I love to read and it’s the one hobby that I make sure that I make time for. I used to work late into the night, but I realized that this was not sustainable so I cut my hours back to daytime only. I feel like I am doing much better work with a lot fewer mistakes.
Now, my night time is once again spent inside of the pages of my latest Amazon purchase. I love to read all kinds of genres but fiction is my favorite. The book I’m talking about today didn’t come from Amazon it came in the mail. It started with a Facebook post by my friend and sister from another mother Carol Cassara. If you don’t know Carol you should. You can actually look in the sidebar to get more information about her beautiful products and services at A Healing Spirit.org.
Anyway, back to the book.
This book was sent to me by The Girlfriend Letter & the AARP. It was written by Kristen Hannah. The book The Great Alone is a book about adventure, discovery, and mental illness. It’s a look at how mental illness affects the whole household and how outside influences can escalate even the most basic interactions.
Since I was a young girl I’ve dreamed of living in Alaska. It all started with the show Grizzly Adams (yes I’m dating myself) That man was my first real crush. The suspenders, the big bushy beard, and the beautiful gentle Ben made it seem like such a fun adventure. Even to this day, though I haven’t made it there yet, it is at the top of my dream pile.
Anyway, this book starts off telling the story of a young family dealing with the father’s PTSD from being a Vietnam POW and how America at that time viewed those soldiers returning home after battle. Not able to keep a job or a promise has led them to a revolving door of jobs and housing each one worse than the last.
When he receives a letter from a fallen comrade’s father telling him he has inherited land in Alaska it seems to be the answer they’ve been looking for. If only it were that easy. Arriving in the small town at the beginning of summer, the townspeople show them how to prepare for the long dark winter.
It looks as if they are finally finding their tribe and life is beginning to look good once again. That is until the dark winter hits. The constant cold, dark, and isolation lead to old habits with new friends. As these things often do, mental illness once again rears its awful head and the characters are forced to make decisions that wouldn’t’ be understood by the outside world.
I could not put this book down once I started. It was face-paced, in your face and I loved every word of it. I still want to discover Alaska, but it made me stop about the way we think about mental illness in this country and how delicate the family unit can become in its midst.
Some of you know that my son is a soldier who suffers from PTSD so it really hit home for me. I’ve written about it before. It’s hard at times, it’s ugly, but it’s there and as a nation that seems to always be at war it’s not going to go away anytime soon. We have to help the people who suffer from mental illness. The stigma must be erased. Help needs to be available at all economic levels.
*Although this book is not a sponsored post, this post contains affiliate links. If you purchase The Great Alone I will earn a small commission from Amazon. It will in no way affect how much you pay for it.