One of the things that makes books like “The Great Alone” so fascinating to read is how many perspectives the author takes into account in the story. New York Times best-selling author Kristin Hannah tackles the psychological effects of PTSD and codependency while describing the Alaskan wilderness in a way that is both evocative and engrossing to the reader.
Their marriage had always been charged, but when Ernt returned from duty and struggled to adapt to life, it became even more so. He impulsively moves Cora and their 13-year-old daughter Leni to live in the wilderness of North Alaska as a last-ditch attempt to start over.
However, as Ernt’s temperament shifts and his demons resurface, life in their little cabin becomes even more dangerous than the harsh and unforgiving winter that is raging outside.
As a fan of The Great Alone, you’ll want to check out the following titles, which are also gripping reads.
Books like The Great Alone
The Giver of Stars, by Jojo Moyes
The Giver of Stars, by Jojo Moyes, is a stunning novel that explores women’s friendships, marriage, and aspirations that go far beyond the norms of society.
Alice Wright finds that married life isn’t all it’s cracked up to be for her after moving from England to small-town Kentucky to be with her new husband. She finds herself trapped and struggling to readjust to her new role as a wife in this novel.
Fortunately, Alice finds some solace in Eleanor Roosevelt’s mobile library program. Her newfound joy has an unexpected side effect that threatens her marriage, which is how she meets Margery and joins her team as they deliver books to people who have never had the pleasure of reading regularly before.
According to legend, the story of a group of Kentucky women librarians known as the “Packhorse Librarians” is based on actual events, and it depicts the transformative power of love and community spirit, as well as the importance of books to their lives.
Readers of novels like The Great Alone will be delighted by The Giver of Stars, which has the makings of a modern classic.
The Dutch House, by Ann Patchett
Ann Patchett’s The Dutch House, like books like The Great Alone, depicts some complicated familial relationships and examines the importance of letting go of the past before you can move forward.
For more than 50 years, the story revolves around the Conroy family and their home, the Dutch House, which Cyril Conroy bought as a surprise for his wife, Elna, in suburban Philadelphia.
His children Maeve and Danny have been banished from the house and all of their father’s wealth because of his extravagant gift, which Cyril has no idea will start the unraveling of everything and everyone he cares about, starting with Elna’s departure.
What has happened to Maeve and Danny since their exile into poverty is told from Danny’s perspective in this dark fairytale for the modern age. He draws the reader back into the past with an almost nostalgic obsession in this dark fairytale for the modern age.
Is this book familiar to you? If you’re looking for more titles like The Dutch House, check out our recommended reading list!
The Signal Flame, by Andrew Krivak
War, the struggle to move on with one’s life after suffering such loss, and the strain this places on one’s loved ones are all themes explored in Andrew Krivak’s magnificent novel The Signal Flame. For those who enjoyed Hannah’s portrayal of Ernt, Cora, and Leni in The Great Alone, this is a worthwhile read.
Despite the fact that the novel takes place between Easter and Christmas in 1972, the story travels far back in time, tracing the ravaged connections between two families and their war-ravaged ties to each other. The story begins with Jozef Vinich, a refugee from the First World War who came to the United States to start a new life after the defection of his son in World War II and the military service of his grandson in Vietnam.
As bleak and hopeful as it is hopeful, poignant yet powerful, and an ambitious novel worthy of the acclaim, Krivak’s writing is beautiful. His depiction of how a husband’s return from war can be as heartbreaking as if they didn’t is particularly poignant in The Signal Flame.
Into the Wild, by Jon Krakauer
If you’re drawn to books like The Great Alone because of their depiction of the Alaskan wilderness, you might enjoy Into the Wild as well.
The book tells the story of Christopher Johnson McCandless, a young man who abandoned his family, gave away his college fund, and embarked on a cross-country journey inspired by his heroes Jack London, Henry David Thoreau, and John Muir after graduating college.
When he arrived in Alaska, his wanderings led him to an abandoned bus where he was discovered by a group of moose hunters four months later after walking alone into the wilderness. Krakauer retraced McCandless’ steps in order to gain a better understanding of his experiences and the motivations of others who have disappeared into the wilderness, causing consternation among those who knew them.
