Home Front by Kristin Hannah Discussion Questions

Instructor: Bethany Calderwood

Bethany has taught special education in grades PK-5 and has a master's degree in special education.

'Home Front' is a timely book dealing with the struggles of a soldier and her family as she faces deployment, combat, injury, and homecoming. Invite your students to join you in candid discussion after carefully reading this novel together.

Home Front

What is the effect of military deployment on soldiers and families? Kristin Hannah explores this issue in Home Front, a poignant story of deployment, loss, marital struggle, and family. Appropriate for a high school or college class, this novel raises some important issues. It particularly highlights the issue of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and the need for effective treatment options for combat veterans. Use these questions to help your class or small reading group work through this novel together.

Questions About the Story

  • How does the tragedy of Jolene's parents set the stage for her later life? How did Jolene understand the effect their lives and deaths had on her?
  • Early on, Jolene claims that ''happiness was a choice she knew how to make.'' How are these words proven true and then false in the story? What might be a more truthful statement?
  • What are the complicating factors in Michael and Jolene's relationship? What mistakes do each of them make? How can a couple approach difficult circumstances together?
  • What does Michael's mother Mila provide for Michael? For Jolene? For Betsy and Lulu?
  • What happens in Betsy's friendship with Sierra? What are the warning signs? How does their relationship compare to Jolene and Tami's? How do you recognize when someone is a true friend?
  • What is the difference between Jolene and Michael's relationship and Carl and Tami's?
  • How is Keith's case instrumental in changing Michael's attitude toward Jolene and her career?
  • What is Jolene's motivation in lying about her time in Iraq? How did her family feel when they realized she was lying? Was she justified?
  • Do you find the restorations at the end of the book to be believable? Why or why not?

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