Welcome to a potpourri of fun today as we share Book Beginnings, hosted by A Few More Pages; and as we showcase The Friday 56 with Freda’s Voice.

To join in, just grab a book and share the opening lines…along with any thoughts you wish to give us; then turn to page 56 and excerpt anything on the page.

Then give us the title of the book, so others can add it to their lists!

Today’s choice is from my TBR list for next week.

Home Front, by Kristin Hannah, explores the intimate landscape of a troubled marriage with this provocative and timely portrait of a husband and wife, in love and at war.

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. 


Beginning: (Prologue – 1982) – The way she saw it, some families were like well-tended parks, with pretty daffodil borders and big, sprawling trees that offered respite from the summer sun.  Others—and this she knew firsthand—were battlefields, bloody and dark, littered with shrapnel and body parts.

Beginning:  (Chapter One – April 2005) – On her forty-first birthday, as on every other day, Jolene Zarkades woke before 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.

I like both of these.  The first suggests a troubled family life for the narrator (a foreshadowing of things to come?), while the second gives us a glimpse of someone trying for normalcy; it also shows us a peek at the character and her routines.


P. 56:  Michael couldn’t believe he’d said the words out loud.

I don’t love you anymore.


I’m really looking forward to this one!  And I’m excited to see what the rest of you are sharing today….


  1. This is an author that I see a lot of on the blogs, but have not read yet.

    Have a great weekend, Laurel-Rain.

    The absent, DizzyC, (busy with wedding plans and children)



  2. This sounds really good…it makes me wonder what happens when she is gone. The descriptions of families – first as a park, then as a battlefield – are really good! Thanks for sharing!


  3. agreed about the line in the prologue.
    so powerful 🙂 and i love the excerpt on page 56 too.
    so simple yet such a feeling we all experience from time to time

    happy friday laurel!


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