Excerpt from Home Front by Kristin Hannah, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Home Front

By Kristin Hannah

Home Front
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • Hardcover: Jan 2012,
    400 pages.
    Paperback: Jan 2013,
    432 pages.

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


Her father swayed drunkenly, as if held up by her alone, but that was impossible. He was a huge man, tall and broad, with hands like turkey platters; mom was as frail and white as an eggshell. It was from him that Jolene got her height.

"You can't leave me," her mother sobbed, slurring the words.

Her father looked away. For a split second, Jolene saw the pain in his eyes— pain, and worse, shame and loss and regret.

"I need a drink," he said in a voice roughened by years of smoking unfiltered cigarettes.

He took her mother's hand, dragged her through the kitchen. Looking dazed but grinning foolishly, her mother stumbled along behind him, heedless of the fact that she was barefooted.

It wasn't until he opened the back door that Jolene got it. "No!" she yelled, scrambling to her feet, running after them.

Outside, the February night was cold and dark. Rain hammered the roof and ran in rivulets over the edges of the eaves. Her father's leased logging truck, the only thing he really cared about, sat like some huge black insect in the driveway. She ran out onto the wooden porch, tripping over a chainsaw, righting herself.

Her mother paused at the car's open passenger door, looked at her. Rain plastered the hair across her hollow cheeks, made her mascara run. She lifted a hand, pale and shaking, and waved.

"Get out of the rain, Karen," her father yelled, and her mother complied instantly. In a second, both doors slammed shut. The car backed up, turned onto the road, drove away.

And Jolene was alone again.

Four months, she thought dully. Only four more months and she would graduate from high school and be able to leave home.

Home. What ever that meant.

But what would she do? Where would she go? There was no money for college, and what money Jolene saved from work her parents invariably found and "borrowed." She didn't even have enough for first month's rent.

She didn't know how long she stood there, thinking, worrying, watching rain turn the driveway to mud; all she really knew was that at some point she became aware of an impossible, unearthly flash of color in the night.

Red. The color of blood and fire and loss.

When the police car pulled up into her yard, she wasn't surprised. What surprised her was how it felt, hearing that her parents were dead.

What surprised her was how hard she cried.




One
April 2005

On her forty-first birthday, as on every other day, Jolene Zarkades woke before the dawn. Careful not to disturb her sleeping husband, she climbed out of bed, dressed in her running clothes, pulled her long blond hair into a ponytail, and went outside. It was a beautiful, blue-skied spring day. The plum trees that lined her driveway were in full bloom. Tiny pink blossoms floated across the green, green field. Across the street, the Sound was a deep and vibrant blue. The soaring, snow-covered Olympic mountains rose majestically into the sky.

Perfect visibility.

She ran along the beach road for exactly three and a half miles and then turned for home. By the time she returned to her driveway, she was red-faced and breathing hard. On her porch, she picked her way past the mismatched wood and wicker furniture and went into the house, where the rich, tantalizing scent of French roast coffee mingled with the acrid tinge of wood smoke.

The first thing she did was to turn on the TV in the kitchen; it was already set on CNN. As she poured her coffee, she waited impatiently for news on the Iraq war.

No heavy fighting was being reported this morning. No soldiers— or friends— had been killed in the night.

Excerpted from Home Front by Sarah Hannah. Copyright © 2012 by Sarah Hannah. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!
Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Promise
    The Promise
    by Ann Weisgarber
    Canadian author, Lucy Maud Montgomery of Anne of Green Gables fame, once wrote that "...all things ...
  • Book Jacket: Black Moon
    Black Moon
    by Kenneth Calhoun
    The popularity of book-turned-movie World War Z and television series The Walking Dead points to a ...
  • Book Jacket: Hyde
    Hyde
    by Daniel Levine
    In Robert Louis Stevenson's 1886 novel, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the story ends ...

First Impressions

Members read and review books ahead
of publication. See what they think
in First Impressions!

Books that
expand your
horizons.

Visitors can view a lot of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only

Find out more.

Book Discussions
Book Jacket

The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry
by Gabrielle Zevin

Published Apr. 2014

Join the discussion!

Win this book!
Win The Steady Running of the Hour

The Steady Running of the Hour

"Exciting, emotionally engaging and amibtious. I loved it!" - Kate Mosse

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

I T T O A Eye

and be entered to win..

Books thatinspire you.Handpicked.

Books you'll stay up all night reading; books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, books that will expand your mind and inspire you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.