Saturday, December 19, 2015

Feature Spotlight ~ Home and Away: A World War II Christmas Story by Dean Hughes


Home and Away: A World War II Christmas Story
by: Dean Hughes
Genre: Holiday Fiction
Release Date: October 29, 2015
Publisher: Deseret Book


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?


In just a few seconds, Mom was back from the porch with an apple pie. It had a beautiful slatted crust and sprinkles of sugar and cinnamon on top. The girls were pleased, of course. Dennis knew that Mom was trying to make the best of things, but it was a difficult day for her—for the whole family. It was 1944, and Glen, Dennis’s big brother, was with the army’s 101st Airborne Division, fighting in Europe. When the last letter had come from Glen—almost two weeks ago—he had been at the battlefront in Holland. Newspapers were reporting heavy casualties among the Allied forces there. Linda and Sharon didn’t entirely understand the danger, but Dennis did, and he feared every day that bad news might come.

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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


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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