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Home Front: A Novel
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Home Front: A Novel

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4.12  ·  Rating details ·  42,327 Ratings  ·  4,546 Reviews
The blockbuster bestselling author of Night Road and Firefly Lane delivers a masterful novel that explores the sacrifices of one American family and illuminates the true cost of honor, duty, and love

From a distance, Michael and Joleen Zarkades seem to have it all: a solid marriage, two exciting careers, and children they adore. But after twelve years together, the couple h
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Audio CD
Published March 12th 2013 by Macmillan Audio (first published January 1st 2012)
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Erin It depends on your teen. Personally, I think all of her books are appropriate for young teens, but I don't believe in censoring what kids read.
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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
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Betsy
Mar 09, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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Stefanie
Sep 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Julie
Jan 20, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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.
Kara
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
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Amy
Aug 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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Linda
Nov 17, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
Home Front is a raw, gritty and stunning portrayal of a woman battling two separate wars: her crumbling marriage and well, war. Literally.

Jolene, a mother of two and a helicopter pilot in the National Guard, is called up to serve in the Iraq war. Never questioning her commitment to serve, Jolene must leave behind her husband and two young girls and fight for her country as she trained to do.

This book really got to me. At times, I found myself listening with tears running down my cheeks- especial
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Shana
Sep 26, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sharon
Mar 25, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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Amy's Book Reviews
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
Danielle
Jan 05, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Becky
Jan 18, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
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Cafelilybookreviews
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
Ally
Aug 16, 2013 marked it as dnf  ·  review of another edition
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
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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
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SummerAmethyst
Jun 19, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Crystal Starr Light
Bullet Review:

This book is HUGELY offensive. Offensive to military families (how the f$&@ did Michael survive THAT LONG married to a Army National Guard officer?!). Offensive to women (assuming it's the wife's responsibility to teach her husband to leave work for his OWN F$&@ING DAUGHTER'S TRACK MEET). Offensive to people who like good writing and characters (Lulu is that 4-year old that exists in Family Circle comics and in imaginations only).

But it was this line that made me DNF at 16%
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Jill
Feb 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Christine
May 01, 2014 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
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Carol
Mar 01, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition

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
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Pat
Nov 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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Sandy
Jul 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Tear jerker from begining to end! Worth reading!
Sonia Cristina
Dec 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016

Agora não sei porque adiei tanto a leitura deste livro ou ainda porque pensei, durante 2 anos, que não ia ler, que não queria. Acho que há livros e autores que têm uma altura certa para ser lidos e só resta esperar por essa leitura e não forçar.

Adorei "O Regresso". Mas adorei mesmo; para mim é um livro de 5 estrelas. Nas primeiras 100 páginas, pouco mais que isso, ainda andei ali a patinar. Michael irritava-me profundamente; Jolene também era irritante com aquelas frases feitas de encorajamento
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Nancy
Jul 30, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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Stacy
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
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Syndi
Nov 29, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
TOward 10% of the book, i hate joleen, michael and their spoil and shallow kids. i hate how joleen just be passive watchi g her marriage crumble. how she plays stupid victim of her own marriage. i hate michael character who js just simply selfish and a jerk.

then the farawell. ok i have to admit it gets me teary. then the war and then coming home. somehow i feel the writing is too light. light in the meaning fit for lifetime movie on tv.

i can pretty muc guess the ending. this book overal is enj
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Kindling Micky
2.5 stars

This was an audio listen. I found HOME FRONT to be overwhelmingly depressing. Clearly, this book tackles difficult topics of war, loss, relationships and PTSD. Nevertheless, I felt it was so dark in mood that I felt dragged down by the story and by Jo. I liked the realistic viewpoint of events, however there was a distinct lack of hope at any point. It is possible that listening on audio enhanced the emotionality of the story and therefore enhanced the depressive tone. I just didn't enj
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Carole
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
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Cindy
Feb 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“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
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Kristin Hannah is the New York Times bestselling author of more than twenty novels, including the blockbuster bestsellers The Nightingale and Firefly Lane. She is a former lawyer turned writer and is the mother of one son. She lives in the Pacific Northwest 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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