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Home Front

4.12  ·  Rating Details ·  38,492 Ratings  ·  4,232 Reviews
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 hom
Hardcover, 390 pages
Published January 31st 2012 by St. Martin's Press (first published January 1st 2012)
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Community Reviews

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Megs ♥
Home Front is the newest book by author Kristin Hannah, and I was thrilled to receive an ARC of this book through GoodReads First Reads.

When I first read the synopsis of this book, I will admit it didn't seem like something that would appeal to me. After reading and loving Night Road I gained confidence in Hannah's writing, though. I loved that book so much I decided I will read everything she writes from now on.

This book is really about a lot of things. Jolene is a 41-year old woman who had a p
Mar 09, 2012 Betsy rated it liked it
I am a female veteran, having served in the 80's and 90's. I didn't agree with the author's portrayal of female soldiers as a novelty. We've been around a long time now and have integrated ourselves into the military without being freaks any more. Likewise, in 2007, the nation was highly supportive of its military heroes (and rightfully so). I don't think parents and kids would have taunted and teased a child just because her mother was in the military.

Speaking of children, I tend to disagree w
Aug 13, 2016 Stefanie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kristin-hannah
This book affected me in a very deep way. I have not cried this much in months (a year?). This book reminds me of how lucky I am to live where I live with my small hardships and my small sacrifices. I am so thankful for those who have given their fellow Americans so much by taking on large hardships and enduring large sacrifices. I strive to be worthy. I give this book my highest recommendation.
Jan 30, 2013 Julie rated it it was ok
Shelves: book-club
I tried to like this book. For the love of book club I really did. In the end I decided that there are two kinds of people in this world: those who like Nicholas Sparks and cats; and those who don't. I fall into the latter category. Kristen Hannah must be in the first.
Started and finished this on one tear-soaked Sunday afternoon. Reading it reminded me somewhat of the experience of watching Lord of the Rings - cried through the whole thing for no good reason. There's just something about the characters that tugs on your heartstrings. And there were all the orcs and elves running around*.

Okay, really not so much like Lord of the Rings, but definitely stirring emotionally. I didn't think I'd find much in common with a woman in the military, but the author made
Dec 04, 2013 Amy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: don-t-miss-list
This book initially caught my attention because it was about a female soldier in Iraq. As a civilian we are actually clueless when it comes to the sacrifice and service that soldiers give to hold our freedom. I think we forget the real men and women involved in War and focus on numbers or statistics. It is easier for us to be blissfully ignorant. Kristin Hannah reveals an intimate dual experience of both the soldier and the family. She explores the journey from both sides before, during, and aft ...more
Aestas Book Blog
Dec 07, 2015 Aestas Book Blog rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
All marriages have a breaking point.
All families have wounds.
All wars have a cost...

I just finished reading this really great book!! For a change of pace from my usual reads, it's actually not a Romance, it's more in the Women's Fiction genre but it's by an author whose writing I LOVE because she writes with such powerful imagery and raw honesty that it feels like you're living the story with the characters. This story is about a woman who serves in the military flying helicopters and who
Dec 11, 2013 Sharon rated it really liked it
Jolene first met Michael when she was seventeen. It was just after her parents had died and she walked into a legal aid office which Michael was working at. At the time Michael was an intern and it was his first year of law school. Jolene was not only grieving for her parents but she was trying to figure out what to do next. Michael helped her out as much as he could.

Six years later they met up again and and eventually they got married. They now have two daughters Betsy aged twelve and Lulu age
Sep 26, 2012 Shana rated it did not like it
This novel was truly disappointing, and I say this from the perspective of a military spouse. The one slightly unique aspect was that the military member in this case was the wife. But the storyline was hardly imaginative. The wife, Jolene, enjoys serving her country and cares a lot about her job. Michael is the callous civilian husband who doesn’t like that his wife’s line of work. In an already tension-filled home, further conflict arises when Jolene is deployed. Surprised? Even more surprisin ...more
Jan 14, 2012 Cafelilybookreviews rated it liked it
The beautiful, peaceful beach scene on the cover of this book did not prepare me for what I was about to encounter within it's pages. When I finished this book, I was emotionally wrung out. To say that I have a greater appreciation for what our servicemen and women go through when they are deployed and then come home again, is an understatement. I could not stop thinking about the troops who are on their way home even now - and what life for them and their families will be like when they get her ...more
Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*
I cried buckets of tears listening to this book on audio. It is a very moving and humbling read.

