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Home Front    by Kristin Hannah order for
Home Front
by Kristin Hannah
Order:  USA  Can
St. Martin's, 2012 (2012)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book

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* *   Reviewed by Martina Bexte

Jolene and Michael Zarkades' marriage is on rocky ground, even if Jolene doesn't want to admit it. Michael's criminal law practice demands long hours and Jolene finds herself spread thin between the demands of her young daughters and her career as a Blackhawk helicopter pilot. The fact that she could be deployed at any time is also a constant worry. That Michael has never supported her career choice only makes Jolene's situation increasingly difficult.

The day comes when she receives her orders. Over the next few weeks, Jolene sees her family shatter more each day. How will her daughters survive without her for a year - or worst-case scenario - will they remember her if she doesn't make it home? Michael's growing resentment over his new role as single parent is also taking a toll. Even so, and as hard as it is for her to accept at times, Jolene knows that for the next year her duty to her country comes first.

Hannah delivers another touching and thought-provoking story, despite a rather slow-moving and predictable first half. Michael's character is too generic and hard to like (even though he does change his colours considerably) and teenage daughter Betsy's repetitive tantrums became rather nauseating. Once Jolene returns home, however, her struggles to cope with various losses, emotional upheavals and their new family dynamic immediately rev up the tone, pacing and emotional punch of the story - although some of the situations do get overly sentimental at times.

Even so, Home Front is a believable and poignant story, and shows how war can disrupt and forever change a family.

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