Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Review: Home Front by Kristin Hannah

Hardcover, 384 pages
Published January 31st 2012 by St. Martin's Press
ISBN 0312577206 (ISBN13: 9780312577209)

Vonze: 5 out of 5

Book description: "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."

Review: Kristin Hannah's latest novel is a powerful, emotional read. At first, I wasn't sure I'd identify with the main character, Jolene, a 40 year old mother who is being deployed to Iraq. However, Kristin Hannah, who I wasn't familiar with prior to reading this novel, truly breathes life into her characters. I felt that Jolene and her husband, Michael, grew and evolved in a natural, realistic way.

Although the plot involves the Iraq War, the novel does not come off as political, it does an excellent job of focusing on the struggles of a wife and mother who happens to be a soldier. The story breaks your heart and then believably begins to heal the pieces.

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