Home Front

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Home Front

by Kristin Hannah

St. Martin's Press | January 31, 2012 | Hardcover

Home Front is rated 4.5 out of 5 by 4.

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. 

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 400 pages, 9.5 × 6.4 × 1.25 in

Published: January 31, 2012

Publisher: St. Martin's Press

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0312577206

ISBN - 13: 9780312577209

Found in: Fiction and Literature

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Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from The Tragedies of War... Story Description: St. Martin’s Press|January 31, 2012|Hardcover|ISBN: 978-0-312-57720-9 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-old 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 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 forseen. 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, honour, and ultimately, hope. My Review: Jolene Larsen lives with her parents who are constantly drunk and fighting. It’s the same situation time and time again – her parents drinking, then the arguing, then her father staggering out the door, and her mother crying saying how much she loves him and what is she going to do without him. Then comes the make-up period where they hug and kiss, say they’re sorry until the next time. Only this last time disaster strikes. Fast forward twenty-three years to present day where Jolene is now forty-one-years-old and married to Michael Zarkades, a criminal defense attorney with his own firm. They have two daughters, twelve-year-old, Betsy and four-year-old, Lucy. Jolene is a Blackhawk pilot with the National Guard. The Zarkades’s live in a beautiful home along the shores of Liberty Bay in Poulsbo, Washington. Jolene’s love for Michael is solid and runs deep, although they haven’t been able to spend a lot of time together lately as Michael never seems to make it home on time for dinner or to Betsy’s events at school but Jolene is proud of his work ethic and commitment to his job. Then one night, eleven-months after the death of his father, Michael tells Jolene that he no longer loves her. Jolene is devastated and deeply hurt. A few days later, Jolene and best-friend, Tami who lives next-door with her husband, Carl and their son, Seth are called to deploy to Iraq. Michael isn’t at all happy about having to become Mr. Mom for the next year and keep up his gruelling work schedule. Plus, he has never supported Jolene’s decision to become a Blackhawk pilot and has never attended any events related to Jolene’s job. Naturally her daughters, Betsy and Lucy are devastated at the news of their mother leaving them for an entire year. Betsy especially is affected being a pre-teen and needing her mother more than ever. The day of deployment arrives and Jolene heads off into war with the parting words: “I don’t love you anymore” crushing her heart and her spirit. When a disaster strikes, can Michael swallow his pride, step up to the plate and tell Jolene how he truly feels before it is too late? The underlying sub-plot in this story revolves around PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) that many of the soldiers return from war with. Many of these war heroes come home as complete strangers to their families and even to themselves. Home Front is a hard book to read but reminds us how thankful we need to be to any and all soldiers/members of the military and recognize that they are putting their lives on the line for us. I don’t know that those of us who are non-military families can truly appreciate what those families go through. I couldn’t even begin to imagine having to wait at home every single day waiting for word from my husband, son, daughter, cousin or other family member. After reading Home Front I will be sure to say ‘thank you’ from now on when I cross paths with a service person. Excellent read that I’ll be highly recommending.
Date published: 2012-09-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Most Emotional Book Ever Read! Only the second book of Kristin Hannah's that I have read. She has not disappointed me. This book had me crying from beginning to end. From the very beginning I said this book should have a warning label: "May cause serious distress". I have never read a book that has brought this much emotion. Her writing is vivid. I felt like I was in the moment and in Jo's world.
Date published: 2012-06-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Topical story When patrons come into the library looking for a 'good' story, Kristin Hannah is an author that I recommend. In her latest book, Hannah tackles a number of themes, combining them into a topical and thought provoking read. Michael and Jolene have been married for a number of years. They have two daughters. Michael is a lawyer and Jolene is a helicopter pilot in the National Guard. There have been bumps along the way, but nothing prepares Jolene for Michael's unexpected announcement - he doesn't love her anymore and wants a divorce. Jolene has an announcement of her own - she's been deployed to Iraq... Home Front explores a struggling marriage, the effects of war and military service on family, friends and on the military members themselves, both during and after service. Hannah has turned things around by having a mom and wife as the one leaving and the husband as the one holding up the home front. I really did not like Michael at all in the beginning. It took the entire book for me to change my opinion. This is a testament to Hannah's story telling. All of her characters rang true and I became emotionally involved in each and every one of their stories. Jolene's oldest daughter Betsy is a typical twelve year old - very self centered and hard to love at times. Five year old Lulu's bewilderment was heartbreaking. The relationship between Jolene and her best friend Tammy is a joy. Jolene's rough childhood has made her determined to always paint a sunny picture and smile through it all. But, the war changes each and every relationship -mother, daughters, husband, wife, friend and most difficult of all - Jolene's relationship with herself. Kristin Hannah has done a remarkable job of depicting war, the horrors, the after effects, the pride, honour and duty associated with the military. Just as engaging is the story of a husband and wife, striving to find the love they once shared. So, those looking for a (really) 'good' story will find it in Home Front.
Date published: 2012-02-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from a Great emotional read Michael and Joleen Zarkades are an average American couple. Michael is a criminal defense lawyer and Joleen is in the National Guard and flies a Black Hawk helicopter. They have two children, Betsy, age 12 and Lulu, age 4. They have been married for twelve years but are now facing a difficult patch in their marriage with the big D (divorce) looming. Betsy has just entered middle school and is at the, to borrow a term from the book, frenemy stage. Her best friends are friends one day and enemies as cruel as they can be the next day. She is obnoxious to her mother and her father has distanced himself from his family so Betsy is anxious for his attention. All their lives are changed as Joleen is called up for deployment to Iraq. She is duty-bound to go but what happens to her family and how does she cope worrying about them as they are worrying about her This book is about duty, honour, love, forgiveness and surmounting the difficulties in one's life. PTSD is the main topic and is well-researched. This book is about American forces but could just as easily be written about our Canada forces in Afghanistan. There is a strong message and one that should be read. Our forces need our consideration and help even when they have returned from these countries. These men and women have given up their lives for us and even though some of us may not understand this level of commitment one has to admire what they go though over there and upon their return. To say this book is emotional is a vast understatement, I spent the greater part of it in tears. Another winner from this great author
Date published: 2012-01-02