Kristin Hannah shows great understanding of the slow disintegration of a marriage, the terror of going to war, the angriness of being a teenager, the demands of a four year old, the struggles of a mother trying to hold it all together, of trying to be everything to all her family members until circumstances beyond her control bring it all crashing down about her. Her understanding is conveyed in the w
Jan 11, 2012 Danielle rated it did not like it
I find it hard to believe that the same person who wrote Winter Garden wrote this. None of the characters were even remotely close to being likable; they were all obnoxious whiners. If life gave you do-overs I would definitely invest the time I wasted reading this book in doing something else.
Jan 18, 2013 Becky rated it it was ok
Shelves: book-club
Short synopsis: Jolene, a stoic National Guard pilot, is married to selfish, brooding Michael. She has two kids: cute little Lulu and bratty Betsy. She also has a plucky friend named Tami and an angelically supportive mother-in-law. Then Jolene is deployed to Iraq, and everyone Learns Something and Jolene isn't so stoic and Michael isn't so selfish and brooding and Betsy isn't so bratty. Lulu is still cute.

A woman in my book club won free copies of this book for all of us, so we picked it up as
Mar 24, 2013 SummerAmethyst rated it really liked it
Although I can say that I did enjoy this book, there were several times that I couldn't put it down, I have to be honest and also say that I cannot give it 5 stars and am not sure that I really want to give it 4 stars. The storyline was very good, the characters of Michael and Jolene were likeable, by the end of the book I really wanted their marriage to work out and I felt terrible for everything they had been through as a couple and as individuals. However..... I could not stand their older da ...more
Nov 10, 2012 Amy rated it it was ok
Maybe I expected too much after Hannah's brilliant NIGHT ROAD and most of her other books. I found the story to be incredibly predictable and cliche. The premise of the story is a good one, but this story lacks the originality found in most of Hannah's books. I don't want to say too much detail about what was predictable, for fear of spoiling the book. The character of Michael is the most well rounded and well written, because he's a flawed good guy. His major flaws--workaholism, poor communicat ...more
Feb 12, 2012 Jill rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone!
There is a reason I am stingy with 5-star ratings and this book is a prime example of that reason. Every now and then you read a book that is just so far above the rest of the pack that you know you will not soon forget it. For me, this is one of those books. The last one I read that touched me to this degree was Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand, which also deserves 5 stars. This is one of the most compelling books I have read in a long time. Periodically I had to put it down and walk away, regain ...more
Sep 17, 2013 Ally marked it as dnf
Recommends it for: None of my friends
I'm not even going to rate this one because I only got to 36% before I moved on to bigger and better books. One lady in the book club assured me that she was crying and sobbing in the end.

This book was just so boring for me. I couldn't relate to the characters at all. Jolene was such a push-over in every aspect of her life. If her husband was bothering her, she would sometimes say something and then drop it. If her daughter was acting like a total bitch, as she was for the majority of what I rea
Dec 03, 2013 Pat rated it it was amazing
I found this book extremely emotional for me. I am a great fan of Kristin Hannah novels, Firefly Lane I think was my favorite...until now.

The Zarkades family seems like your ordinary American family...till you take a closer look. Michael is a criminal defense attorney, starting to wonder if he will ever be able to defend an innocent person. He is quite affected by his fathers death, but is unable to express his feelings. Consequently, he's removed himself from the family, and working harder than
Jun 05, 2012 Carol rated it did not like it

Heavy handed, sophomoric and sappy! Those were my feelings just in the first 40 pages of this novel. And, the names, OMG, the names!! Joline, Betsy, Lulu, Sienna, Zoe, Tami??? Each on their own, just fine -- but all in one book? Just too much sugar, thank you.

I found Michael, the military spouse, to be extremely unlikable from the first "This war is stupid and I don't support you," moment. Especially considering the fact that Jolene was an army reservist before they even started dating; did he m
Jul 15, 2014 Christine rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I really didn't care for Home Front. I did though like the idea behind the story.

As the novel unfolds, we meet Joleen, the product of two alcoholic parents, now a supposedly strong and independant woman who flies helicopters for the National Guard. She is married to a successful lawyer named Michael who seems to be logging more hours at the office than at home, and is getting pulled into defending a former US Marine accused of killing his wife. Joleen and Michael have a teenage daughter who is s
Jul 30, 2012 Nancy rated it liked it
I think I'm done with Kristin Hannah. I used to see her books as great chick-y reading: marital ups and downs, personal crises, kids in trouble yada yada yada. But the last couple have been major disappointments. I don't think it's Hannah's writing or plotting. I think it's me.

