Saturday, January 28, 2012

ARE YOU LISTENING? HOME FRONT: A REVIEW AND GIVEAWAY

WELCOME TO BOOKIN' WITH BINGO'S" 
ARE YOU LISTENING? DAY" 
I AM EXCITED TO ANNOUNCE TODAY'S
AUDIO BOOK CHOICE.....
GIVEAWAY ENDED
HOME FRONT 
BY KRISTIN HANNAH
READ BY MAGGI-MEG REED
ABOUT THE BOOK:
The blockbuster bestselling author of Night Road and Firefly Lane delivers a masterful novel that explores the sacrifices of one American family and illuminates the true cost of honor, duty, and love. In her bestselling novels Kristin Hannah has plumbed the depths of friendship, the loyalty of sisters, and the secrets mothers keep. Now, in her most emotionally powerful story yet, she explores the intimate landscape of a troubled marriage with this provocative and timely portrait of a husband and wife, in love and at war.

All marriages have a breaking point. All families have wounds. All wars have a cost. . . .

Like many couples, Michael and Jolene Zarkades have to face the pressures of everyday life---children, careers, bills, chores---even as their twelve-year marriage is falling apart. Then an unexpected deployment sends Jolene deep into harm’s way and leaves defense attorney Michael at home, unaccustomed to being a single parent to their two girls. As a mother, it agonizes Jolene to leave her family, but as a solider she has always understood the true meaning of duty. In her letters home, she paints a rose-colored version of her life on the front lines, shielding her family from the truth. But war will change Jolene in ways that none of them could have foreseen. When tragedy strikes, Michael must face his darkest fear and fight a battle of his own---for everything that matters to his family.

At once a profoundly honest look at modern marriage and a dramatic exploration of the toll war takes on an ordinary American family, Home Front is a story of love, loss, heroism, honor, and ultimately, hope.
To hear an exerpt from this audio book, HOME FRONT, visit the Macmillan Audio Book website HERE.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Kristin Hannah is the New York Times bestselling author of novels including Night Road, Firefly Lane, True Colors and Winter Garden. She was born in Southern California and moved to Western Washington when she was eight. A former lawyer, Hannah started writing when she was pregnant and on bed rest for five months. Writing soon became an obsession, and she has been at it ever since. She is the mother of one son and lives with her husband in the Pacific Northwest and Hawaii.

ABOUT THE READER:
Maggi-Meg Reed has performed as an actress and singer both on and off Broadway.  She is the narrator of numerous popular audiobooks including Alex Kava's One False Move, Sebastien Japrisot's A Very Long Engagement, and Audrey Niffenegger's The Time Traveler's Wife.  Maggi-Meg is a multiple Audie nominee, Earphones winner, and AudioFile Featured Narrator.   In 2008, she was named the Best Voice in Fiction & Classics by AudioFile magazine.  Her voice is also heard on television and radio commercials across the country.  She lives in Brooklyn, NY. 
 
JUST SOME OTHER BOOKS FROM KRISTIN HANNAH:


 

 



 

MY THOUGHTS/REVIEW:
Kristin Hannah writes magnificent books with intricate characters that deal with all kinds of relationships.  When I read my first book by Kristin, FIREFLY LANE, and placed it in my “Top Ten Books List” right beside Wally Lamb’s SHE’S COME UNDONE, I knew this was an author whose work I would always read and enjoy. However, with HOME FRONT, Kristin Hannah has far exceeded my expectations. I believe this is her best work yet.

The relationship Kristin Hannah deals with in HOME FRONT is one between a woman and her husband, her children, her job, her best friend, and even herself. Jolene Larsen had a dreadful young life growing up with alcoholic parents and that was when she first began to learn to shield herself from hurt. When Jolene’s parents were killed in an automobile crash, she was just shy of 18 and didn’t want to go into foster care. She sought out a young lawyer’s advice on how she could stay in her home until she graduated high school which she did. Jolene then joined the army, attended flight school and ultimately became a helicopter pilot. Jolene made a lifelong best friend there in Tami and they live parallel lives even into marriage and children. Theirs is an undeniably close and loyal friendship that most would envy. 

Michael Zarkades is the lawyer who Jolene must have made quite an impression on when she went to him for help after her parents died. When they reconnect, he remembers her and Michael admires the fiercely positive woman Jolene has become. Their relationship and love grows resulting in marriage, and two daughters, Betsy, 12, and Lulu, who is an adorable four-year-old. Michael has recently lost his father and so is now in charge of the family law practice while his Greek mother, Mila, “Yiayia” to the girls (just like I am to my grandson), is such a well written and fleshed out character whose part is also important in the story.

However, Michael is having trouble dealing with his father’s death, and it seems like Jolene doesn’t understand. She always sees the glass half-full, “turn that frown upside down”, and tries to gloss over his feelings rather than face them and cause any pain. It is at this point in the story that things really take off. Michael loses his temper at Jolene and push comes to shove and a possibly irrevocable break in the marriage occurs. Timing being everything, it is also when Jolene finds out that her unit is being deployed to Iraq. As a Black Hawk helicopter pilot in the National Guard, she and Tami, both must leave and both play it down to their families rather than worry them. Michael is not happy about this as he has always been against Jolene’s career anyway, and also certainly against the war. Thus Jolene leaves without the understanding and compassion she hoped for from her family, and Michael is left to now take over for Jolene.

