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Home Front: A Novel Paperback – January 8, 2013
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Delilah Reflects On What Makes Home Front Great
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!
“HOME FRONT heart-wrenching portrayal of one veteran's trials points out how much training goes into preparing for war - and how little is done to teach returning soldiers how to be parents again.” ―PEOPLE magazine
“Complex, captivating characters. A timely, dynamic plot. Gorgeous prose. Kristin Hannah's HOME FRONT is a deeply emotional must-read you won't soon forget.” ―USA Today
“This new offering after a string of best-sellers is sure to garner a lot of attention, not only because of Hannah's track record with readers but also because of its heartrending and timely subject matter.” ―Booklist
“Readers of HOME FRONT may not know what it's like to have a loved one in the military, but they can likely relate to the idea of a relationship in trouble and the challenges of juggling career with family.” ―Associated Press
“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 on Night Road
“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 on Night Road
“[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
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Home Front was so completely different, I don't even believe that it's the same author. It was SO predictable...and that's coming from someone who loves Dan Brown. There was lots of dead-horse-beating and a very unrealistic stigma throughout the whole book. I KNOW I can't speak for everyone, but I refuse to believe that in this day and age, a child would be ashamed of their mother in the military. Not a spoiler, just a very common thread of the book and I was totally over it after it was mentioned the first ten times. I think the story had potential, and I will not lie - I did cry. It struck some heartstrings in there but by no means was I knocked off my feet like in The Nightingale.
The story wasn't awful, but I genuinely would not recommend. It will work for some people and it will really resonate with some people, but in general, as a 25 year old female who's partner is an OIF veteran, I just couldn't get on board with some of the characters' ignorance and it just felt really forced. I really just finished it because I have a hard time abandoning half-read books - which I'm glad I did because the ending is not disappointing.
So far Kristin Hannah is 50:50 with me and eventually I'll try another book and hopefully love it as much as The Nightingale!!!
I also spent some time working with wounded Veterans at Walter Reed and Hannah's description of recovery and PTSD was heartbreakingly accurate. We have Veteran friends dealing with many different kinds of injuries, some physical, some mental, and we've even lost friends to Veteran suicide. This is such an important story for the American people to know and understand and Hannah does a beautiful job conveying this without over-doing it. However, I would like to add that Jo would have had more support from the Army (doctors, physical therapy, psychiatrists, psychologists) after coming home.
I loved that this story was from a female soldier's perspective. Many women have fought and died in combat even though they were not (during the time this book was written) allowed in combat positions. Being a female soldier in an Army of men can be tough, and I do wish Hannah had developed this issue a little bit more. The use of "Fly girl" and "Soldier girl" didn't sit well with me. They both seemed a bit overused and too dramatic for my taste.
Overall I absolutely loved this book and have not stopped thinking about it. I have only cried reading 2 books in my life and they both happen to be by Kristin Hannah: this one and The Nightingale. She manages to convey real human emotion so well, I only hope that the scheduled movies for these two books can do the same!
I was really moved by this quote. “But it’s an easy family to belong to, isn’t it? Rules guide every situation and behavior. There are no hurt feelings or broken hearts in that family. You always know who you are and what your job is. When you’re in trouble, your unit is always there for you. You know you’ll never be left behind.” Although meant for the soldier, it pertains to military dependents too. No matter where you go, the spouses that support(ed) you and yours are still there understanding what not many can.
Beautifully written from both the soldier’s and family’s point of views. I highly recommend reading this.
Top international reviews
This story shows realism and insight into the unexpected traumas faced by war veterans, and how the rest of us don't understand, making the whole situation difficult to deal with. It certainly opened my eyes