Monday, February 18, 2013

Home Front by Kristin Hannah

In her bestselling novels Kristin Hannah has plumbed the depths of friendship, the loyalty of sisters, and the secrets mothers keep. Now, in her most emotionally powerful story yet, she explores the intimate landscape of a troubled marriage with this provocative and timely portrait of a husband and wife, in love and at war.

All marriages have a breaking point. All families have wounds. All wars have a cost. . . .

Like many couples, Michael and Jolene Zarkades have to face the pressures of everyday life---children, careers, bills, chores---even as their twelve-year marriage is falling apart. Then an unexpected deployment sends Jolene deep into harm’s way and leaves defense attorney Michael at home, unaccustomed to being a single parent to their two girls. As a mother, it agonizes Jolene to leave her family, but as a solider she has always understood the true meaning of duty. In her letters home, she paints a rose-colored version of her life on the front lines, shielding her family from the truth. But war will change Jolene in ways that none of them could have foreseen. When tragedy strikes, Michael must face his darkest fear and fight a battle of his own---for everything that matters to his family.

At once a profoundly honest look at modern marriage and a dramatic exploration of the toll war takes on an ordinary American family, Home Front is a story of love, loss, heroism, honor, and ultimately, hope. ~~ synopsis from Goodreads

Our thoughts about Home Front ~~

My book group, The Book Bags, won copies of Home Front and we read it for our January meeting. A year ago, we all read Night Road by Hannah also. We enjoyed both of these books, they both deal with situations that are of the times right now and are very emotional. I personally, found myself having to stop after reading some of the chapters, just to catch my breath and compose myself. Wonderful writing, Kristin!

Home Front deals with a soldier wife and mom who gets deployed and has to leave her family for a year. All of the family members have to deal with a lot of changes while Jolene is gone. And then even more when she comes home. And this whole process is definitely not an easy thing to go through, for anyone. As one of our members remarked, 'This book should be required reading for every family who has to go through this.'

We talked about all the various names for the condition that soldiers suffer that have been used in the past: PTSD, shell shock, battle fatigue, shell shock and soldier's heart. Another member shared with us that this story made her think of her dad and what he went through when he came home. All soldiers suffer immensely after witnessing war, no matter which war it is.

A wonderful line that we talked about a lot went something like this ~ we get trained to go to war, but not how to come home. This is so true and this book gives us just a small glimpse of how much devastation can happen to families when one member does come back from war; they are definitely changed.

Another comment made was the fact that this story had the wife/mom going off to war as opposed to the husband/dad. This story gives us a very different point of view from what we usually think about when we hear that someone has been deployed.

The most likable characters in the story, for us anyway, were Conny, the physical therapist who lays it on the line for Jolene and Mila, Jolene's mother-in-law. We loved them both! And the least favorite was Michael, who really needed to 'figure it out'.

Overall, we all really loved the story and love Kristin's writing. Some did feel that the story line was sort of predictable but that it did not take away from the enjoyment and emotions of the story.

Thanks to for sending us copies of this wonderful book!

The Book Bags Book Group

There are usually 8 of us but there were some conflicts the night we met and not everyone could attend. It happens. We had a great discussion though.

The Book Bags with our wonderful waiter,
who takes very good care of us when we meet at Perkins.

About the author

Kristin Hannah is the New York Times bestselling author of eighteen novels, including the blockbuster Firefly Lane and Night Road. She is a former lawyer turned writer and is the mother of one son. She lives in the Pacific Northwest and Hawaii with her husband.

Connect with Kristin


Post a Comment

Thanks SO much for leaving me a comment! Every single one means a whole lot to me!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...