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Reviewed by Amanda Schafer

Jolene and Michael Zarkades are a typical married couple raising two children. He’s a successful lawyer; she’s a helicopter pilot with the Guard. They have a great home and a seemingly normal life, but underneath it all Michael and Jo struggle in their relationship with each other. When Michael misses a track meet that spurs a fight between, he finally tells her that he doesn’t love her anymore. The next day, Jo finds out she’s being deployed to Iraq.

Michael cannot fathom taking care of the house, the children, and his job while Jo is away and is angry at her refusal to tell the Guard that she can’t go because of her family. On her end, Jo is angry that Michael just never seems to “get” why she does what she does. He never supports her, never goes to events with her fellow Guardsmen, and never even talks to her about her experiences. But while Jo tries to come to terms with leaving her family, she also has to deal with the idea that her marriage is over. She sets things up for Michael as best she can and leaves for Iraq.

In Iraq, Jo’s days blend together in a haze of missions and death. At home, Michael makes mistakes in parenting, but quickly realizes that he truly needs and loves Jo. He starts to see things from her perspective and begins to regret what he’s done and said. Unfortunately, he receives the dreaded news that Jo’s helicopter was shot down.

Injured beyond repair,  Jo is angry and depressed and in her mind, her life and her career are both over. She has experienced so much in Iraq that she can’t share with anyone because she doesn’t think anyone will understand. And while her wounds will heal, Jo has to learn how to deal with the emotional scars caused by the war and her broken marriage.

Home Front was my first encounter with Kristin Hannah; I was pulled in from the first chapter and couldn’t put this book down! The characters and the situations they found themselves in were so real, true-to-life and easy to relate to. Aside from her ability to connect the readers with the characters, Hannah has tackled an issue that is facing many of our service men and women and their families: what to do when the person comes home and isn’t the same person anymore. Hannah takes a hard look at the fact that the government doesn’t do what it should to help these brave people or their families and gives us a clear picture of what really happens. If you haven’t read a Kristin Hannah book before, Home Front would be a great place to start.

Rating: ★★★★★ 

More fun for Kristin Hannah fans (or future fans!):

Download Kristin Hannah’s short story, The Glass Case, to your eReader for free. Click here for details.

Watch a video in which Kristin Hannah interviewed helicopter pilot and mother, Warrant Officer Teresa Burgess

Check out our review of Hannah’s last novel, Night Road

Amanda lives in Missouri with her engineering husband, two sons, and one daughter. In between homeschooling and keeping up with church activities she loves to read Christian Fiction, Women’s Fiction, and any Chick-Lit. She never goes anywhere without a book to read!

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by St. Martin’s Press. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.