Lizzie's War Intl


A stunning new novel from the author of the beloved The Monk Downstairs —hailed by critics and readers alike as "captivating" and "enthralling" (—Books & Culture) and "tender [and] witty" (—The New York Times Book Review).

Elizabeth O'Reilly, the wife of a career Marine Corps officer and mother of four children (with one on the way), finds herself at odds with just about everything in her life. Having seen her husband off to Vietnam, she's left to contend with her own ...

See more details below
Available through our Marketplace sellers.
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (3) from $4.49   
  • Used (3) from $4.49   
Sort by
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Note: Marketplace items are not eligible for any coupons and promotions
Seller since 2015

Feedback rating:



New — never opened or used in original packaging.

Like New — packaging may have been opened. A "Like New" item is suitable to give as a gift.

Very Good — may have minor signs of wear on packaging but item works perfectly and has no damage.

Good — item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Acceptable — item is in working order but may show signs of wear such as scratches or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Used — An item that has been opened and may show signs of wear. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Refurbished — A used item that has been renewed or updated and verified to be in proper working condition. Not necessarily completed by the original manufacturer.

Like New
GREAT Bargain Book Deal - like new - some may have small remainder mark - Ships out by NEXT Business Day - 100% Satisfaction Guarantee!

Ships from: Buffalo, NY

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
Seller since 2010

Feedback rating:


Condition: Good
07/01/2005 Hardcover Int ***SIMPLY BRIT*** We have dispatched from our UK warehouse books of good condition to over 1 million satisfied customers worldwide. We are committed to ... providing you with a reliable and efficient service at all times. *****PLEASE NOTE: This item is shipping from an authorized seller in Europe. In the event that a return is necessary, you will be able to return your item within the US. To learn more about our European sellers and policies see the BookQuest FAQ section***** Read more Show Less

Ships from: Buckingham, United Kingdom

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
Seller since 2011

Feedback rating:


Condition: Very Good
2005 Hardcover *** QUALITY EX LIBRARY COPY***IN VERY GOOD GENERAL CONDITION***MAY HAVE SOME LIBRARY STAMPS, MARKINGS ETC. DAILY PRIORITY DISPATCH FROM UK WAREHOUSE STOCK. ... *****PLEASE NOTE: This item is shipping from an authorized seller in Europe. In the event that a return is necessary, you will be able to return your item within the US. To learn more about our European sellers and policies see the BookQuest FAQ section***** Read more Show Less

Ships from: Sleaford, United Kingdom

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Sort by
Lizzie's War: A Novel

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$10.99 price
Sending request ...


A stunning new novel from the author of the beloved The Monk Downstairs —hailed by critics and readers alike as "captivating" and "enthralling" (—Books & Culture) and "tender [and] witty" (—The New York Times Book Review).

Elizabeth O'Reilly, the wife of a career Marine Corps officer and mother of four children (with one on the way), finds herself at odds with just about everything in her life. Having seen her husband off to Vietnam, she's left to contend with her own desires and yearnings —trying to care for her children while longing to pick up the theater career she abandoned for the demands of motherhood.

Liz finds solace in a friendship with Father Ezekiel Germaine, a war veteran and eccentric priest with an appreciation for irony, and in the wary camaraderie of Betty Simmons, another military housewife, whose cocktails help Liz take the edge off.

While Liz struggles with the vicissitudes of life on the home front, her husband, Captain Michael O'Reilly, commands an infantry company in Vietnam. Mike has no illusions about the glamour and glory of war; he is a man who understands the meaning of fighting for his country and has made his peace with it for better and for worse.

