I really struggled with whether to give this book a ranking of three or four, but I ultimately decided on four because of the first two-thirds of this book. I felt that the first two-thirds of The Great Alone were fantastic, but I struggled with the last third. It felt rushed, like the author was desperate to quickly bring everything to a close. This isn’t necessarily a problem, depending on the book. However, it felt problematic for this book, because so much happens in the last third. It was kind of like the latest season of Game of Thrones, when everything happened so quickly and people were left confused and slightly annoyed. As a reader, I did not feel that I had the time to really process all of the events that seemed to be crammed in the last five to six chapters. I digress.
The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah is a devastating book. It touches on substance abuse, physical abuse, PTSD, and traumatic brain injuries, to say the least. It is emotionally intense, and I actually found it to be quite a tough read. Usually I am happy to read a book for hours on end, but I couldn’t do that with this one. That is not to say that I didn’t like it – because I loved most of this book. The Great Alone is a book that will pull you in and break your heart in the process.
Kristin Hannah’s writing is beautiful. She really understands how to make the reader care about what is happening in her fictional world. I look forward to reading more of her works in the future.