I don’t often write book reviews because, to be perfectly honest, I’m not that good at it. But I’ve read so many good books this year by some very excellent indie authors, and I feel very guilty about not doing more to help out both them and their potential readers by shining a spotlight on ’em. So today I’m going to remedy that by telling you about one of my favorite indie books, “Homefront” by Kristen Tsetsi.
The official synopsis:
A cab driving former English professor (Mia), an unpredictable alcoholic Vietnam veteran (Donny), an anti-war soldier (Brian), and a morbid mother in-law (Olivia) come together in this realistic, sensual, and darkly humorous semi-autobiographical tale of waiting through a war deployment.
The loved ones they leave behind experience similar psychological traumas that create a very personal homefront war, one often misconstrued by the media — “as well as by those with no first-hand deployment experience — as simple “missing” and “worry.”
Homefront sheds needed light on the highly under-documented internal battles suffered by those left waiting. Each true-to-life character in Homefront (Mia, the professor-turned-cabdriver whose boyfriend deploys to Iraq; Jake, the boyfriend; Olivia, Jake’s mother; Denise, a disgruntled soldier’s wife and friend to Mia; Donny Donaldson, an alcoholic, maybe-Vietnam veteran and Mia’s cab fare) responds to the war in his or her own unique, and painfully intimate, way.
I’ve never experienced someone close to me going off to war. My dad and uncle were both in the military during Vietnam, but that was before I was born. Guys I knew in high school joined up, and were deployed in the first Gulf War. I’ve got cousins who’ve been involved in this war, and I know ‘kids’ from our town who are involved as well. But it’s all so disconnected.
There is no disconnect with “Homefront.” It brings the war home in a way no news report or even memoir could have done. As I read, I became Mia. I slipped inside her skin, and through her into the skins of every woman (or man) whose husband or wife or lover is over there, their lives in danger every moment. It made me understand how it is have your own life so eerily on hold, as your every breath and step and heartbeat wonders, “Is this the day? Is this the moment? Is he gone forever…right now?”…while your own life moves forward anyway.
Here’s where you can grab a copy of it for yourself (which I heartily recommend you do):