Friday, July 6, 2012

Book Review: Home Front by Kristin Hannah


Title: Home Front
Author: Kristin Hannah (Author Website)
Publisher: St. Martin's Press (January 31, 2012)
ISBN 10 :0312577206
388 pages
Format: Library Book

About the Book: (from

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

Setting: Poulsbo Washington/Liberty Bay

About the Author: (from Kristin Hannah Amazon Page)

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 clich├ęd 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.

Related Media: (Kristin Hannah speaking about Home Front)

My Review:  We went to the library and Home Front by Kristin Hannah was waiting for me.  I don’t even remember reserving Home Front, but glad I did.    I easily got caught up in  Home Front and found myself reading every spare moment I had or didn’t really have.   Trying to cook a big meal for guests on the 4th of July and sneaking in extra reading time don’t really work well together.  I must say, my hubby is a wonderfully tolerant man.

My favorite character in Home Front is Jolene Zarkades. Jolene is a loving mother, wife, friend and soldier.   She believes to the core of her being in duty, honor and loyalty.  She does her best to keep her career as a pilot in the military separated from her family life, but her deployment brings it to the forefront.   Jolene’s husband, Michael was my least favorite character.  He was very unsupportive of his wife’s career and felt the war in Iraq was unnecessary, without considering the true cost of war.  The Zarkades have 2 children, Betsy (an preteen with a terrible attitude) and LuLu (delightful 3 year old wear a kitty headband to be invisible).

The author does an amazing job of character development.  I started off just hating Michael, but as he grows and develops, I found my self hoping the best for him.  Kristin Hannah’s writing evoke such emotions and is so real.   In Home Front she confronts the truth about the war in Iraq and the effects of the war on the soldiers and the families they leave behind. 

My heart ached for Jolene when she was deployed.  The parts of the book that depict Jolene’s time in Iraq were the most heart breaking to me.  I could not put the book down during that part of the book.  She was an amazing soldier who took her duty, honor and loyalty to her crew very seriously.  All the way through this book, I thought about the amazing sacrifices soldiers and their families make for our country.  As a nation we need to do better about helping the families of the deployed and those returning from war.  They all give so much. 

Home Front is an eye-opening account of the effects of war on modern day soldiers and their families.  Home Front is a very emotional read, which portrays true friendship, love, loyalty, truth and honor. 

My Rating: 4.5/5 – I really liked Home Front and would high recommend this very emotional read.  I lost a nights sleep and burned supper for Home Front!

My Rating Scale: 1 – didn’t like it; 2 – it was ok; 3 – liked it; 4 – really liked it; 5 – it was amazing

Other Bloggers Reviews :

Shelia of Book Journey

My Friend Amy

Steph the Book Worm

Melissa’s Eclectic Bookshelf


Happy Reading!


  1. This is one book that I really hope to get to this summer!

  2. I loved how my feelings for the characters changed while reading this book. Hannah is becoming one of my favorite authors.