- Title: Band of Sisters: Coming Home a novel
- Author: Annette Lyon
- Paperback: 238 pages
- Publisher: Covenant Communications Inc; 1st edition (January 2, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1621083195
- ISBN-13: 978-1621083191
- FTC:FYI:I was gven a review copy in exchange for an honest review.
Publication Date: January 2, 2013
Five women became fast friends when their husbands were deployed to Afghanistan. But as they welcome the soldiers home, what should be a joyful time soon becomes painful. Kim, who had a baby while her husband was away, knows how to be a mother but has forgotten how to be a wife. Nora, accustomed to taking care of herself during the long years of her husband’s absence, resents having to forfeit her independence. Jess’s already troubled marriage turns dangerous, while Brenda struggles to manage her husband,s psychological trauma. And Marianne faces her crushing loss, compounded with worry over wayward children. Each woman must draw upon her bond of friendship and faith to find the strength, courage, and insight needed to move forward, proving that even the hardest of trials cannot break this loyal band of sisters.
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.
About the Author:
Annette Lyon has been writing ever since second grade, when she piled pillows on a chair to reach her mother’s typewriter. A cum laude graduate from BYU with a degree in English, she has had success as a professional editor and doing newspaper, magazine, and business writing, but her first love is creating fiction. She’s perhaps best known for her historical novels centered around the four old Utah temples. Band of Sisters is about five women who come together during their husbands’ deployment to Afghanistan. The sequel, Coming Home, has a release date of January 2013.
Her cookbook, Chocolate Never Faileth, is a delicious departure from fiction and the culmination of over 5 months of test kitchen craziness and fun.
One of the most rewarding parts of Annette’s writing career has been collaborating on The Newport Ladies Book Club series. Her first book there Paige, was released in 2012. Ilana, her second Newport Ladies novel, is forthcoming.
In 2007 Annette was awarded Utah’s Best of State medal for fiction. Spires of Stone, her fifth novel, was a 2007 Whitney Award finalist for Best Historical Novel. She has received three publication awards from the League of Utah Writers and took first place in the 2009 Funds for Writers essay contest. She won a Whitney Award 2010 in General Fiction for Band of Sisters.
Be sure to also drop by her blog.