Susy's Reviews > Home Front

Home Front by Kristin Hannah
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May 24, 2012

Read in May, 2012

By now I pretty much know what to expect of a Kristin Hannah novel. It will be set at least in part in the Pacific Northwest, most likely the Puget Sound area, and there will be a concurrent tandem story to parralel the primary story. Home Front meets that criteria. But to have Iraq during the 2005 conflict which admittedly I've pretty well forgotten and a trial involving PTSD as a defense as a subplot (minor spoiler alert) was new. The lovely homefront paired against the sand, heat and terror of Iraq is a start contrast throughout the story.

The soldier in the family is the mother, Jolene, a woman who found a family and a lifestyle in the National Guard before she met her husband and created a family with him. Like others who have reviewed this book, I felt the daughters were not believable; the older was petulant & self absorbed beyond what felt realistic and the younger was a coddled cherub who also didn't feel believable. But we meet Jolene & learn of her less than ideal upbringing which perhaps explains why she wants to have the perfect family and be the perfect mom. In my experience perfection in family life is never real. And that is the crux of the story. That mixed with the horror of war.

Hannah did her research to make the base scenes in Iraq believable; I've never been in a war setting; my few relatives who have never discuss it but I know enough to know war is hell. This book touched me most when I think of the soldiers and their families. I feel compassion like I've not felt before.

I hate war but I don't hate those who choose to defend our country. I can't say I was enlightened enough to feel that way during the Vietnam conflict. I want to apologize to anyone who participated in that war for even thinking negatively of their participation.

This is a quick read; once started it's hard to put down and worth the effort.
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