Home Front, by Kristin Hannah
Reviewed by: Jennifer Roman
Genre: Chick Lit/Military Women
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Publication Date: January 31, 2012
Orphaned during her teen years by alcoholic parents, Jolene quickly learned to take care of herself. Upon graduating from high school, she joined the Army Reserves and learned to fly a Black Hawk. There she gained confidence, a new family and a best friend, Tami. After marrying her husband Michael, an attorney, she had two daughters, and even though her marriage was strained, she enjoyed her life and her position in the reserves.
All of that changes the day her unit is called up to go to Iraq, and she and Tami fly rescue missions in the desert. During one of those missions, their helicopter is shot down, and Jolene returns home without one of her legs. Because of the injury, she is forced into medical retirement. She returns home to a family who doesn’t know how to respond to her and to life without a leg and without a career. Jolene and her family have to learn how to accept and experience grief.
Michael was never supportive of Jolene’s career choice, and this is apparent throughout the story. He realized just what his wife was doing when he was asked to defend a client with PTSD who was accused of murdering his wife. Seeing some of the same behavior in Jolene that he saw in his client helped Michael to understand what Jolene was at the very core. Her children, Betsy and Lulu, had to learn to let their mommy heal while figuring out a new way of life, and Jolene had to learn that she needed to not let her emotions be so controlled. The family struggles with several issues, but in the end, learns how to cope.
Readers will enjoy Jolene’s spunk, positive attitude and determination, and will appreciate what she has done for her country. While this is not one of Kristin Hannah’s best works, she does a good job of creating a tough scenario where many people can relate. There are some scenarios and situations that are not quite plausible, but if one suspends belief a bit, she or he will enjoy the story.
Due to some graphic violence and profanity, this book is not recommended for young readers.
Rated R: There is graphic war violence and great detail about injuries. There is a liberal use of strong profanity.
Book provided by the reviewer. Thank you!