by Dean Hughes
Norma Hayes has always tried to make Christmas special for her family, but this year it is going to be difficult. Money is tight, and wartime rationing is taking its toll as well. Harder still, her oldest son, Glen, is on the front lines of the battle in Europe. Glen Hayes wants nothing more than to be home for Christmas. He holds a sprig of lavender in his pocket. The scent reminds him of his mother. The memory of home may be the only thing that is keeping him alive and sane during the horrors of war. Dennis Hayes is sixteen and longs to see his older brother again. He also longs to have a relationship with his father, but most important, Dennis is determined to buy something special for his mother this Christmas--the one gift he feels certain she deserves. So many families have had their hopes dashed in World War II. Will the Hayes family make it through?
I love World War II stories. I also love Christmas. Combine the two and you have a great, heart-warming read that put me in the Christmas spirit. I really connected with Norma, being an Army Mom myself. It's hard to make home, especially holidays, seem "normal" when it's not. Your family isn't together. I loved how the boys love their mom. How Glen, even as a "tough soldier", NEEDED her. And how Dennis just wanted to make her happy and make Christmas good for her. All around it was a sweet read and now I feel ready for the Christmas season. :) ****4 stars****
Praise for Home and Away
''It's 1944 and teenager Dennis Hayes longs to join his older brother Glen, who is fighting in Europe..When his family receives word that Glen has been wounded, Dennis realizes that going to war is not so glamorous. Christmas isn't the same without Glen, but the Hayes family members hope and pray that they'll be reunited soon. Hughes's faith-filled, old-fashioned story feels like it could have been written during the period in which it takes place.'' --Library Journal
''Home and Away is far and away the best story I have read this year. Awesome and moving.'' --bestselling author, Obert Skye
Author Dean Hughes
Dean Hughes is a bestselling and prolific writer who published his hundredth book in 2014. He holds a bachelor's degree from Weber State College and master's degree and PhD from the University of Washington. He has attended post-doctoral seminars at Stanford and Yale Universities and taught English at Central Missouri State University and Brigham Young University.
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