In the land of fiction, few story tellers tackle the hard stuff as effectively as Kristin Hannah. It took me a long time to start reading this one, but once I started —I couldn’t put it down. I waited so long because I was bracing for impact. I wasn’t disappointed, this is an engrossing story about strength and survival, plus a coming of age story in Alaska’s rugged, colder than Winterfell, environment.
The story centers on a struggling family seeking a forever home. The dad is a sick Vietnam vet with clear PTSD. He brings his family to Alaska in an almost manic drive to find something new and better; something that will heal him. Lenny, the protagonist, is coming of age in this time and family as best she can. Lenny is a reader and for that reason alone is really easy to connect with her.
Books are the mile markers of my life. Some people have family photos or home movies to record their past. I’ve got books. Characters. For as long as I can remember, books have been my safe place.
The story telling is rich and poignant. I personally wanted to adopt Lenny, shake her mom and maybe lock the dad out of the house. This story will illicit an emotional reaction, and if you haven’t had any experience with PTSD or the impacts of war on some people, this really shows a great perspective. Despite how much you dislike Lenny’s father, you will experience empathy. You will see the impacts of limited mental health support as someone continues to spiral ever down a very dark path.
I recommend this book for many reasons, but especially because you will gain these valuable insights.
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