Into the Wild, a haunting non-fiction book popular with travelers and those fascinated by the idea of transcendentalism, provides insight into this attraction of leaving life behind and living off the grid, similar in a way to what Ernt was attempting to achieve in The Great Alone..
This story has already been read by you, right? If you’re looking for more books like Into the Wild, check out our list.
Two by Two by Nicholas Sparks
In his bestselling novel Two by Two, Nicholas Sparks explores the complexities of marriage and the relationship between parents and children.
He has a beautiful wife, an adorable daughter, a beautiful home, and a successful career in advertising on the outside. Russ’s seemingly perfect life is beginning to crumble from the inside out.
After losing his job and wife, Russ finds himself thrust into a new and frightening reality: single parenting, a role that is both terrifying and rewarding.
Unconditional love comes with its own set of pitfalls and rewards in Two by Two, a heartfelt tale about whether or not you’ll be able to handle whatever life throws your way.
Nonetheless, it’s the family dynamics that make it an excellent choice for fans of The Great Alone.
American Dirt, by Jeanine Cummins
Amidst controversy and backlash, American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins covers a lot of ground, giving readers something to ponder long after they’ve finished the book.
In the Mexican city of Acapulco, Lydia Quixano Pérez lives with her son and journalist husband. Lydia and her family live a peaceful life despite the danger and violence posed by the country’s drug cartels — or they did until Lydia’s husband wrote an exposé on one of the cartel’s newest leaders.
With their lives in jeopardy, Lydia and her son are compelled to flee for their lives to the American border where the cartel’s reach does not extend. They join a host of other people risking everything to flee for various reasons.
Immigration and refugee issues are brought to light in Cummins’ novel, which explores the difficulties and dangers faced by migrants seeking refuge, and demonstrates how all of them know what they’re fleeing but have no idea what is ahead of them.
American Dirt offers a new perspective on the theme of escaping one’s life into the unknown for fans of books like The Great Alone.
The Glass Castle, by Jeanette Walls
Next up on this list of books similar to The Great Alone is another true story about a dysfunctional family hoping that travel and new experiences will help them overcome their past traumas and return to a more normal state of life.
Unfortunately for Jeanette Walls and her family, this did not happen, proving once again that you can’t run from your demons for ever.
It tells the story of her unusual and sometimes turbulent childhood, which included being moved from pillar to post by their eccentric parents and dealing with the depression, dangers, and dysfunction that seemed to follow them everywhere they went.
She writes warmly about them despite the abuse she received from them, poignantly explaining that even if you can’t choose your family, you have the option of leaving them behind if it’s the only way to save yourself.
Like the Allbright family’s relationship in The Great Alone, the Glass Castle offers insight into the toxic aspects of love and how such relationships affect those closest.
Is this memoir something you’ve already read? More books based on The Glass Castle can be found here.
The Impossible Knife of Memory, by Laurie Halse Anderson
Speak fans and readers of books like The Great Alone will enjoy Laurie Halse Anderson’s return to the mind’s eye in The Impossible Knife of Memory.
Hayley and her father have been traveling since Andy returned from Iraq in an attempt to keep his war demons at bay by never stopping long enough to reflect on the past. As long as Hayley can attend a proper school and receive a proper education in Andy’s hometown, that is.
While Hayley is excited about the prospect of a normal life, she avoids confronting her own painful memories by focusing on school and a romance with the local hottie Finn. When Andy’s demons finally catch up with him, he finds himself in a downward spiral where he turns to drugs to try to find solace.
It’s Anderson’s gift to portray the impact of post-traumatic stress disorder on those who experience it and those who are close to them. The Impossible Knife of Memory is an engrossing read that will keep you turning the pages until the very end.
The Great Alone is a great example of how difficult it can be to piece together a story. The settings are vividly described, enticing not only the characters but the audience as well.
Characters come to life through an examination of psychology, such as trauma reverberations and the effects of toxic love and familial ties on the characters, for example.
As you read them, it’s like mining for gold; you discover more and more details each time.