In the end, though, it is Lizzie's war. And it is Liz O'Reilly, a complex woman wrestling with conflicting commitments, loyalties, and sympathies, who is the heart of the novel. Beginning with the Detroit riots in the summer of 1967 and ending on Labor Day weekend, 1968, Lizzie's War is a vivid chronology of that watershed time in America intertwined with the personal histories of the O'Reilly family. Portraying the ravages of war as well as the dark humor of a soldier navigating life in the trenches, the clash of a mother's everyday duties with her unspoken desires, and the age-old conflict between God and humanity, Lizzie's War is an unforgettable family epic. What also emerges is a genuine love story. Liz O'Reilly and her unexpected war will linger long after the last page is turned.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

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.
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) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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 Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A moist-eyed story switches between the grim work of a Marine captain in Vietnam and the hand-wringing of his wife and children back in Virginia. When she married Mike O'Reilly, Lizzie was an aspiring actress at Catholic University and intent on having a "deep, literate veteran" for a husband, one who was worldly and wrote novels. Instead, by August 1967, he's stuck in Vietnam, making a career of the war, while Lizzie and their four children-she's pregnant with the fifth-live in dread of the moment when the bad news will be delivered to her door in suburban Virginia. While Lizzie fills her days trying to distract her children with numbing domestic chores, and with making the dreaded visit to another Marine wife who has just heard the news of her husband's death, Mike, overseas, is assigned a new company called Heartbreak Hotel and has to get in line "the usual USMC-issue array of maniacs, morons, stone-cold killers, and fuckups." In letters home, written from line-of-fire outposts like Dong Ha, Mike hints at the ghastly killings (the men who "bought it") and the affecting camaraderie among the members of the company. Meanwhile, Lizzie sews her daughter's bluebird uniform for Girl Scouts and befriends the lonely priest at St. Jude's, Father Germaine, who is having his own spiritual crisis and finds solace in drinking with Lizzie and even flirting with her. Mike is wounded, despite all his assurances that the war is safer than living in Nebraska, and, finally, Lizzie learns from an alarming news report on TV where her husband really is, Khe Sanh, South Vietnam, surrounded by Viet Cong: the parallel to Dien Bien Phu is eerie. Yet even with Mike wounded and Lizzie in a difficult labor,Farrington (The Monk Downstairs, 2002) has woven such an idyllic family unit that nothing can undermine it. Smooth writing, honest characters, predictable outcome. Author tour
“Farrington is a natural-born storyteller...A memorable family story told with wry humor and fluent prose.”
The New Yorker
“Farrington’s urgent, moving narrative turns the war novel on its head . . . a captivating study of tenderness and blame.”
New York Newsday
“Throughout Lizzie’s War, Farrington has an ear for the changing time signatures and keys of uncomfortable, revealing moments.”
Pages Magazine
“Featuring scenes from the home front as well as Southeast Asia, Farrington’s family epic is compelling, honest, and poignant.”
The Oregonian (Portland)
“[A] memorable novel about love, commitment and family during wartime.”
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060832919
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/3/2005
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.96 (d)

Meet the Author

Tim Farrington is the author of the highly acclaimed novels The California Book of the Dead and Blues for Hannah. His stories and essays have appeared in The Sun, ZYZZYVA, and San Francisco magazine.
Read More Show Less

First Chapter

Lizzie's War
A Novel

Chapter One

July 1967

Detroit was burning. The midsummer sun that had made the Ohio turnpikes the usual ordeal seemed suddenly uncertain, caught in the sludge of a smoky sky like a pale orange dime stamped into hot blacktop. In the chastened light, her hometown was ominously unfamiliar. Even the freeway signs seemed ambiguous, inexact translations from the language of her childhood. Elizabeth O'Reilly was disoriented -- she refused to use the word lost -- and she was running out of gas.

There were almost no other vehicles on the road, not even cabs and buses. That was the most unnerving thing of all. She always made these visits to her parents braced for traffic, the proud clogged streets of the Motor City, the mass of good American steel in motion. She recalled glimpsing a newspaper headline the day before, something about riots, but she hadn't taken the news seriously. Detroit was ever volatile, and the newspapers loved to blow a few broken windows up into chaos in the streets. She'd been too busy seeing her husband off to Vietnam to fret about such things.

