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Lizzie's war : a novel
Tim Farrington
Adult Fiction FARRING

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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. Agent, Laurie Fox. 13-city tour. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

Farrington (The Monk Downstairs) beautifully braids together an American soldier's view of the Vietnam War, a study of his struggling wife and children, and an introspective look at a Catholic priest questioning his faith. As the Detroit riots of 1967 unfold, Elizabeth O'Reilly, pregnant with her fifth child, prepares to send her marine captain husband, Michael, off to fight in Vietnam. Both are desperate to maintain some semblance of normalcy, with Lizzie struggling on the home front and Mike muddling through battle with his grim and quirky wit still intact. Father Ezekiel Germaine, himself a Vietnam veteran, is suffering from his own nightmares, as well as doubts about the existence of God and second thoughts about his friendship with Lizzie. The story, which spans one year in these characters' lives, serves as a microcosmic overview of the troubled times. Innumerable novels have delineated U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War, but this poetic and tender book chronicles its devastating developments and highlights the commitments, fears, and desires of a family and those closely related. Recommended for popular fiction collections.-Andrea Tarr, Alta Loma, CA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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main characters Liz O'Reilly
Left alone to raise her four children with another on the way; silently curses the Marine Corp for taking away her husband; finds inner strength to get by.

Mike O'Reilly
Ships out during the Vietnam War; badly wounded but continues to stay in combat instead of going home.

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