Monday, 4 March 2013

Home Front by Kristin Hannah - a guest review

I'm really delighted to welcome a guest reviewer to Random Things today.   I've known Josie now for around six years or so, and although we've never actually met in the flesh, we are connected by our love of books.  We often love the same stories.  Josie started her lovely blog Jaffa Reads Too at around the same time as I started Random Things.   She is ably assisted in her blogging by the lovely Jaffa - famous in book circles as a very well-read cat.   Please take a little time to visit Josie and Jaffa's blog, you can find it here.

Josie and Jaffa - what a handsome pair!

Josie kindly agreed to review Home Front by Kirstin Hannah which was published by Pan Macmillan here in the UK in August 2012.

Here's what Josie and Jaffa thought of Home Front:

Jolene and Michael Zarkades seem to have everything, two beautiful girls, a lovely home and established careers, and as both of them take part in work they enjoy, they give the impression that they are content with their life together. However, bubbling under the surface are hidden tensions and disharmony, which once voiced cannot be unspoken. When Jolene is unexpectedly deployed to Iraq as part of her duties as a helicopter pilot, Michael is left to juggle, not only his career as a successful lawyer, but he must also learn how to hold his fragile family together in the most difficult of circumstances.
What then follows is an empathetic and perceptive look at military service and how it affects the lives of those who are left behind. The apprehension of those personnel who are fighting in a war zone is handled with great sensitivity, and yet what really shines throughout the narrative is the way in which the ‘ordinary’ lives of those who are left behind at home is altered beyond recognition.
Home Front is an incredibly emotional read, mostly the story doesn’t shy away from addressing the real issues of war, and even as the devastation caused by post traumatic stress is described as an ever present problem, there are also personal losses which must be analysed and forgiven. Kristin Hannah has a great capacity for recording the finer points of family life. She describes the overwhelming devastation suffered by families in the wake of unadulterated loss with great compassion, and yet it is in the minutiae of small details where the point is really rammed home, that war has the capacity to hurt and destroy even the most stable of families.
Overall, Home Front is a difficult book to enjoy, I sobbed through most of the last third of the book and to be honest I felt emotionally wrung out, not just by the story which was gut wrenching in places, but also because ultimately, the theme of grief, love and forgiveness shines through like a beacon of hope.

I'm so pleased that Josie enjoyed Home Front, her review really has whetted my appetite for the story.

Thanks so much Josie and Jaffa xx 

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for inviting me and Jaffa to your lovely blog Anne.

    We enjoyed reading and reviewing Home Front for our Guest Spot!