Thursday, January 19, 2012

Giveaway: "Home Front" An Eye-Opening Book

I was sent the book “Home Front” by Kristin Hannah a few weeks ago. I started reading the book last week and I haven’t been able to put it down since I flipped open the first page. I finally finished it last night and I am still thinking about it today.

The main character, Jolene is in the National Guard and her marriage is on the rocks when she finds out she is being deployed to Iraq. She has a teenage daughter and a preschool age daughter and she feels extremely guilty for serving her country. Her guilt is fueled by the fact that her husband rarely spends any time with the family.

While Jolene is deployed, her husband, an attorney, gets a shocking look inside combat PTSD. A client he represents kills his wife after returning from war.
The author did an amazing job of portraying the emotions that go along with preparing for a deployment and the guilt a warrior feels leaving his or her family behind.

I was captured by the book when Jolene described her experiences overseas, flying helicopters with her best friend. She experienced mortar attacks, enemy fire, hero flights, transporting the wounded and seeing horrific injuries. While reading the book I felt my emotions bubbling up in my chest. I kept trying to stuff them down but it was a very accurate portrayal of what our warriors experience in combat and it uncovered some emotions I haven’t felt in a while.

It wasn’t until Jolene and her best friend were severely injured and she lost part of her crew while taking enemy fire that the tears started to flow. It was much like our story. It hit close to home.
It was heartbreaking to read how hard it was for Jolene to learn how to walk again, relive her combat experiences through her dreams, reintegrate with her family and grieve her loss. Through this fictional book I understood a little bit more what it was like for my husband to recover from his devastating injuries.

The last few pages were very emotional for me. As it came to a close I started to cry then I felt I should just let the tears flow. I can’t remember the last time that I cried but, it felt good.
My husband was asleep on the couch and I woke him up and cried in his arms. I felt I understood more about him by reading the book. Thank you Kristin Hannah for writing about the struggles our wounded warriors face. It was truly an eye-opening book. Thank you for putting into words what my husband might have felt coming back, wounded, so that I could better understand.

I will be giving three copies away to my readers. Comment below on why you would like to read this book and leave your email address so I can contact the winners. If you aren't a lucky winner you can buy the book.

Coming Jan. 31, 2012

Pre-order the hardcover edition of Home Front at these online retailers:

Pre-order the e-book edition:
Or you can check out Kristin's website.




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26 comments:

Alishia said...

I DO NOT want to enter the drawing. I did just set up to preorder the book on my nook when it comes out. It looks awesome! I did want to say thank you for sharing. I love to read and this seems like something that I will enjoy.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to enter as reading these books helps remind me that I'm not alone. And they're great to give to friends/relatives to help them understand. Thanks for making us aware of another book.
Teresa - teresaandtommy@Yahoo.com

Megan said...

I would love to enter to win a copy of the book. I'd hope for the same outcome as you experienced - simply to understand more about what my husband went through ... it sounds like an amazing read!

Steffanie said...

I'd love to win this. It looks like a great story. Anything that I can read that may give me even more insight into understanding my husband's PTSD and give me any new ideas on how to best help him is most welcome. I can't wait to read it.

steffaniesmith@rocketmail.com

Ashley said...

I would love to win this book. Since my husbands medical discharge for ptsd and mtbi i have considering joining the military. I havent read any books on the subject, mainly i read whats free online. Would be nice to hold one in hand.
Adolin1222@hotmail.com
ashley

Julia said...

I am so glad that you shared this book with us. I would like to read this book because I lost my husband this past May due to his struggles with PTSD, TBI, readjustment disorder and numerous other problems where he was in severe pain. This past May without any warning at all he went down to our shop building at home and hung himself. This has been very difficult for me and my sons to handle and I feel that by reading this book it would help me to understand him more and maybe be able to just understand the whole thing and be able to continue on and maybe help others by gaining this knowledge. Also I feel that perhaps my three young adult sons would like to read this book as well to help them along in their grieving process. Thank you.

Jennifer said...

