Over the past few days I’ve been reading Home Front Lines by Brenda Sparks Prescott. The novel takes place in 1962 and follows multiple characters during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Part of the story takes place in Washington, D.C. from the perspectives of African-American women Betty Ann Johnson and Lucy Saunders – the wives of air force men. Betty Ann also has a son in the navy aboard a ship in the Pacific. From overhearing little things their husbands have been saying to things they’ve seen around the base, they have a feeling something big is going on. After a rumor that atomic bombs have been spotted, Betty Ann, Lucy, and a few other wives decide to make a plan. They will take turns keeping on eye on the planes/choppers to see if there is any activity. If the president or first lady are leaving, that means danger is coming and they need to get out too. Anything to save their children.
At the same time, the Montero sisters in Cuba are navigating life with their husbands and children amidst the Russians being in Cuba. One of them also sees missiles and bombs and knows they need to get their children off the island and to the United States. Like Bety Ann and Lucy in the States, the Montero sisters also will do anything to save their children and keep them safe.
There are a few other characters in other parts of the world that play a role in the novel as well, but it all ties together.
I thought the novel was really interesting and is an amazing look at how strong and smart women are and the lengths they are willing to go to protect the people they love.
As interesting as the novel was with all the different storylines, I did sometimes find it hard to keep track of who is who – mostly in terms of the Montero sisters. I kept forgetting which one was married to which man and which kids belonged to which sister, etc. But, it didn’t really matter in the long run and I still liked the novel.
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