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Home Front: A Novel Hardcover – January 31, 2012


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press; 1st Printing edition (January 31, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312577206
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312577209
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.4 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (759 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #459,030 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Delilah Reflects On What Makes Home Front Great

Delilah

A "best friend" to millions of women, Delilah blends 5 hours of music with listener call-ins, personal anecdotes, and interviews with top artists, touching lives and giving comfort through music. Delilah is a full-time mother sharing family stories through the airwaves. Her family is the center of her life, reflected nightly on her show. With 12 kids, she can relate to callers who juggle kids, family and work.

Kristin Hannah's written so many good books that I knew this one--her 20th book--Home Front--was going to delight me. And it did. But in ways I did not expect when I started reading the story and met Jolene, the character in this book that so many women have related to.

Jolene is a woman like so many of us, busy as a mother and a wife, with smarts and potential that might never be fully explored, if only because of the priorities in her life. Her selfless act of enrolling in our National Guard hints at that and her selflessness, and that act alone changes her life forever. And that of her family, forever.

What Jolene discovers in herself is an amazing ability to use her intellect and instincts to be a true hero in the middle of a war, and to carry the burdens of what so many of our men and women experience in wartime. My own trip to Iraq and Afghanistan to visit our troops years ago allowed me to understand for the first time how truly hard war is.

So many men and women in uniform keep the secrets and burdens of what is witnessed to themselves. It's our secrets that keep us captive. I found myself feeling Jolene's pain and stress as she returned home to family life, and thought of the number of listeners that have called me over the years hinting at the same issues of post-traumatic stress that ripple through each family.

Home Front is the kind of story that keeps you awake longer than you want to, reading in the few quiet moments of my day, negotiating with myself for just ten more pages, and then ten more.

Home Front is a story that keeps you reading longer than you tell yourself you're going to allow yourself. It's that good!

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Review

“Hannah masterfully details the unraveling of a family.” —Associated Press on Night Road

“Kristin Hannah is back in top form with…Night Road. The novel grips the reader from the
first appearance of despondent 14-year-old Lexi Baill…[and] will hook Hannah fans from start
to suspenseful finish.” —Washington Post

“Night Road is a do-not-miss for fans of Jodi Picoult and will stay with you long after you’ve
turned the last page.” —Justine Magazine
 
“[A] rich, multilayered reading experience, and…an easy recommendation for book clubs.”
—Library Journal, *starred review on Night Road
 
“Hannah’s latest is a moving and realistic portrait of a complex and enduring friendship.”
—Booklist on Firefly Lane
 
“[Hannah] really knows what women-her characters and her audience-want.”
—Publishers Weekly on True Colors

“This terrific buddy saga about two best girlfriends who survive all sorts of escapades and
catastrophes will inevitably provoke comparisons with Iris Dart’s ‘Beaches,’ but the story is
all Hannah’s own.”
—The Seattle Times on Firefly Lane

“You cannot read Night Road and not be affected by the story and the characters. The total impact of the book will stay with you for days to come after it is finished.”
—Newark Star-Ledger

More About the Author

Kristin Hannah was born in September 1960 in Southern California and grew up at the beach, making sand castles and playing in the surf. When she was eight years old, her father drove the family to Western Washington which they called home.

After working in a trendy advertising agency, Kristin decided to go to law school. "But you're going to be a writer" are the prophetic words she would never forget from her mother. Kristin was in her third-and final-year of law school and her mom was in the hospital, facing the end of her long battle with cancer. Kristin was shocked to discover that her mother believed she would become a writer. For the next few months, they collaborated on the worst, most clichéd historical romance ever written.

After her mom's death, she packed up all those bits and pieces of paper they'd collected and put them in a box in the back of her closet. Kristin got married and continued practicing law.

Then Kristin found out she was pregnant and was on bed rest for five months. By the time she'd read every book in the house and started asking her husband for cereal boxes to read, she knew she was a goner. That's when her husband reminded her of the book she'd started with her mom. Kristin pulled out the boxes of research material, dusted them off and began writing. By the time their son was born, she'd finished a first draft and found an obsession.

The rejections came, of course, and they stung for a while, but each one really just spurred her to try harder, work more. In 1990, Kristin got "the call," and in that moment, she went from a young mother with a cooler-than-average hobby to a professional writer, and has never looked back. In all the years between then and now, she have never lost her love of, or her enthusiasm for, telling stories. Kristin feels truly blessed to be a wife, a mother, and a writer.