– More About This Product –

Home Front

by Kristin Hannah

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 400 pages, 9.5 × 6.4 × 1.25 in

Published: January 31, 2012

Publisher: St. Martin's Press

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0312577206

ISBN - 13: 9780312577209

About the Book

The blockbuster bestselling author of "Night Road" and "Firefly Lane" delivers a masterful novel that explores the sacrifices of one American family and illuminates the true cost of honor, duty, and love, offering an intimate look at the inner landscape of a disintegrating marriage and a dramatic examination of the price of war.

Read from the Book

One   April 2005     On her forty-first birthday, as on every other day, Jolene Zarkades woke before the dawn. Careful not to disturb her sleeping husband, she climbed out of bed, dressed in her running clothes, pulled her long blond hair into a ponytail, and went outside. It was a beautiful, blue-skied spring day. The plum trees that lined her driveway were in full bloom. Tiny pink blossoms floated across the green, green field. Across the street, the Sound was a deep and vibrant blue. The soaring, snow-covered Olympic mountains rose majestically into the sky. Perfect visibility. She ran along the beach road for exactly three and a half miles and then turned for home. By the time she returned to her driveway, she was red-faced and breathing hard. On her porch, she picked her way past the mismatched wood and wicker furniture and went into the house, where the rich, tantalizing scent of French roast coffee mingled with the acrid tinge of wood smoke. The first thing she did was to turn on the TV in the kitchen; it was already set on CNN. As she poured her coffee, she waited impatiently for news on the Iraq war. No heavy fighting was being reported this morning. No soldiers—or friends—had been killed in the night. “Thank God,” she said. Taking her coffee, she went upstairs, walking past her daughters’ bedrooms and toward her own. It was still early. Maybe she would wake Michael with a long, slow kiss. An invitation. How long had it be
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From the Publisher

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. 

About the Author

Kristin Hannah is the New York Times bestselling author of eighteen novels. A former lawyer turned
writer, she is the mother of one son and lives with her husband in the Pacific Northwest and Hawaii.

Editorial Reviews

“Hannah masterfully details the unraveling of a family.” —Associated Press on Night Road

“Kristin Hannah is back in top form with…Night Road. The novel grips the reader from the
first appearance of despondent 14-year-old Lexi Baill…[and] will hook Hannah fans from start
to suspenseful finish.” —Washington Post

“Night Road is a do-not-miss for fans of Jodi Picoult and will stay with you long after you’ve
turned the last page.” —Justine Magazine
 
“[A] rich, multilayered reading experience, and…an easy recommendation for book clubs.”
—Library Journal, *starred review on Night Road
 
“Hannah’s latest is a moving and realistic portrait of a complex and enduring friendship.”
—Booklist on Firefly Lane
 
“[Hannah] really knows what women-her characters and her audience-want.”
—Publishers Weekly on True Colors

“This terrific buddy saga about two best girlfriends who survive all sorts of escapades and
catastrophes will inevitably provoke comparisons with Iris Dart’s ‘Beaches,’ but the story is
all Hannah’s own.”
—The Seattle Times on Firefly Lane

“You cannot read Night Road and not be affected by the story and the characters. The total impact of the book will stay with you for days to come after it is finished.”
—Newark Star-Ledger
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