Book Review: Home Front by Kristin Hannah


Book Review: Home Front by Kristin Hannah

Book Description:

In this powerhouse of a novel, Kristin Hannah 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 lifechildren, careers, bills, choreseven as their twelve-year marriage is falling apart. Then a deployment sends Jolene deep into harm's way and leaves defence 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 soldier, she has always understood the true meaning of duty. In her letters home, she paints a rose-coloured 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 ownfor 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, honour, and ultimately, hope.


I want to warn you, this novel will break your heart into a million little pieces. Kristin Hannah wrote an incredibly moving work of fiction. This was my first book by her, and I was incredibly moved by her words. I don’t usually get emotional when I’m reading, but this book had me in tears. Every character is so well written and relatable, not necessarily likable but real. Recently, her novel Firefly has been getting a lot of attention due to a Netflix series but Home Front was also made into a movie. 

As Jolene tells Michael that she is being deployed, he blames her. He’s never been supportive of her career and doesn’t understand why she chose to stay in the guard. One daughter is too young to really understand how long her mother is going and the other feels like Jolene is choosing the military over her. Jolene wants them all to understand that she doesn’t have a choice, she is a soldier. Michael resents that he must pick up her slack and take care of their family. He feels emasculated and makes sure Jolene is aware that he does not support her.

It’s really interesting how all the relationships change while Jolene is away. Michael and Jolene’s relationship is broken, and it doesn’t resolve itself very easily. Jolene doesn’t come back the same person she was when she left, Michael is no longer the man he was when she left. Throughout much of the book, I wondered if they could possibly move forward. 

Home Front really did give me an appreciation for military families, and the struggles they face. This book is breathtaking, and highly recommended. I found myself looking for every opportunity to read just a few more pages. This is a book that will stay with you long after you've finished reading it. 

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