Home Front by Kristin Hannah
Genre: Women's Fiction, Military, Contemporary
Pages: 388 (Hardcover)
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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.
It isn't possible to describe how much I loved this book. There is no description that can possibly capture the growth and emotion present in this book. Michael starts off selfish and Jolene seems a bit too perfect. But as time progresses, each character must face their own demons. It doesn't happen quickly, nor is it easy. The description of a military family felt dead-on. My family was a military family and it all felt so real. There's such a tension for those in the military. There's a pull to be there for your family and do your job for your country. Kids don't quite understand that and Ms. Hannah captured that perfectly. The raw emotion present can certainly bring tears. Not only are their marital issues but there is much tragedy and sadness. The entire family changes in the end.
I was reading this when we first moved into the new place. Stuff was everywhere and we had to get up early to pick up more furniture. But I stayed up until 5 am reading this the bathtub (water was so cold!) because I just couldn't put it down. It's that good.
Overall, this is such a great book. Everyone should read it. Even if it doesn't sound like it's your cup of tea, it is. It really is.
P.S. On a side note, we didn't get to pick up more furniture the next morning because someone stole our Uhaul. Who does that?!