The War in Iraq finally ended late last year, with the last of U.S. troops leaving Iraq by mid-December. But the soldiers who served their country are forever altered by their time in Iraq. Kristin Hannah’s inspiration for Home Front came while watching the nightly news, as troops came home to their families.
Jolene Zarkades lost her parents in a car accident when she was 17. With no family and no money, she turned to the Army, where she found a different kind of family. 12 years later, she’s married to Michael, a successful lawyer, mother of two girls, and flying helicopters with her best friend for the National Guard. Jolene and Michael’s marriage has hit a rocky patch. Jolene is strong, self-reliant and refuses to ask for help. Michael, following in his father’s footsteps, spends too many hours at work and his family suffers for his seeming lack of interest in them. But when Jolene’s unit is deployed to Iraq, her family’s world is turned upside down. While she lives in constant fear of IEDs, attacks on the base and her Black Hawk getting shot down, Michael finally puts his family first and wonders how he can repair the marriage that’s broken partly (mostly) because of his selfish behavior.
In the year that Home Front covers, each member of the Zarkades family goes through major changes, which is what makes good character-driven fiction, in my book (no pun intended!). Most of them start out pretty unlikeable — even Jolene, the seemingly perfect mother, has her flaws — and while Jolene’s going to war is a less than ideal situation they all come out having grown and learned from the experience.
I will warn interested readers that the content in Home Front is not light or warm and fuzzy. A family torn apart by war is emotionally unstable and the language used in times of anger and frustration only added to the realism for me but others may disapprove.
Notes on the audiobook: Maggi-Meg Reed is becoming the narrator of choice for popular women’s fiction, and for good reason. She conveys emotions in ways that evoke a strong reaction from the listener. This is not a book to listen to while driving because tears caused by the many heartbreaking moments are not conducive to safe driving.
Macmillan Audio is providing us with an audio copy of Home Front for one winner, U.S. addresses only. Please leave a comment to enter to win. The winner will be announced on February 22. This giveaway has closed.
- The winner of the A Wrinkle in Time 50th Anniversary giveaway is #14 Cindi
- The winner of the Four Letter Words giveaway is #3, Emily C.
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Nancy couldn’t imagine leaving her family and going off to war, but is thankful to those who do serve their country. She writes about her 2 boys, books and life in Colorado at Life With My Boys and Books.
Thank you for the chance to have Home Front.
How do you choose your audio books? I have yet to have luck with any that I have chosen (admittingly, very few). I do listen to Jesus Calling (the devotional by Sarah Young) each morning as I drive to work.
I would love to win a good audio book…and to know your secret!
This one was provided by Macmillan for the review. But if I don’t have any review audio books, I basically browse the library shelves for something that sounds good. Also if I’m checking the library website for a book, if they have an audio version, then I usually get it. There’s not really a system, just whatever’s available and sounds good!
Love audio books.
Sounds like powerful content.
Mama Bear says
Thank you for reviewing this book…I’ve always loved her books but haven’t read this one yet.
I’ve never tried an audio book before…thanks for the chance!
I love her books we just read Winter Garden for book club. I would love a chance to win this audio – thanks!
Enjoy her books. Thanks for the giveaway
I usually listen to NPR podcasts — but this book “sounds” so good. I’d love to give audiobooks a try.
Angela E. says
Would truly love to read about this.
Beth C says
I like to have an audio book to listen to in the car and this sounds very good.
I love audiobooks and would love to win!
bethsbookreviewblog2 AT gmail DOT com
My 93 year old dad is a WWII Veteran
and my father-in-law is retired Air
Force, and served in Vietnam!
I would enjoy listening to the audio book
very much and then pass it along to family
Many thanks, Cindi
would love to win this book!
Staci A says
I absolutely love Kristin Hannah’s books. I don’t think I’ve made it through one yet without tearing up. Would love to listen to this one!
Well Staci you’ll definitely be tearing up at this one, because you won! Please reply to this email with your mailing information. Congrats!
Linda Kish says
I would love to win a copy of this book.
lkish77123 at gmail dot com
I would really like to read this book.
This is my kind of book.
I love Kristin Hannah. I had this book from the library and it sat in a corner for 2 weeks because Christmas responsibilities were consuming me. Thanks for the reminder. I will have to request it again.
Duh. There was a Kristin Hannah book here but as this one came out in January, it wasn’t this one. Apparently I’m more behind on my reading than I thought!