don’t think I have felt so many different emotions from reading a book in quite some time. The way that The Great Alone made me feel is exactly how I like to feel when reading a book!
KRISTIN HANNAH delivers an impressive, well-written and beautifully descriptive story here that takes you on an emotional adventure of the Allbright family which is set in remote Alaska in the 1970’s. I fell in love with the character of Leni and genuinely cared for her and her wellbeing throughout this whole novel.
The storyline was so engaging, the characters are all so well-developed, the setting was absolutely fantastic and the ending was bittersweet but satisfying. Highly recommend!
Thank you, NetGalley, St Martin’s Press and Kristin Hannah for a copy to read and review.
Winter Garden is a well layered, intriguing and powerful family saga that explores the complicated relationships between a Mother and her daughters and the two sisters. The story is told from the past through a fairy tale told by distant, cold and interesting Anya who is layered with mystery and the present as we see how the fairy tale begins to bond these women together.
Kristin Hannah cleverly and skillfully weaves an emotional fairy tale into the storyline that becomes the core of this story and we begin to see how it shaped the relationship between Anya and her daughters. I was drawn into the story through the fairy tale and it became a favourite part of the story for some of us. The imagery in the tale came to life for me and became very real. I felt many emotions as my heart broke for the characters. Through the fairy tale, I came to know who the characters are. Brilliant!
We all really loved the discussion we had for this one and we really dug deep into the emotional depth of this story and how it made us feel. We used some discussion questions that really enhanced our discussion. It’s stories and discussions like this that really bring out the best reading experiences for me.
The ending pushed this non-crier to choke up and fighting back the tears. I will leave you all with this quote from the story and we all highly recommend reading Kristin Hannah at her best with this one.
“Joy and sadness were part of the package, the trick, perhaps was to not let yourself feel all of it but to hold on to the joy just a little more tightly because you never knew when a strong heart could just give out.”