Friday, December 18, 2015

Review: Home and Away by Dean Hughes

Home and Away by Dean Hughes

Book Description:

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?


Home and Away is a touching story about a family during WWII. It is a quick and clean read, and I found myself even more interested in the story as it took place in my home state.

Dennis was a great son. I love how he stuck up for his mom and wanted to give her a nice present for Christmas. Money was so tight, and his willingness to sacrifice for her really meant a lot. He definitely had his faults, but it was great to see him grow and overcome some challenges.

His dad was a tough character to love. It was hard to relate to him, but his behavior was somewhat understandable. At times you really felt for him too, and I was very happy for the changes that took place by the end of the story.

It was interesting to read about some of the different perspectives about serving in the war. It was a tough time to live in, and I was glad that Dennis' eyes were opened.

The war chapters were pretty sad, as you'd expect. But they showed the importance of family as Glen was able to be comforted thinking about home during the hardest times.

If you enjoy historical fiction, and are looking for a story to fit with the Christmas season, be sure to check out Home and Away.

Title: Home and Away
Author: Dean Hughes
Publisher: Shadow Mountain Publishing
Published: September 2015
ISBN: 1629720933
Source: I received an eCopy from the publisher in exchange for a review.

Purchase: Amazon | Deseret Book