Blog Tour - Home and Away

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Home and AwayHome and Away: A World War II Christmas Story 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?
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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  

My review: I love this time of year, it seems that everyone is much kinder and happier around the holidays. That's probably one of the reasons that I love reading books about this time of year so much! And this one is one of my favorites that I've read.

This book is set during World War II, that's one of Dean Hughes' specialties, he does such a great job making that time period really pop off of the pages. Dennis is at home with his family trying to make Christmas special, especially for his mom, the whole family is having a hard time because Dennis's older brother Glen is serving in World War II and most of the time they have no idea where he is and they are never sure if he's okay or not. 

I loved that most of this story is through the eyes of Dennis, he's a sixteen year old, he has a job. But school and friends are at least a little bit important to him...and that ends up getting him into a little bit of trouble, with his dad especially but also financially. I also loved that you see things through the eyes of Glen so you understand just a small portion of what some of those boys went through as they were stationed in Europe during the war. It's hard for me to really imagine the fear and discomfort those boys must have felt or the agony their parents and families would have gone through not knowing anything that was going on, but I think I saw a small taste through this book.

I loved the beautiful story of the woman that worked in the clothing shop and helped Dennis with his mother's gift. I cried when I read the part where he talks with her. Such a beautiful story. And the way that he changes his thinking and actions because of it was beautiful

This book is an amazing story of love, Christmas, and charity. I loved reading this book, and I know you will too!

I was sent an e-copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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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