Jolene and Michael are a ‘normal’ couple with two kids, a lovely home… and a crumbling marriage. The distance between them seems to be becoming unsurmountable and Michael caves one day and says he doesn’t love Jolene anymore. A hard statement to overcome at the best of times but when your wife is suddenly called to active service and you haven’t retracted it, what comes next can only be agonising for both parties. Thus begins a novel that is beset with struggles. For Jolene as she faces fear, loss and displacement, mourning the loss of friends and colleagues at the same time as she fears her marriage is over and her children’s resentment and confusion is unsurmountable. For Michael as he struggles with life alone with the children and the guilt over his cruel announcement. For the children as they live in fear and confusion over their mother’s absence.
Sometimes the greatest thing about receiving review copies unexpectedly is that you get a book you would never have picked up under any other circumstances and find you really enjoy it. I didn’t think Home Front was necessarily for me from the blurb but by the second chapter I knew I could settle into it. This is an excellent story with many facets, delving into the intricacies of relationships but also raising more specific points, such as the pressures on military families, coping with time away from home, injury, bereavement. The novel also skims over PTSD, as Michael (who is a lawyer) becomes involved in defending a soldier who is accused of murdering his young wife.
This is a very compelling and emotive read, which kept me turning the pages. It’s thought-provoking and well written, all characters displaying emotional strengths and weaknesses that make them – and their struggles – seem very realistic. Kristin Hannah has produced an excellent novel here and should be applauded for raising some difficult issues in such a sensitive and insightful way.**Review originally published on Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dave. I received a copy of the book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I did not receive any additional compensation and all views are my own.**