Friday, December 30, 2011

Home Front by Kristin Hannah

After losing her parents at the ages of seventeen, all Jolene wanted in her life was consistency and order.  Everything needed to be under control and in its place.  So she joined the military service.

St. Martin's Press sent me an ARC of this book for review (thank you).  It will be published at the end of January.  Make a note of it on your TBR list.  This is an exceptional book.

Jolene set her parents life and death behind her.  She had so much pain involved with her earlier life that she moved past it and started a new life.  But the damage done when you are young never really goes away...

She has a husband and two girls that she loves deeply.  She flies a Blackhawk helicopter and loves it.  She runs every morning, has a menu schedule she follows and she's content with her life.  Then her husband, Michael, tells her he doesn't love her anymore.  She knew they were not sharing things like they used to, but she wasn't ready for this. On top of that, she gets deployed.

I was very impressed with how authentic the military life was depicted.  I've read non-fiction accounts of the war and the facts in those line up with the facts shown in this fictional account.  I discovered that the reason it was the quality of the tale it was had to do with her advisor, Warrant Officer Teresa Burgess.  Someone who has the experience can definitely add value to the story.

Here is video of Kristin's interview with her:  Interview

War is ugly and leaves its mark on everyone.  If you look at the eyes of Ms. Burgess, they have the shadows of those who have seen too much.  She's a beautiful woman, but constant danger and death takes its toll on anyone.

This is a story of family life and how two people who have grown apart deal with separation and family life.  Michael hadn't done much with his daughters, he worked.  He has no choice now.  Jolene is fearful she may never make it home and who will teach her girls motherly things?  And the girls feel deserted and are very unhappy to have only Dad.

There are all new challenges yet to come in this relationship and Ms. Hannah does a very nice job of expressing the emotions and torment of military families.

This is very good read, even if it made me cry.  It's about the Iraq war, but it's really about any war.  Whichever family member goes to war, they just don't come home quite the same.  The underlying theme in war is loss.  Why not read this book and see how this family deals it?

If you'd like to win my ARC of this book, leave a comment here on my blog and email info at with your NAME AND ADDRESS and why you would like to win the book.

Happy reading.


dawn aka BusyMom said...

This story could be my sister's story. As a civilian DoD liason she was deployed to Sarejevo and then to Iraq only to come home sick - mentally and physically- and find her husband having an affair. She moved on and remarried an Army officer and now they both spend weeks and sometimes months in places they cannot name... It is hard on their relationship but even harder on their kids and the family support system that must step in to help when they are out of country. I try to understand what it is like for them and think that perhaps this book will help me and those with family members like my sister to be more able to support them when they need it! I am looking forward to this one!

Eesti said...

This story I am sure hits home with many military families. I loved the trials and struggles that were unfortunately true to life! I did need a few tissues but loved every word. This story starts to show the ugly side of war, and the effect it has on the families.