The Great Alone - Chapters 1-2 Summary & Analysis

Kristin Hannah
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Summary

The novel opens with an epigraph by Jean-Jacques Rousseau: “Nature never deceives us; it is always we who deceive ourselves.”

In the spring of 1974, 13-year-old Leni is once again the new girl at school. One morning she sits on her bed reading. Her parents are fighting, because the rain outside “brought out the darkness in her father” (3). She is late for school, so she risks interrupting the argument.

Leni feels that she is the most adult member of the Allbright family, responsible for keeping her parents in balance. Her mother, Cora, tries different religious and philosophical schools, searching for meaning. Her father, Ernt, is moody and easily angered. Leni is too young to remember how different he was before he fought in Vietnam, including a stint as a prisoner of war (POW). When he came home, he removed Leni and Cora from the...

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This section contains 2,317 words
(approx. 6 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Great Alone Study Guide
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