Kristin Hannah is one of those authors whose work I always read. And I am never disappointed.
In Home Front, Hannah's latest, Jolene is a mother in the Reserves, called up for active duty in Iraq. Her husband, Michael, a successful attorney has never been supportive of his wife's military service, and he is less than pleased to realize that he will be a single parent for the next year. Jolene grew up in an unhappy home, and her focus has always been on controlling herself and her emotions. She has provided a happy, safe environment for her children and even though she and Michael are no longer close, still loves her husband.
The deployment turns everything upside down. Jolene reassures her family she will be fine and Michael tries to ignore what is going on by burying himself in work. One bright spot is her relationship with Tami, also in her Reserve unit, a woman who is as close to her as a sister. The two put on a brave front for their families, not wanting to let on to the dangers they are facing on a daily basis.
Hannah throws in some tragedy and struggles for her characters, and also explores the issue of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in soldiers returning from combat.
I enjoyed this novel, and especially the unique perspective of sending a mother off to war. While I know far more men who must leave their families for active duty, I do know a mom who has been deployed twice. I am always amazed at what she and her family go through with her departures and returns. Up until now, I have not read a novel with this perspective.
Fans of Hannah won't be disappointed, and while the story is a tad predictable, it was quite enjoyable and hard to put down.