When you shed tears in the first chapter, you know you're in for it! Coming Home is a sequel to Band of Sisters, and continues the story of 5 military wives as they greet their husbands and welcome them home after a year's service overseas.
Strong, poignant characters bring to life the challenges that face military families as they readjust to home-life with their husbands. A realistic and compassionate look into the hearts of the women as they continue in their friendships and support each other no matter what.
Excellent women's fiction!
This vivid sequel revisits the memorable characters brought to life in Band of Sisters. It tells the real story behind the "happy ending" of soldiers returning to their families after having been scarred by the grim realities of war. Told with depth and honesty, Coming Home is a satisfying read in every regard.
Band of Sisters, the first book, was about five women whose husbands were deployed to Afghanistan. They formed a strong group of women to help each other while their husbands were gone. This novel showed the harsh reality of war, and the families left behind while a spouse is deployed. This book of friendship and strength won Author Annette Lyon a 2010 Whitney Award in General Fiction.
This second installment, Coming Home, shows the impact of war on the men, and how the families deal with their husbands and fathers now home from war. This book is realistic, as it explores many of the true-to-life issues that many of our service men and women live with.
One of the five women, Marianne, has become a widow, as her husband died while serving overseas. The novel shows the grief of the family, as they now have to live life forever without their husband and father.
Another woman, Brenda, has the heartache of finding out her husband has PTSD, and he goes from being severely depressed to out of control with his anger. With the PTSD he loses his job and his wife finds out she's pregnant.
Then poor Jessie, who didn't mind her husband being gone for a year, once again has to deal with his abusive and bullying nature. She also finds out about the many bad habits he picked up while he was deployed. Soon she fears for the safety of herself and children.
Kim, the youngest women of the group, is having a hard time adjusting to being a "wife". Newly married when she sent her husband off, she only knows how to play well the role of a Mom to her baby son who was born during the past year. Kim is having the harder time adjusting to having her husband home.
Nora, the older woman, who was the glue that held them together the past year, is having some growing pains having her husband there 24/7 underfoot. For many years she was independent, raising her children on her own as her husband was deployed. Now, he is trying to take charge of Nora's life.
What did I love about this book? I loved the characters even more than the first book. I felt like I was revisiting old friends. Annette does a wonderful job of creating characters that you can bond with, and care about. All of the women in the story struggled with the deployment being over. Coming Home showed how the trials weren't over for the families. It isn't always a happy read, but one where the women rise up and gather courage and strength from each other. I was truly inspired by these characters and the hard decisions they had to make. I could relate to many of the things they were going through; especially Marianne, the now single Mom.
If you haven't read the first Band of Sisters, I recommend that you do that first before reading Coming Home. You will be lost and not feel the deep impact of what is happening in the story.
Coming Home has a satisfying ending. Everything isn't truly perfect with all of the women and their families, but as in life, it never really is.