Reading for Me

The Books I Have Read…..Just for Me

#5: Home Front (Kristin Hannah)

on February 21, 2013

The great books keep rolling along for me! This week, I “read” another audio book to pass the time on the road.  Home Front is the story of Jolene, an Army National Guard reservist who is passionate about flying Black Hawks and caring for her two daughters. Sadly, her marriage has hit a bit of turbulence and her husband has asked for a divorce because “he doesn’t love her anymore.” When Jolene finds herself deployed to Iraq, the family’s entire world is turned upside down.

A large portion of the novel focuses on Dad caring for the home front while Mom is away serving her country. As the number of flights increase for Jolene, the situation becomes more and more dangerous until her Black Hawk is shot down. The result is that Jolene loses her right leg.

When the “soldier girl” returns home, she struggles with the strains the war has placed on her as well as her extended family. Jolene fights through the difficulty of PT and watches helplessly as her daughters attempt to understand the woman who has returned in their mother’s stead.

Home Front is a beautifully told story that is especially riveting due to Hannah’s ability to give a personal face to the Iraq War. In addition to the central story, the novel explores the effects of PTSD on American soldiers and the government’s care for our soldiers returning home while exploring the definitions of family and honor. It was a worth-while excursion into uncomfortable territory that I am glad I took.

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