Lizzie's War: A Novel (Plus) and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Lizzie's War: A Novel Hardcover – May 3, 2005


See all 8 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$1.97 $0.01

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Hero Quick Promo
Browse in Books with Buzz and explore more details on selected titles, including the current pick, "The Good Girl" by Mary Kubica.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: HarperOne; First Edition edition (May 3, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006056234X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060562342
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,199,616 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Liz and Mike O'Reilly's marriage weathers the Vietnam War in Farrington's fourth novel (after The Monk Downstairs), a well-crafted but somewhat timeworn story about a military family's stoicism in the field and on the home front. Capt. Michael O'Reilly, USMC, ships out from Okinawa for Da Nang, while back home in Detroit, where the streets are afire from the 1967 riots, a pregnant Liz struggles alone to raise their four children. Mike is "turned toward battle like a plant toward the sun," but Liz quietly curses the Marine Corp and draws on hidden reserves of strength to be a good Catholic wife and mother. As commander of a beleaguered company in Vietnam, Mike is badly wounded and further strains the marriage when he returns to combat instead of coming home. Meanwhile, a near miscarriage in her third trimester almost costs Liz her life, but she decides to keep the baby rather than guarantee her own survival. Farrington's graceful prose moves the engaging narrative along at a brisk clip, but tough, noble Mike and tough, big-hearted Liz remain mired in type. The result is a compassionate but unambitious novel about enduring marital love and family ties during wartime from an author who was willing to take greater risks in his earlier works.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From The New Yorker

Farrington's urgent, moving narrative turns the war novel on its head. It's 1967, and while Mike O'Reilly, a career marine, is getting shot at in Vietnam, his wife, Lizzie, is dodging domestic shrapnel: she's two months into an unplanned pregnancy, she flinches every time the doorbell rings, and her four children, at school, are hearing that their father is a baby-killer. While Mike's active-duty letters, full of mud and gore, form part of the story, it is Farrington's unsparing account of Lizzie's life at home—the desperately untidy house, her small attempts to carve out time for herself, her mounting anxiety—that takes the novel beyond its particular time and place and makes it a captivating study of tenderness and blame.
Copyright © 2005 The New Yorker

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
5 star
9
4 star
8
3 star
1
2 star
0
1 star
0
See all 18 customer reviews
I loved the book & bought extra copies as gifts.
Margaret Greenslade
Sit down with this and enjoy a beautiful story of love, discovery, and a family's redemption despite the horrors of a faraway war.
A Discerning Reader
Their stories combine to create an amazing, well written love story that struggles to survive the dark days of war.
N. Larrabee

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Discerning Reader on October 26, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Tim Farrington is a wonderul writer who understands life so very well--his women, men, and children are so real and so heartbreakingly like our own that we can't help but embrace them too.

Lizzie's War is, at its core, a love story. Lizzie's love for her husband, so great that she still loves him in spite of her anger over his refusal to come home from the battlefield until his tour was over. Her love for her children, both alive and in utero, even though she did not want to become pregnant again. Most vitally, Lizzie learns to love herself after she's rediscovered the essence of her soul: this unearthed only after profound sadness and solitude.

Farrington lightly skips away from the politics of the US war in Vietnam. He really is writing this novel about a remarkable woman's re-discovering herself after emerging from the refiner's fire. His prose is just wonderful and thoughtful and poignant--if only there were more literary gems like Farrington out there! Another topic Farrington treats with respect is the role of organized religion, specifically Catholicism, in an unfair world. It plays a role in Lizzie's tragedy and triumph, though much more sublime than one would first suppose.

What a wonderful read this was! Sit down with this and enjoy a beautiful story of love, discovery, and a family's redemption despite the horrors of a faraway war.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By N. Larrabee on June 4, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Lizzie O'Reilly has to valiantly struggle with being the dutiful officer's wife and mother to their three kids while her husband serves his tour of duty in the Vietnam War. Chapters alternate between Lizzie in the States and Michael in Vietnam. Husband and wife, on separate continents have to deal with life's harsh issues; loss, grief, discrimination, desperation, and tragedy. Their kids grow up all too quickly. Horrified at the thought, Lizzie begrudgingly accepts the fact that the Marines will always play a role in their family's life. Each chapter is an eloquent but hard statement on how a war impacts a family. Each chapter is filled with emotion; notably when their fourth child is born. Their stories combine to create an amazing, well written love story that struggles to survive the dark days of war.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 5, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Tim Farrington's new novel Lizzie's War is all about the emotional and physical scars of war, both in the heat of battle and also on the domestic home front. Beginning with the Detroit riots in the summer of 1967 and ending on Labor Day weekend, 1968, the novel covers a tumultuous time in American history where society was undergoing profound change. The story tells of the sacrifices of an ordinary family when their unbridled, loyal, and thoroughgoing Marine father is shipped off to fight in Vietnam. Switching backwards and forwards between the front lines of war and the steadfastness of home, Farrington weaves a narrative of longing and desire. Liz and Mike O'Reilly must cope knowing that there's a possibility they may never see each other again.

Using measured, eloquent and absolutely masterful prose, the author reaches into the hearts of both Liz and Mike, and exposes the complicated reactions to a family that is constantly living on the edge, and where tragedy can randomly strike at any given moment. Both live with loneliness and doubt and with the discomfort and exhaustion of battlefield death and life without one's spouse. Mike faces the violence of a horrifically misguided war, whilst Liz must cope with her own suffering as she attends to the needs of her four children, with one on the way, waiting anxiously for Mike to return.

The story is told from the point of view of Liz, Mike, and Father Ezekiel Germaine, a war veteran and eccentric Parish priest who tends to Liz's emotional and spiritual needs whilst Mike is fighting. Liz has been left to contend with her own desires and yearnings. She tries to keep the home fires burning and take good care her children, but she also longs to pick up the theatre career she has abandoned for the demands of motherhood.
Read more ›
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By BeachReader on May 30, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This is the new book by Tim Farrington, who wrote a book I really loved, "The Monk Downstairs". I liked this new book, just not quite as much as his other.

"Lizzie's War" is the story of Lizzie and Michael O'Reilly and takes place in 1968-69, during the Viet Nam War. He is a Marine officer who is in VN and she is at home in VA with three children, expecting a fourth. The story alternates between her life and his, and is an interesting juxtaposition. I think that Farrington does outstanding character development and did a great job of describing a family that truly is living on the edge.

While I wanted to kick Michael for re-enlisting when he had family obligations, at the same time, the author made me understand his reasons. I admired Lizzie, because although sometimes she was "down" (who wouldn't be, in her situation?), she was not a whiner.

Well worth reading.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Holland on July 26, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I really liked this book. I was a bit apprehensive since it's about the Vietnam war, but it's worth it to get into Farrington's characters. His big strength is relationships and the related emotions. And I loved the priest. These people are real and imperfect. I thought the ending was a bit abrupt, sort of like it was too long and they had to cut it off somewhere. I was wondering what happened to the priest and other stuff, but that's fairly minor.

Another thing I love about Farrington is that his descriptions of nature and physical surroundings are beautiful and simple. He obviously has the chops to get a little more fancy but he chooses to keep within the story. A lot of times while reading a novel, I'll be scanning over the physical descriptions, waiting to get back to the relationship stuff, but with Farrington it all flows together seamlessly. He's now one of my favorite authors. And if you haven't read "The Monk Downstairs," that book rules too!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Customer Images

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Search

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?