Saturday, June 2, 2012

‘Home Front’ by Kristin Hannah

Mother’s Day has passed, but if you’re looking for a book as a gift for a mother, this is it.  Kristin Hannah certainly writes with a formula, but it’s one that works.  You can expect complex plots, rich characters, and a nicely resolved ending.  “Home Front” is no exception.

“Home Front” is set during the war in Iraq and tells the story of Jolene and Michael Zarkades.  She’s a reserve army pilot, a wife, and a mother of a preteen and a preschooler.  She manages work, which she loves, and home, alongside helping her oldest daughter, Betsy, deal with teenage angst.   Michael is a workaholic lawyer and is incredibly selfish and absent from family life.  The novel begins with him telling Jolene that he doesn’t love her anymore.  Then she is called up for active duty in Iraq.  Her sense of duty sends her to war, much to the dismay of her family.  Betsy is resentful, and Michael must step into the role of primary caregiver.  Tragedy strikes while Jolene is at war, and everyone is faced with dealing with the aftermath while attempting to hold the family together.

The story deals with familiar themes that many readers can relate to:  marriage difficulties, mother/daughter relationships, patriotism, and the physical and mental results of war on soldiers.  It is not hard to become emotionally invested in the plot.

What is great about this novel is that there is no perfect character.  The reader’s sympathies switch throughout the novel.  The characters are real and relatable.

This is a moving and stirring story and shouldn’t be missed.

1 comment:

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