What happens to Michael and Jolene while she is away is just one more twist in the story that keeps you turning pages, or in my case, listening far into the night at the wonderfully read audio book. Jolene’s carefully tended life seems to be coming apart but she has yet to face the real problems. Tragedy strikes and it is at this point in HOME FRONT that Hannah’s narrative takes on an even more serious tone and subject matter. Her research and talent are quite evident as she holds the reader hostage to find out what is coming next. Believe me, there is plenty coming and most of it, you do not see, but you will certainly feel.

The murder case that Michael is working on when Jolene returns has given him new perspective, only to contrast with a seriously changed Jolene coming home to her family. Things are so far from what they were before Jolene left, it will shock you. Who Jolene and Michael become is woven so well into the story line that I physically ached for them. Everyone is affected by these changes from Jolene and Michael, to Betsy and Lulu, and many others in their lives. I must say Yiayia Mila is the one constant in the story and I adored her character especially. Kristin Hannah’s use of Greek traditions and food are spot on and an important part of the story.  Once again bringing it all back to relationships, Hannah has given readers a relevant and inspirational story. Don’t miss HOME FRONT which will be out January 31, and thank you, Kristin Hannah, for once again raising the bar!

GIVEAWAY
THANKS TO ESTHER AND THE SUPER
PEOPLE AT MACMILLAN AUDIO BOOKS,
I AM THRILLED TO OFFER TWO COPIES
OF THIS AMAZING AUDIO BOOK, 
HOME FRONT BY KRISTIN HANNAH!
 
--U.S. RESIDENTS ONLY
--NO P. O. BOXES, PLEASE
--INCLUDE EMAIL ADDRESS IN COMMENT
--ALL ENTRIES/COMMENTS MUST BE
SEPARATE IN ORDER TO COUNT

AS MORE THAN ONE ENTRY
HOW TO ENTER:

+1 ENTRY: READ ABOUT THE AUDIO BOOK ABOVE AND COMMENT ON SOMETHING YOU FOUND INTERESTING ABOUT HOME FRONT THAT WOULD MAKE YOU WANT TO WIN THIS AUDIO BOOK

+1 MORE ENTRY: BLOG OR TWEET ABOUT THIS GIVEAWAY AND LEAVE A LINK I CAN FOLLOW IN THE ENTRY

+1 MORE ENTRY: COMMENT ON SOMETHING YOU FIND INTERESTING AT KRISTIN HANNAH'S WEBSITE HERE..THERE IS SO MUCH TO SEE AND BE SURE AND CHECK OUT 'FUN FACTS'!

+1 MORE ENTRY: COMMENT ON ONE CURRENT GIVEAWAY OF MINE YOU HAVE ENTERED. IF YOU ENTERED MORE THAN ONE, COMMENT SEPARATELY FOR EACH AND YOU WILL GET AN ENTRY FOR EACH ONE

+1 MORE ENTRY: COMMENT ON ONE WAY YOU FOLLOW MY BLOG. IF YOU FOLLOW MORE THAN ONE WAY, YOU CAN COMMENT SEPARATELY AND EACH WILL COUNT AS AN ENTRY
 
GIVEAWAY ENDS AT
6 PM, EST, FEBRUARY 13
GOOD LUCK!
  

152 comments:

debbie said...

It sounds like a good book. I would to see what happens when she is deployed.
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Karen B said...

Such a timely subject, especially with so many service men and women coming home.
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Karen B said...

She wants to be Ina Garten's friend! (Don't we all?)
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petite said...

Interesting and thought provoking book. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

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Pamela Keener said...

I am a fan of Kristin's book from way back. This book has an interesting premise. I love audiobooks and this one sounds just perfect.
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Tore said...

It sounds like a really good read. Please enter me in contest. I would love to read it. I am a follower and email subscriber. Tore923@aol.com

traveler said...

this compelling book would be enjoyable. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

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Sue Farrell said...

Our local National Guard unit has gone overseas several times in the last few years. I'm always amazed at how well they seem to handle it--both those families left at home and those who serve. But I'm never sure how to talk to them about it and always wonder how they are really feeling about the situation. This book is just so topical right now with so many of our service members coming home.
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Sue Farrell said...

I learned on the author's website that she wrote her first novel while on bedrest for her first pregnancy.
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Linda Kish said...

I want to find out what happened and how they work things out.

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Linda Kish said...

Midnight snack...raisin bran. I thought I was the only one.

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Steve Capell said...

Very nicely written review. This author has a number of books and I haven't read any of her works. I like your description of her characters. Thanks for the opportunity.

steven.capell@gmail.com

mamabunny13 said...

I think I would enjoythis book in audio. Thanks for the giveaway.
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Marci (joyfulheart26@hotmail.com) said...

I love that it is a realistic portrayal of what can go wrong

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lag123 said...

I love novels about families.

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holdenj said...

I've only read one of her books, this looks good too.
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holdenj said...

I think Kristen has an interesting road to publication story!
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http://bybookorbycrook.wordpress.com said...

Written from a different point of view because the mother is deployed makes this interesting to me. Plus Hannah is always a solid read.

Bethie said...

This is one author I have always wanted to read. But for some reason I haven't. THanks for the chance.

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rubynreba said...

It is just the kind of book I would like to listen to on my car trips.
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