Thursday, March 8, 2012

Review: Home Front by Kristin Hannah



Publisher: St Martin
Pages: 400
Source: Personal Copy
Rating: 5/5



Synopsis:

Jolene Zarkades grew up with alcoholic parents, and she found herself alone by the age of seventeen when her parents died in a tragic car accident. Alone, scared and on the verge of adulthood, Jolene joined the military right out of high school. She was looking for independence and a place to belong, along the way she found her husband and hoped to have all her dreams come true. Now, Jolene and Michael find themselves facing everyday pressures, two daughters and demanding careers. Michael is an attorney and Jolene, a Black Hawk pilot for the guard. Michael’s father has recently passed away, and he's been pushing everyone away, spending all his time at the office. He’s been getting home later and later, leaving a non-confrontational Jolene to deal with their daughters. As their struggles become more apparent, Michael tells Jolene he no longer loves her. She barely has time to let this sink in, the next day she is told that she will be deployed to Iraq. Jolene and her best friend Tami, have two weeks to prepare their families before they leave them for one year.



Review:

I want to warn you, this novel will break your heart into a million little pieces. Kristin Hannah wrote an incredibly moving work of fiction. This was my first book by her, and I was incredibly moved by her words. I don’t usually get emotional when I’m reading, but this book had me in tears. Every character is so well written, and relatable, not necessarily likable but real.

As Jolene tells Michael that she is being deployed, he blames her. He’s never been supportive of her career, and doesn’t understand why she chose to stay in the guard. One daughter is too young to really understand how long her mother is going and the other feels like Jolene is choosing the military over her. Jolene wants them all to understand that she doesn’t have a choice, she is a soldier. Michael resents that he must pick up her slack and take care of their family. He feels emasculated, and makes sure Jolene is aware that he does not support her.

It’s really interesting how all the relationships revolve while Jolene is away. Michael and Jolene’s relationship is broken, and it doesn’t resolve itself very easily. Jolene doesn’t come back the same person she was when she left, Michael is no longer the man he was when she left. Throughout much of the book, I wondered if they could possibly move forward.

Home Front really did give me an appreciation for military families, and the struggles they face. This book is breathtaking, and highly recommended. I found myself looking for every opportunity to read just a few more pages.

15 comments:

  1. My sister loved this book too. She keeps urging me to read one of Hannah's books. She says to keep a box of tissues handy.

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  2. It's good that there are books that depict some of the conflicts that military families have. Even though this is fiction, the book does sound worthwhile.

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  3. I just won this book over at Dar's blog, and can't wait to get the chance to read it. It seems like it's such a heart wrenching read, but sometimes that's just what I need. Great review today!

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  4. Aw, I feel bad for Jolene already! I can't imagine being a soldier and having to deploy knowing your significant other doesn't support your decision. That would be awful. I'm one of those people that gets super emotional while reading. so I can tell I'd be a blubbering mess while making my way through this one:) Wonderful review Jennifer!

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  5. I tell you this author has a way of dragging every emotion out of you. I just read my first book by her last year and WOW is all I can say. I can't wait to dive into this one.

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  6. I've read one of her books and loved it. This sounds very good and I've wanted to read more from her. Good to hear you liked this :)

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  7. Awww, I can already tell that my heart is going to shatter when I read this book! I find that if a book has anything to do with war or if it takes place during a war, then my heart is always more sensitive to things that happen and the way you describe this sounds AMAZING. I'm crossing my fingers that Jolene and Michael will work things out! <3

    Beautiful review as always, Mrs. Q! :)

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  8. Sounds like a very realistic portrayal of what can happen when a pivotal member of the family has to be away because of military obligations. Seems like the communication between the characters are lacking and I'm curious to see if they all come through the experience relatively unscathed. Sounds like a tear jerker though. Definitely would have to be in a specific mood for this one. Nice review.

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  9. I've never read a Kristin Hannah book; always been worried that they could get overly sentimental. But then I read a review like this one and think I should take the chance because it sure sounds like it's worth reading!

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  10. I liked this one, but I didn't love it as much as her other ones so I think if you read some of the others you'll love those too!! This really did give me an appreciation for military families as well though!

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  11. The Hannah novel I read recently, Night Road, was a similar tear jerker but I really enjoyed it ! This one sounds great too!

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  12. I'm looking forward to reading this one. I really like Kristin Hannah!

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  13. I have always wanted to read something by Kristin Hannah! I know a lot of people that have read and loved her books. I definitely need to check one out soon. This one sounds really awesome. :) Thanks for sharing!

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  14. :) I read and loved Winter Garden! I hadn't read Kristin Hannah and can't believe I missed out on this wonderful author. Great review - I actually took Home Front home from the library and hope to read it this weekend!!

    Happy reading!

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  15. I loved everything about this book! Hannah brings it to the table yet again, dishing up a heavy dose of the reality of the lives of military families and the consequences of service, albeit in a role-reversed way, with the wife being the one going off to war and the husband staying behind. Even more, it is an honest look the emotions woven throughout a marriage and how, with work and dedication, the most impossible odds can be overcome. Warning: This is an emotionally draining book. Chances are, you'll either read it very quickly, like a rollercoaster ride, or have to take it in small doses to prevent complete emotional breakdown.

    Rowena Hailey (Business Cash Advance)

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