Monday, April 23, 2012

Review: Home Front

Home Front
by Kristin Hannah
Why did you choose this book? I’m a Kristin Hannah fan; everything she writes is good
When did you read this book? April 2012
Who should read this book? Kristin Hannah fans; readers who enjoy novels about families and relationships 
Here is a synopsis of ‘Home Front' from Goodreads, where it rates 4.21 stars.
Source: ARC won from Brazen Bookworm blog  
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.
My Review 
I have read several and enjoyed several Kristin Hannah novels, so it was a no-brainer that I wanted to read this one. But to be honest, even though I’d read she considered it her best, there is no way I expected it to match Winter Garden. Well, I was wrong! This is a powerful story; one that will move you to tears!
Jolene Zarkades is a helicopter pilot with the National Guard, married to Michael, a successful defense attorney. She loves her military career and her Guard family, but Michael is not a supportive military husband. He does not consider her ‘real’ military and is opposed to the was in Iraq. They are the parents of 2 daughters, 4 and 12, and their marriage has his a rough patch, made rougher when he announces he is not sure he wants to stay in the marriage. Almost immediately, Jolene learns she is to be deployed to Iraq, and Michael learns he will become Mr. Mom to the girls. This does not help his attitude towards Jolene’s career. 
This is a story of a soldier living with the constant stress of war, and being away from her family. This is also the story of the family left at home and the stress of not knowing when or if their loved one will be coming home. There is sadness and triumph. Home Front is a powerful novel that will give you an appreciation of our military familes and the struggles they deal with and sacrifices they make for us. 
My favorite quote...
“They are heroes, our soldiers, the men and women who go into harm’s way to protect us, our way of life. It doesn’t matter what you think of the war, you have to be grateful to the warriors, of who we ask so much.”
-- pg 326
My Rating:  ★★★★★   5 Stars
Counted for these challenges:
Free Reads Challenge
Here is the trailer for the book.

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