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The Great Alone – Kristin Hannah

  • “In the silence, Leni wondered if one person could ever really save another, or if it was the kind of thing you had to do for yourself.”
  • “She saw how love could be dangerous and beyond control. Ravenous.”
  • “Did adults just look at the world and see what they wanted to see, think what they wanted to think? Did evidence and experience mean nothing?”
  • “She knew the difference between fact and fiction, but she couldn’t abandon her love stories.”
  • “They were trapped, by environment and finances, but mostly by the sick, twisted love that bound her parents together.”
  • “He taught her something new about friendship: it picked right back up where you’d left off, as if you hadn’t been apart at all.” 
  • “She knew what nightmares could do to a person and how bad memories could change who you were.”
  • “Everyone up here had two stories: the life before and the life now. If you wanted to pray to a weirdo god or live in a school bus or marry a goose, no one in Alaska was going to say crap to you. No one cared if you had an old car on your deck, let alone a rusted fridge. Any Life that could be imagined could be lived up here.” 
  • “A girl was like a kite; without her mother’s strong, steady hold on the string, she might just float away, be lost somewhere among the clouds.”
  • “You know what they say about finding a man in Alaska—the odds are good, but the goods are odd.”
  • “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.”
  • “A thing can be true and not the truth,” 
  • “In literature, death was many things—a message, catharsis, retribution. There were deaths that came from a beating heart that stopped and deaths of another kind, a choice made, like Frodo going to the Grey Havens. Death made you cry, filled you with sadness, but in the best of her books, there was peace, too, satisfaction, a sense of the story ending as it should. In real life, she saw, it wasn’t like that. It was sadness opening up inside of you, changing how you saw the world.” 
  • “Mama could never leave Dad, and Leni would never leave Mama. And Dad could never let them go. In this toxic knot that was their family, there was no escape for any of them.”
  • “Alone is overrated,” he said simply.”
  • “The darkness seemed to be rising rather than the sun falling. As if darkness were the natural order around here.” 
  • “She found herself secretly mapping his face, memorizing every ridge and hollow and valley, as if she were an explorer and he her discovery.”
  • “You don’t stop loving a person when they’re hurt. You get stronger so they can lean on you.” 
  • “You know what I love most about you, Leni Allbright?”
    “What?”
    “Everything.” 
  • “Dad wanted a new beginning. Needed it. And Mama needed him to be happy.” 
  • “And the books! She’d never seen so many. They whispered to her of unexplored worlds and unmet friends and she realized that she wasn’t alone in this new world. Her friends were here, spine out, waiting for her as they always had.” 
  • “She was a star, burning so brightly it broke apart, pieces flying, light spraying.” 
  • “Nature never deceives us; it is always we who deceive ourselves.”