Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Home Front

Home FrontHome Front by Kristin Hannah
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Home Front is an interesting novel.

Through the story of Jolene, we experience a world rarely ever explored: the life of a woman in the American army.

Jolene is a true blue American. She joined the military as a young woman and lives a patriot, flying aircraft, surrounded by the big family of her squadron. She believes in freedom and the American dream.

However much she enjoys her job though, she experience dissatisfaction and unhappiness at home. Her husband Michael is rarely around, spending large hours at the office pursuing cases and defending criminals. Even though they were once deeply in love (as all marriages seem to start), time has worn away their chemistry and expressions of love.

What this story addresses is many things: the relationship between a mother and adolescent daughter as Jolene struggles to balance work and home life, the marriage ups and downs, and the ultimate demand from her job: being shipped out to fight overseas.

Hannah maintains a decent tempo throughout the novel. The story never feels rushed or disjointed. Jolene is portrayed as a strong woman who can never be seen as needy or weak, which is why so many people (including her husband) find it difficult to connect with her.

When she suffer through war injuries and returns home a different person, we see her unravel as she attempts to deal with her new life as someone who can no longer live independently as she once did.

It's an easy read; I think I finished it in six to seven hours without much effort. The plot and the characters draw you into their story with all their issues and problems. I found it agreeable to read about people who are messed up and have imperfect relationships, not in a sadistic manner, but because the trouble and sadness lead to redemption--at least, in this novel.

If you like a quick and enjoyable read, I would recommend this novel. I hesitated to give more three stars though, because I felt that the dialogue was often stilted and a bit poor. The expressions of some characters were a bit reaching at times.

Go for it if you don't mind a somewhat sappy novel.

3/5 stars.

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