Homefront is a critically-acclaimed novel hailed as the only one to adequately illustrate the deployment experience. The semi-autobiographical story draws readers inside the surreal anxiety-filled wait, allowing them to experience it themselves on an intimate and personal level.
Books, movies, and TV shows offer valuable insight into experience of the soldier, but until now, there has been nothing to truly help the general population empathize with the others involved in our country’s wars: those who watch the people they love most leave for war and who–from that moment on–try to hold onto the last touch of the hand, the last smile, the last hug. Because it could be the last. From the day the service member touches down in Iraq or Afghanistan (or, earlier – in Vietnam, or Germany), every minute thereafter is spent knowing that could be the minute the beloved soldier dies.
Those who have never experienced a deployment hear people tell their stories on TV, and they think, “I bet it’s hard.” But being told it’s hard doesn’t do the experience justice, doesn’t help people understand.
“The uniformed soldiers just outside the doorway need not say a word — the spouse inside already knows what they are about to say. It is a painful and familiar scene, one played out often in fiction. But what was life like at home, before the fateful knock? … Tsetsi’s details are the things that ring truest about Homefront: a clock Mia sets to Iraqi time; the grit on Jake’s letters, which smell like ‘sweat and mud’,” writes reporter Seth Robbins in a recent issue of the Stars and Stripes newspaper, distributed worldwide to U.S. military, Department of Defense civilians, contractors, and their families.
Homefront, which propels readers into the hell, the horror, and the unexpected humor of waiting through a deployment, continues to wow critics with its unapologetic and intimate literary glimpse inside the mind of a woman who sends her soul mate to war.
- “Homefront is ultimately about how we choose to deal with loss and grief, even when those we are mourning are still alive. It is one of the most powerful and brilliant books I have read in a long time.” – Pop Culture Zoo
- Fort Rucker Army wife Beth Kernaghen writes, “I have read this book three times. I keep going back to this story because it makes me feel understood. And given the present state of things, it is a comfort to be understood, and to know there is an opportunity for others to understand what they may never experience.”
- Emmy Award winner James C. Moore writes, “As a television news correspondent, I spent years reporting from military bases where young families and lovers were being separated by the decisions of old men. I wondered what their lives were like after the planes and trains had departed and carried off the fathers and mothers and daughters and sons into an unknowable risk. I had never had a better understanding of the agony of military separation until I read Kristen Tsetsi’s haunting and lyrical debut.”
- The Stars & Stripes
- WSMV-TV Channel 4 (NBC), “Better Nashville” (Aug. 13, 2009)
- Fort Campbell, KY/Clarksville, TN Leaf Chronicle (Aug. 9, 2009)
- Beth Wilson’s “Navy Homefront Talk” Radio (July 15, 2009)
- GI Radio (June 16, 2009)
- NPR-WKMS Radio (June 5, 2009)
About Kirsten Tsetsi
Kristen Tsetsi is a former Journal Inquirer reporter, former Austin Peay State University English professor, award-winning fiction writer and Pushcart Prize nominee. Her husband, a former 101st Airborne Chinook pilot, deployed to Iraq in 2003 and returned a year later. The unimaginably complex and profound year spent waiting for him, combined with her writing experience, made her uniquely qualified to tell the private story of waiting with the rawness and accuracy it requires.
She currently lives just outside of Nashville, TN.