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Home Front
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Archive: Other Books > Home Front by Kristin Hannah - 4 stars

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Ellen | 2084 comments Jolene Zarkades is a wife, mother and a helicopter pilot in the National Guard. Her marriage to husband Michael has shown signs of wear and tear lately, their 12-year-old daughter Betsy is at an awkward and rebellious stage and their 4-year-old daughter Lulu wears cat's ear headbands to be invisible. Jolene had a difficult childhood and lost both parents when she was a teenager, parents who spent little time worrying about or tending to her. Unsurprisingly, she learned to push emotion deep inside and instead paint a rosy picture to the world, most especially to those she loves. Not long after Michael tells Jolene that he does not love her anymore her Guard unit is called to deploy to Iraq for a year. Michael, a high-power attorney, will now be forced to handle the children and the household and he resents it. Betsy is angry with her mother for choosing the military over her daughter and Lulu has no concept of the amount of time her mother will be gone.

Iraq is more difficult and dangerous than Jolene had ever imagined. Fortunately her best friend and fellow helicopter pilot Tammy is with Jolene. The two women send cheery letters home covering up the fear and almost constant warfare, telling their families that they are fine and merely flying VIPs here and there when in reality they are in the thick of the fighting. Back at home, Michael has adjusted to the single parent lifestyle quite well but realizes that Jolene has left a large hole in the girls' lives and in his heart. He slowly comes to understand that he truly loves his wife and will do anything to keep their family together. Then, the official military car pulls up in front of the Zarkades home and his life changes forever.

Why have I never read Kristin Hannah until the past year? This is the third of her books I have read and have really enjoyed them all. I really liked the characters in this book, even the selfish Michael once he came off his self-centered pedestal. There were quite a few times I wanted to scream at Betsy for being such a snot but she's 12, everything is a drama, and she is petrified that her mother will die. Jolene and Tammy are very strong women who are devastated that they must leave their families but are honor-bound to serve their country. It's a great story, a bit soap-opera-ish at times, but worth the read.


Joni | 606 comments I listened to this one last year and I also enjoyed it. At times I wanted to slap Michael and shack Jolene.....but having a 12 year old myself.....I think I understand that young girl.


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Jason Oliver | 2063 comments This sounds. wonderful. I have read 1 Hannah book. Thankyou for the review.


Ellen | 2084 comments Jason wrote: "This sounds. wonderful. I have read 1 Hannah book. Thankyou for the review."
You're welcome and I hope you enjoy it.


Ellen | 2084 comments Joni wrote: "I listened to this one last year and I also enjoyed it. At times I wanted to slap Michael and shack Jolene.....but having a 12 year old myself.....I think I understand that young girl."
Yep, I'm with you on both counts my friend.


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