I’m away from my desk this weekend, mingling with a few thousand like-minded home school Mommas at the state convention. But while I’m gone, I’ve arranged a sweet read for YOU!
My dear friend, military Momma, book-loving, former partner-in-crime (think year-long Children’s Ministry for 150+ wee ones) has graciously offered to review one of her all-time favorite “Grace” reads for us. Her pick?
Please welcome Kimberly and her insights into what might possibly be your all night read-a-thon this Summer!
Grace. Christians seem to talk about it all the time, and never really explain the true meaning. They might say it is “unmerited favor,” or another intellectual definition. But I have never been mistaken for an intellectual. Overly wordy definitions make my head spin around. Subsequently, I have always had trouble getting to the root of what grace really looks like. It has taken me a long time to realize that it just boils down to God not throwing us out the window like we deserve, but instead inviting us into His front door. Home Front by Kristin Hannah is a book about grace. Not overtly. But grace is all over the pages when you look closely.
Meet Jolene. She’s a wife, a mom, a friend, a runner… and an army helicopter pilot. If you look on the outside, she has it all. Successful career, great kids, handsome husband, loyal best friend and a house she loves. But if you look closer, you would find an ever-distant husband who doesn’t support her military career, a preteen daughter whose life is falling apart (like, ahem, most preteen girls) and her deep insecurity that she will never come out of the shell of her past.
This family is by no means perfect. Their relationships are flawed in known ways and in hidden ways. Jo does her best to hold things together a put a bright shiny face on her world. But it isn’t bright and shiny. Her family gives her many reasons to extend grace. And she does. She forgives and continues to think the best of them, even when there is no reciprocity. She covers them in grace. And expects very little in return.
Enter: An Unexpected One Year Deployment.
How does her family react? Do they rally around her? Do they support her as she readies herself and her family for her absence? Is she showered with the love and respect she deserves? Or anger and bitterness and blame? And when Jolene’s world is rocked and then shattered, will anyone be there to help pick up the pieces? Who will be there to show her grace when she needs it most?
Home Front’s best attribute is that it deals with situations in a real way. Pre-teen girls are moody. 4 year olds throw temper tantrums. Mother in laws meddle. Marriages are hard. Deployments magnify problems. Often times, people don’t handle situations right the first time. And second chances are hard to come by. For in this “real-ness” there is a compassion and love for each character that would be hard to find on the surface.
Grace is all over this book… given freely and begrudgingly. There are heart wrenching moments and joyful ones. And there is also a dread-locked physical therapist who wins my vote for favorite character. It is not a Christian author, so expect worldly situations and context. However, grace is introduced into a world that desperately needs it.
There she is, my friend Kimberly. Second from the left in the back row. And right in the middle of the mess of ladies I’m unbelievably privileged to call, “Friend.”