Friday, November 9, 2012

BOOK REVIEW: Home Front by Kristin Hannah

I listened to the audio book while in the car heading home from a vacation trip. At times I had to turn it off because I was afraid my tears might affect my driving. But, for me, tears means it is a good book. By the end of the fifteen hours of listening, I felt Joleen and Michael Zarkades and their girls Lulu and Betsy, were close friends of mine.

When we first meet the family, Joleen is a strong parent with loving children. She and Michael have drifted apart over the years and he is seldom home. He's a busy lawyer in Seattle and he blames part of his time away from home on the fact that Joleen forced him to live in the suburbs, causing him to take a ferry ride to work and back.

They marriage is hurting, but before they have a chance to discuss it, Joleen, a National Guard helicopter pilot, is deployed to Iraq in the heat of the fighting.

Michael is forced to care for the children, a job he has not yet learned.

I enjoyed the way the characters changed due to the situation. Michael had to grow and Joleen had to change into a full-time warrior.  The author gave us insights into what it is like when one family member goes to war and leaves the other to care for the home front. This is especially interesting because the United States has been involved in fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. My stepson was deployed for a year, leaving behind his family and three children, and I prayed for his safety all the time he was gone. He returned physically whole, but has memories that are sometimes unbearable.

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