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Customer Reviews

The characters were well developed & the story was very believable.
Jackie Vogt
I think the thing that makes this book hit home so hard is it's resemblence to real life for the brave men and women serving in our military.
Booklover848
This book kept me reading from the first page right to the end in one sitting...
Sharon

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

153 of 168 people found the following review helpful By Maudeen Wachsmith VINE VOICE on November 28, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Ahhhh --- the newest Kristin Hannah book. Perfect for the day it came in the mail - a windy, rainy autumn day. I snuggled in knowing full well that once I got started reading, I wouldn't budge until I finished. The only negative thing about reading a Kristin Hannah book is knowing I'll have to wait a year until the next one. I have come to expect not only a quality read, but one in which I will be emotionally involved. As a reader I don't feel like I'm merely a spectator to the drama in a Kristin Hannah book. I become part of it. HOME FRONT was all I expected--and more.

After a tough childhood and the death of her parents, Jolene enrolled in the "high school to flight school" program. Now, 23 years later, she's a Blackhawk pilot with the National Guard. Married to Michael Zarkades, they are the parents of 12-year-old and four-year-old daughters, Betsy and Lulu and lead an idyllic life on the shores of Liberty Bay in Poulsbo, Washington.

Michael, who recently lost his father and business partner, is a workaholic. He has been getting home later and later each night, leaving a resentful Jolene to make excuses for his multiple absences from family and children's activities. Things escalate until, in midst of a heated argument, Michael tells Jolene he no longer loves her. It's like a slap in the face.

The two are unable to reconcile before Jolene and her best friend and neighbor, Tami, are deployed to Iraq. Now Michael (with help from his insightful mother, Mila) is left to assume a role he has no experience in, with daughters he barely knows. When the unthinkable happens, will Michael swallow his pride and let Jolene know how he really feels before it's too late?
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58 of 64 people found the following review helpful By Tonya Speelman VINE VOICE on November 27, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I waited forever for this book... doesn't it seem like that with all the good ones?? I am soooo going to carry this book with me for awhile. Kristin Hannah writes about subjects that are very in-depth -- I know with Winter Garden I needed tissues after reading the ending. With Home Front, you will need tissues throughout! Just sayin!

We meet Jolene and Michael. Married with 2 girls. Michael is a defense attorney and Jolene is a woman helicopter pilot for the Guard. Michael has taken Jolene for granted and not really been there for her. It all comes to a head one night when he tells her he doesn't love her anymore. The VERY next day, she gets orders to go to Iraq.

Michael and the girls are all feeling different emotions, but Michael doesn't have a change of heart then. Can you imagine? Your wife or husband going to Iraq, who knows if they will return or not? And you don't tell them you were sorry and love them and support them.

So what happens from there? READ IT! You will tell everyone to read it after you are done. I never really thought about what happens when they come home. However, even though they are back in the States with such trauma as they are put into over there, PTSD is real over here.

More importantly, what are we doing to support our troops when they come home? That is a good question for all of us to ponder!

Thanks Kristin, for another outstanding read! Any book that makes you think like this, is an excellent book in my opinion!

I received this book for free from Amazon in exchange for my honest opinion.
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122 of 150 people found the following review helpful By AndreaF on February 8, 2012
Format: Hardcover
While I appreciated the focus on military families and PTSD, I was less than enamored of this particular family and their struggles with a deployment, an injury obtained in theater, the return of the military member, and just life in general.

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 mention how he felt and she said, "okay, no problem, we just won't talk about it for twenty years"? If he was so anti-military, anti-war, etc, why on earth did he marry into such a situation in the first place?

Additionally, Michael was so lost regarding how to take care of his own children that I had to wonder: What ON EARTH did he do with his two daughters when his wife was gone one weekend each month and two weeks each year? In my opinion, this is a huge flaw in the book; if he was married to a reservist then the past 11-12 years (after the children arrived), there would have been these drill absences. Sooo... it would stand to reason that he would have some idea how to care for them on his own, wouldn't it?

Also, after nearly TWO DECADES together, he was such a putz that he didn't realize the caliber of the person to whom he was married? He had no knowledge of what being a military spouse entailed? There were no pre-deployment briefs, info, classes that he would have gone to? As a military spouse, I was inundated with information from the beginning of our marriage, and am still to this day, especially prior to deployments.
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