Friday, March 2, 2012

home front

We are celebrating Read Across America Day today by having a Reading Day  A whole entire day spent in my pajamas with a book is equivalent to a fabulous vacation for me!  

In honor of Read Across America Day, I thought I would post a book review.  It's not a children's book, but I really feel that Read Across America Day should be a day that everyone - young and old - celebrates reading!

home front by kristin hannah really made an impact on me.  I think it is a book worth mentioning.  

Although this book takes place in 2003, Jolene is exactly my age in the book and has a daughter who is exactly A's age.  Jolene doesn't feel her age, it bothers her a little, so obviously I related to that.  The relationship with her 12 year old daughter is SPOT much so that I was sure someone had spied on some interactions between A and I!  Of course, Betsy (the 12 year old in the story) goes to school and deals with the same kind of pre-teen drama A dealt with when she was in school.

Jolene had a rough childhood and enlisted in the National Guard at 18.  The Guard has become her family.  Jolene and her best friend, who lives next door, both fly helicopters part-time for the National Guard.  Then they are deployed to Iraq.

Jolene must leave her 12 year old daughter.  Her daughter who is trying to make sense of the world, find her place, fit in.  Her daughter who is dealing with mean girls and learning about friendship.  Her daughter who is experimenting with clothes and make-up.  Her daughter who seems to resent everything Jolene says and does.  Her daughter who is mortified that her mother is not like all of the other mothers.  She has to leave her.  Her daughter won't even say good-bye.  She knows Jolene is lying about the lack of risk.  She begs Jolene not to go.

I can not even imagine what it would be like to leave your children and make such a sacrifice for the safety of our country and yet I thank God every day that there are men and women willing to make these sacrifices.

There are other issues in the story: Jolene and her husband are having marital problems before she leaves; Jolene's husband is a workaholic who seldom sees his kids or knows anything about them or their routine and he is expected to step up to the plate.  

I found Jolene's sacrifice inspiring and the mother-daughter story emotionally compelling.