In the seat beside her, Liz's eight-year-old daughter, Katherine, fiddled with the radio, looking for the Beatles. Since the release of Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band in June, Kathie and her friends had been in an ecstasy of grief, sobbing through a series of candlelit pajama parties over the death of Paul, which was obvious from the rose he was holding on the album cover. Liz found all the preadolescent intensity a little much. But Kathie was susceptible to extremes of poignancy. At Dulles Airport the previous Wednesday, she'd clung to her father and wailed. She was sure that he was going away to die, like Paul.Mike, stiff in his dress greens and self-conscious in public, his beautiful black hair buzzed close to his skull by some fanatic Marine barber, patted her with a pained air and told her it was no big deal, it was just his job and he'd be home soon. He was uncomfortable with emotional extravagance -- with any emotion at all, really, Liz thought ruefully. She knew her husband just wanted to get off to his war without a lot of fuss, and she'd tried to rein Kathie in a bit. But her heart wasn't in it; she'd even felt a surreptitious gratitude for the frankness of her daughter's horror. Kathie was wailing for all of them. She was just prepared to be louder about it.

Liz heard something that sounded like gunfire close by. Or maybe a backfire. Surely a backfire, she told herself. She could see no flames, but the smoke was denser now, sifting in sinister threads across the freeway. As Kathie continued to wade through the radio's stations, Liz caught a snatch of feverish news coverage -- "... in a twelve-block area east of Twelfth Street ..." -- but her daughter skipped past it blithely. Liz almost told her to go back, then decided not to press the issue. There was no sense getting everyone all worked up.

In the back of the Fairlane station wagon, her other three children occupied themselves with the quiet ease of seasoned travelers. Between the moves imposed by the Marine Corps every couple years and frequent trips to their scattered relatives, they'd spent a lot of their childhoods in cars. Deborah, the youngest at five years old, was reading An Otter's Tale for perhaps the fiftieth time, oblivious to the mayhem nearby, her china blue eyes and perfect round face composed. She had already finished the book once this trip, somewhere on the Pennsylvania Turnpike, and had turned back to the first page and started over immediately. As Liz watched her now in the rearview mirror, a siren began to scream in the burning inner city to their right. Her younger daughter turned a page. She had an air of serenity, like a child in a dream.

Beside Deb-Deb, Angus, seven, pressed his face against the window on the freeway side of the car. He had been counting license plates since Maryland and was up to thirty-seven states. The paucity of traf- fic was the only effect of Detroit's upheaval that he seemed to have noticed so far. Behind him, in the station wagon's rear well, Danny, the oldest at ten years old, had put his biography of Stonewall Jackson aside and turned toward the smoke, his brow wrinkled just like his father's would have been, more in alertness than in fear. He met Liz's gaze briefly in the rearview mirror, his glance both sober and excited, and she felt the weird camaraderie she had felt with him almost from the moment he was born, the sense of someone home behind those blue-gray eyes. It was oddly comforting. And, sometimes, scary.

The children didn't know it yet, but there was a fifth passenger. Liz was six weeks pregnant. It had been a catastrophe of sorts, a classic Catholic mistake. The last thing she wanted. But there it was. She could feel the new life inside her as a hotter place, a burning spot, as if she had swallowed a live coal. And as a weight, tilting some inner scale toward helpless rage. It wasn't something she wanted to feel. She had more than enough guilt and ambivalence with the children already born.

The maddening static gave way abruptly to music. Kathie had fi- nally found a station to her satisfaction.

What would you do if I sang out of tune?
Would you stand up and walk out on me?

"I see a tank!" Angus exclaimed.

"There aren't any tanks in Detroit," Liz said firmly, wondering if it was true.

"That's an APC," Danny offered from the back of the car.

"Wow!" Angus twisted in his seat to get a better look."Hey, look at all that smoke!"

Lizzie's War
A Novel
. Copyright © by Tim Farrington. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)