Home and Away: A World War II Christmas Story, by Dean Hughes, takes the Greatest Generation on a nostalgia trip, and gives us young folks a taste of life during the Second World War. The Hayes family, like much of the country, is struggling to get by. Money is tight, and worries about their oldest son, a paratrooper on the front lines, monopolize their thoughts. The middle child longs to follow in big brother's footsteps, if for no other reason than to gain the elusive approval of his father. Mom tries to keep the family together, and prays that her husband will turn to God and come to church with them.
Hughes's story is touching, not quite a tear-jerker for me, but there are some tender moments. He portrays the reality of life during WW2, especially the way the community comes together to support the war effort and each other. Successive generations have no idea what a huge impact the war had on the home front (I include myself here.) Subsequent conflicts have been smaller scale, yet have been brought closer to us in the 24 hour news cycle. May we never have such a world war again, and may we, at Christmas and everyday, remember the treasure that we have in our homes and families.
Thanks to Edelweiss and the publisher for the complimentary electronic review copy!