What a heartbreaking book. I cried. A lot.
Let me start off by saying I'm more like Michael in this book...I'm not the military type. WHY he married someone in the military and then BLAMED her for being in the military, though, is beyond me. Anyhow. Because I'm not the military type I don't particularly understand people's need to join the military and go fight wars. The woman and mother in me, however, feels shattered when I think about military families and what they have to deal with. So I'm not completely unsympathetic.
This book didn't really change my point of view about joining up, but it did make the whole thing a lot more real. I realized that war changes people, I'm a believer in that. And I think Hannah really drove that home, with all that Jolene experienced, she couldn't be the same. Add that to having a pre-teen daughter whose world revolves around themselves, and you're going to have major fireworks. It looked at how the family dynamic was forced to change while Jolene was away, Michael had to learn to look after his daughters when he never had to before...insert more pre-teen fireworks.
It's really a must-read, in my opinion. Hannah does an excellent job writing about this situation - what soldiers experience, what happens to those they leave behind, and what happens when they get home. It's an amazing story, one that will stick with me a long time.