I want to first thank you for sharing your experience with me. It is hard to find people who can relate and truelly understand what it is like being married or even with someone who has PTSD. I would love to win this book not only to read myself but to share with others so they can also get an understanding of what it has been like for our American soldiers. I also love to read and this sounds like an amazing book! Thank you again and God Bless! Jennifer- jenflo23@yahoo.com

Desiree said...

I would love to have a copy of this book! I still struggle with understanding what my husband went through, especially considering we were not together at the time of his deployment and injury. We have been friends since high school but only started dating (then married) after his retirement. I must admit, I feel a slight sense of isolation not having formed those bonds with other military/wounded warrior families. I was not present while he was at Walter Reed, I never went through all the rehabilitation that happened there and by extension, the bonding with others in similar situations. I have read the reports from when my husband was injured and I have seen pictures from throughout his deployment and recovery at Walter Reed but I would love to have more insight into what he went through in a combat zone. Either way.... Good luck to all who enter for a copy.

Anonymous said...

Wow sounds like a great book. My Dad was a helicopter pilot for the Navy for over 25 years. He served multiple tours in Nam and he was shot down several times. His body came home whole but not his soul. My Mom would from time to time comment that the man who came home was not the man who left. The last three years of his life we relived the war with him as the alzheimers forced him back in time. Whether I win a copy or not I will be getting it to read. Thanks for sharing I have posted it on my FB Wendy Rose Boice - Boicepwg@yahoo.com

Carla said...

I don't want to enter the drawing either...I just want to say thank you to each and every military family for the sacrifices you make. It doesn't matter if your Soldier is active duty, National Guard or Reserve, you make sacrifices so my family can enjoy the freedoms they so take for granted. Working with military Survivors reminds me daily that freedom reall isn't free...someone pays the ultimate price for it...and we should all remain conscious of that fact.

Again, thank you!!!

Kate said...

This book sounds like it could be a great help in understanding some of where my husband pain lies. My husband refuses to talk to me about what he saw overseas. It makes it difficult to connect with him because I am afraid of what to say. I think we all could benefit from reading a book that could help us understand from a different point of view. I have found that it is difficult for me to cope with all my husband's issues because I don't know understand it all. Thanks for sharing the information of this book with us! Can't wait to read it! Best of luck to everyone who enters! kate.kapusta@yahoo.com

Just another Army wife said...

I would love to enter the drawing, as I have a husband that was diagnose with ptsd after and ied blast that got him a purple heart. MY Step Dad also suffers from ptsd severely. To the point of being hospitalized possible permanently. He has shunned our who family and want nothing to do with anyone now. I sort of understand all the suffering after watching him go through everything he's still going through. Its a sad thing to watch your loved one deteriorate like this. I would just like to understand better. Thank you

Today in Michelle's World said...

I would like to read this book, because it seems very heartfelt, and may prepare me for when and if My Husband (USArmy) gets deployed. I'm always looking for a great story, and this seems like one of them. Also it might help me understand what friends of ours are going through, and maybe I can find a way to help.

angelsbabymj@yahoo.com said...

Im not much into reading books but this caught my eye thank u for sharing and if i have a chance at winning to read i wil keep passing it down to my fellow military spouses. Ty angela

angelsbabymj@yahoo.com

Angelsbabymjc said...

Im not much into reading books but this caught my eye thank u for sharing and if i have a chance at winning to read i wil keep passing it down to my fellow military spouses. Ty angela

angelsbabymj@yahoo.com

Tammy said...

I'd like to enter. As the mother of a wounded warrior who was medically discharged recently-I would like some insight on what he might have gone through. The book sounds like it may have the insight I'm looking for! Here were are almost 10 years later and I know very little of what he endured. I am so grateful for all the information/help that is becoming available.
Tammy yayatammy@yahoo.com

Pelayo said...

I would love to enter I currently have 3 loved ones deployed my husband, my brother and my sons godfather. I myself am a veteran although I was never sent to fight I have felt the losses. Maybe this book would help me understand these wonderful men a little more and what they are going through.

