In Love and War
By E.E. Smith
Phoenix International, Inc.
Length: 218 pages
September 10, 2012
Reissue: March 2016
Genre: Historical fiction
Was World War II the last “good war,” as it has been called, or is “good war” really an oxymoron?
In this memoir, spanning six decades of her life, and as many wars, the author admits that December 7, 1941, and the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor left us no choice about getting into WW II. But what about the others — beginning with Korea, which has been called America’s “Forgotten War?”
Her story begins in the first full year of that war, 1951, when, as a girl of nineteen she “falls for a uniform” and hastily marries a boy she barely knows. Against all odds, the marriage lasts for 22 years, but finally ends in heartbreak. Now middle-aged, she finds love again with a man who is everything her first husband was not (strong, reliable, caring), but that marriage is short-lived and ends tragically.
As much about war as it is about love, In Love and War suggests that warfare, at least since WW II — that last “good war” — is folly. And so, perhaps, is love.
Not everyone will agree with her conclusions, but some may be persuaded by her argument that two things (besides death and taxes) are inevitable.
They are love and war.
Other books by EE Smith include:
Death by Misadventure
Prescription for Murder
Times Like These
What I thought:
I haven’t always enjoyed reading non-fiction or history, but I would do it occasionally. I was most interested in any history surrounding war, particularly World War 1 or 2. However, recently I have become interested in all history and have gone from reading little non-fiction and historical books, to mostly reading those. This book interested me either way.
The setting, which spanned across several wars, the story, the writing, all of it. I read through this one pretty quickly and not only got my history fix, but a love story! A true one at that. I had heard of E.E. Smith as a playwright but had not read anything written by her. I thoroughly enjoyed this memoir!
E. E. (Evelyn Eileen) Smith first attended the University of Iowa, and later received a B.A. in Fine Arts from California State University Long Beach.
Known earlier as a playwright, her works include PLAYTIME IN LONDON; BOARDINGHOUSE STEW; WARTIME RECIPES; THE TEMPERATE ZONE (based on Edith Wharton’s short story); GHOST WRITERS (based on two stories by Wharton and Henry James); RUNAWAY TRAINS; A FLAG FOR MARIA; PRIVATE LIES (a spoof on the play by Noel Coward); REVELATIONS, A GAME FOR THREE OR MORE COUPLES; three one-act plays, together titled RYAN’S REUNION, and a collection of ten-minute comedies together titled THE BRITISH ARE COMING.
Her plays have been performed in Massachusetts, Oklahoma, Kentucky, and both northern and southern California. One play has been published.
Writing credits include a Drama Award from FS Theatrebooks, New York, (for BOARDINGHOUSE STEW); awards from Writers Digest (for PRIVATE LIES and PLAYTIME IN LONDON); and the Gem Award from Jewel Box Theatre, Oklahoma City (for WARTIME RECIPES).
E. E. Smith lives close to her native San Francisco where she now writes books and short stories instead of plays. One story was published in Writers’ Forum: Britain’s Best Magazine for Writers, in 2006. The play, WARTIME RECIPES, first performed in Oklahoma City in 1998, was reprised in the same theater in 2010. Her first novel, BOARDINGHOUSE STEW (based on the play of the same name) was published in 2009, and the New Edition published in 2011, along with the sequel, TIMES LIKE THESE. A Memoir, IN LOVE AND WAR, came out as an e-book in 2012. Also as e-books, a series of murder mysteries debuted in 2013, beginning with DEATH BY MISADVENTURE. It was followed by BAD BLOOD, RUSSIAN ROULETTE, and PRESCRIPTION FOR MURDER. By 2015, the hardcover editions of BOARDINGHOUSE STEW and TIMES LIKE THESE will be out of print, but both are returning as brand new editions of e-books.