In her bestselling novels Kristin Hannah has plumbed the depths of friendship, the loyalty of sisters, and the secrets mothers keep. Now, in her most emotionally powerful story yet, she explores the intimate landscape of a troubled marriage with this provocative and timely portrait of a husband and wife, in love and at war.
All marriages have a breaking point. All families have wounds. All wars have a cost. . . .
Like many couples, Michael and Jolene Zarkades have to face the pressures of everyday life---children, careers, bills, chores---even as their twelve-year marriage is falling apart. Then an unexpected deployment sends Jolene deep into harm's way and leaves defense attorney Michael at home, unaccustomed to being a single parent to their two girls. As a mother, it agonizes Jolene to leave her family, but as a solider she has always understood the true meaning of duty. In her letters home, she paints a rose-colored version of her life on the front lines, shielding her family from the truth. But war will change Jolene in ways that none of them could have foreseen. When tragedy strikes, Michael must face his darkest fear and fight a battle of his own---for everything that matters to his family.
At once a profoundly honest look at modern marriage and a dramatic exploration of the toll war takes on an ordinary American family, Home Front is a story of love, loss, heroism, honor, and ultimately, hope.
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!