OutSpokenMom2 said...

I would love to be entered into this contest for the book. My Husband struggles with PTSD everyday and I struggle with how to be a Wife to him everyday. I have my own "baggage" and together with the PTSD it has created a very difficult road for our marriage. We are dedicated to our marriage and our children. It would be nice to have a book like this to read and always remember that I am not alone.

Shanteia Knox said...

I would love this book because if more women could read this book where I am they would have a better understanding of what its like to go through this sort of situation. I am definitely in need of this book for my unit kind of a sister of the traveling book kind of thing.

Just Jenn said...

When you love a soldier, you are in a constant state of holding your breath. Only when I surround myself with others who love camo-clad heroes do I feel like I belong for I know they are holding their beath too. Reading this book now.....while he is here.....will allow me another reason to kiss him till the tears stop and his breath becomes mine.

Anonymous said...

I would like to enter to win this book. I am also the wife of a combat wounded soldier. Not only am I his wife but I am also his caregiver. I would love to read someone elses story on how they handled the change because for anyone who is the spouse of a combat wounded soldier, its not an easy change to get use to.
Danielle
misspinkprncesd@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

I use to love to fall asleep lying on my husband chest with his arms wrapped around me. There was no place more safe than in his embrace! Now as I write this I have to keep wiping the tears off the screen - only here among other military wives can I say what breaks my heart and what so many civilian women take for granted. That once warm, safe,sacred place is now one of terrorizing fear! My gentle giant of a husband would be broken if he read these words, but I hold my eyes open until he is soundly asleep just praying that I can move away from his touch before he is rocked by his dreams. I know that once the nightmares of his deployment begin their nightly assault on his mind and body I need to be at a safe distance from him. Over time I have learned that I can only move away and pray! He tries to find something to hold onto in his sleep that can give him some grip on reality but it can't be me. It is a mistake to try and wake him -this only makes the dream worse and if he does wake he will only fall right back into that fear when his eyes close again. He will fight and kick and scream at this fear or even worse are the times when he is rocked awake by a blast that is so real to him that his ears ring and he can't breathe or hear his own screams. I try to make sure he is sound asleep before I move his hands away from my skin. He knows that I do it and I know that he is thankful that I do. I know that God will help us with this delicate balance of love,pride, safety, and fear. He has seen the bruises left behind in the early days when he would be rocket awake by an invisible blast and hold onto my arm like it was the only thing holding him to the earth. Days later "babe what in the world happened to your arm?", and then the anger and hate in his eyes when he realized that it was a mark left by him. Only God can see all scars left behind on the outside and inside from this war. Only women who love these hero's can understand the little things I miss so much - like the awesome sleep wrapped safety in my soldiers arms! I started this because I love to read and a free book sounded great, but now the gift of getting to type that here in a safe place where I know most of you know what I mean has been a true gift in and of its self. Thanks Angela - amcurlee@hotmail.com

Kristin said...

Thank you so much for this beautiful, beautiful review of Home Front. I can say that writing the book really opened my eyes to the sacrifices made by our troops and their families. I was humbled deeply by what I learned. I am so glad the book touched and moved you. Thank you so much to all of you soldiers and families out there...Sending blessings...kristin hannah

kathy said...

Thank you for sharing. I am not in the military or have family in the military. I do have a lot of military friends that live where I do and sometimes it is hard to understand the things that they go through. I give my best to listen and offer friendly advice. I would love to read this book and hopefully help me better understand what families go through as military people. I am from North Central Kansas. coleman@twinvalley.net

one 2 three go! said...

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing your stories and recommending this book. I'm in a new situation and there is not much information out there that helps so finding your blog and seeing other peoples comments has lifted a huge weight off tonight!!! Thanks again!

Anonymous said...

I just finished this book
in one word it is AMAZING
I cried thru the entire book
We owe so much to our troops and their families, they endure so much for our freedom. My husband is retired Air Force but I did not have the fortune to know him while he was active duty. God bless the USA and our veterans. and God Bless Kristin Hannah for bringing this book to life!