As I was reading, I felt continuously yanked around by the author's Big Important Points: Military families must do their duty, even when one spouse is inclined to be liberal. Spouses must face their interpersonal problems
This was one of my least favorite Kristin Hannah books. It was really long, depressing, and dreary. There were some really important issues such as women leaving their children to go to war, but I felt like this book BEAT THE ISSUES TO DEATH!

Okay, we get it! War is hard on soldiers even after they return! Post traumatic stress disorder is a real illness, and our resources for returning vets are woefully unprepared.

Most of the characters in the Zarkades family are unlikable at times, and that ma
Jul 08, 2012 Sandy rated it it was amazing
Tear jerker from begining to end! Worth reading!
Feb 01, 2013 Carole rated it liked it
This is a hard review to write because I'd like to give Home Front four stars, but I just can't. Kristin Hannah handles the subject of a military family with clear compassion and doesn't gloss over the homecoming to make everything ok. Her novel highlights many of the issues facing military families, such as PTSD, arriving home injured, and a soldier feeling changed forever after war. The story was very well done and I definitely recommend this book.

Hannah's writing is excellent in parts, but th
Feb 10, 2012 Cindy rated it it was amazing
“And how does a soldier come home from war, really? As a nation, these are questions we need to ask ourselves.”

In his opening statements, attorney Michael Zarkades eloquently establishes the premise of his PTSD defense in the case of an Iraq veteran charged with killing his wife.

Yet Kristin Hannah’s heart-wrenching “Home Front” isn’t a legal thriller. It is a starkly emotional look at the toll war extracts from an ordinary family.

Michael’s wife Jolene, is a Reserve Army helicopter pilot, the mot
Feb 11, 2013 Leona rated it it was amazing
This is a mesmerizing story about love, life, loss, friendship and forgiveness. Kristin Hannah delivered an incredible picture of war and the personal sacrifice from our soldier's and the ultimate price some pay. She reminds us that we can't sit back safely from our seats, jaded by politics or intellectualism. " He'd argued with colleagues about it - while he sat safe and warm and protected in his country. He'd argued about the true cost of war.

He hand't known shit. The cost of our war was her
Sep 17, 2014 Tracy rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. It was incredibly painful to imagine all the hurt Jolene went through but I think it is a hurtful situation that we don't talk about enough. This story told about a female pilot who went to Iraq and came back torn through physically and emotionally. I knew someone who was killed by an IED in Iraq just two weeks before he was supposed to come home to his family and I've watched from a distance how painful this is for a family. I know how these tours in Iraq have changed my brot ...more
Feb 05, 2012 Jennefer rated it it was amazing
Kristin Hannah does it again. What a phenomenal story and my favorite from her yet! I sit and count the days until the next Kristin Hannah novel releases and this one did not disappoint! The only negative thing about reading a Kristin Hannah book is knowing that I won’t get to read another one for an entire year! Luckily I have a couple of her older books yet to read. Hannah always produces a quality and emotional read. Her characters are ones you would have in your own family and as a reader I ...more
Dec 13, 2015 Deana rated it it was ok
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I really liked Home Front by Kristin Hannah. This is a new-to-me author and I can't wait to read other books by her. I haven't been this emotional with a book in a while. It took me back to a time when my husband was in the Marine Corps: the pride felt every day; serving a wonderful country; leading young men of character.

However, there were a few issues that I didn't agree with.

1. There have been females marines/soldiers/sailors for a long time and they have become very integrated into the mili
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Kristin Hannah is the New York Times bestselling author of twenty-one novels, including the blockbuster Firefly Lane and #1 bestsellers Night Road and Home Front. She is a former lawyer turned writer and is the mother of one son. She lives in the Pacific Northwest and Hawaii with her husband.
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“I know about forgiving people and loving them anyway, even after they hurt you.” 28 likes
“She had been ready to love this man from the moment she first saw him. In all these years, that had never changed. They'd hurt each other, let each other down, and yet, here they were after everything, together. She needed him now, needed him to remind her that she was live, that she wasn't alone, that she hadn't lost everything.” 18 likes
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