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Far From the War

4.03  ·  Rating Details  ·  58 Ratings  ·  35 Reviews
Economic ruin and partisan rancor have pushed America to the brink of a new civil war. Esther is caught in the middle, serving as a page in the United States House of Representatives when rogue politicians and military leaders stage a modern day coup d'etat. When the coup turns violent, she abandons Washington, D.C. for home. She must learn to survive on her own as transpo ...more
Paperback, 380 pages
Published August 3rd 2011 by Roche Harbor Books (first published July 24th 2011)
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(showing 1-30 of 336)
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Dec 22, 2011 Eve rated it it was amazing
The United States is in the midst of civil war. The country is in economic ruins. Retirement accounts have been seized, although it is never made clear why. Hordes of people camp outside of the capital (99%ers anyone?). And, extreme partisan politics have brought government nearly to a standstill.

The protagonist, 17 year old Esther, makes her way slowly across the country from D.C. to her home in Washington. In the process she loses friends to the war and meets her first love. She grows and matu
(Benji) The Non Reluctant Reader
This isn't your normal dystopian novel. These days when you think dystopia you think books like The Hunger Games or Matched. Those are all fantasies. This book is not. Instead it's a realistsic, awesome story about a bad ass girl from Orcas Island.
I'm always excited to read a book about that takes place in Washington, so I was eager to read this one, although only a tenth of the story actually took place there.
From the very beginning I loved the character of Esther. She was funny. She was inte
Jan 07, 2012 Mary rated it really liked it
When Esther Casey leaves her island home near Seattle to serve as a page in the United States House of Representatives, she expects a learning experience, but she gets so much more. First she discovers the mean-spirited partisanism that has become the norm, even among the pages. Then the war starts. Washington, DC, is the epicenter and Esther has to flee with her friend Gwen. Things start to go wrong almost immediately, and Esther must struggle for survival in a continuously shifting landscape. ...more
Oct 01, 2011 Kelly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have been at a loss for words ever since I finished reading Far From the War. I don't even know where to start when it comes to describing my feelings and reactions to this book. So, I'll start with the one image that has stayed with since I finished reading: children collecting brass shell casings. I can't even quite pinpoint why that image has stayed with me. It certainly wasn't the most horrifying or vivid image in the novel. But maybe that's exactly why it has stayed with me; because it's ...more
Traci (The Reading Geek)
Jeffrey David Payne's Far From the War is the story of a modern civil war set in a dystopian future. Esther is interning as a page in Washington D.C. at the House of Representatives when she finds herself in the middle of chaos and the beginning of a war. Esther must leave D.C. and find her own way home as the country begins to fall apart.

Far From The War is a realistic and interesting dystopian story. I have never had much of an interest in politics but the synopsis for this book caught my att
Jan 10, 2016 Tammi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorite-books
Esther Casey lives on Orcas Island. This is off the coast of Washington. She earned the right to become a page for the US Government in Washington D.C. by submitting an essay and being nominated by Congressman Kamerlin. The page program is pretty strict with strict rules. You earn 15 demerits and you are sent home. One morning, while in the page house, tanks moving into Washington D.C. were heard and woke everyone up. Following that, was the introduction of Marines who were assigned to the pages ...more
Nov 23, 2011 Larissa rated it really liked it
As a seventeen year old she has always been confident in what she wants from life and where her future will take her. What she wasn't ready for was the harsh reality of politics, where truth is sacrificed for loyalty, power is all important and money is the only thing that matters. Wars have been started over less; however the start of this war was still a surprise to a country suddenly thrown into civil turmoil.

It began with a military presence. It seemed peaceful enough at first, taking up pos
Big Book Little Book
Nov 04, 2011 Big Book Little Book rated it really liked it
With little understanding of American politics I found the initial portion of the book slow paced and at times perplexing. This back ground is essential however, as it places our protagonist in a unique position to witness the growing political unrest first hand. Once war is declared the pace builds quickly and the resulting story is impossible to put down as my red rimmed, sleep deprived eyes can testify.

Esther is a complex and flawed character, a combination of determined political ambition an
Sep 24, 2011 P.E. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Far From the War was a battering, brutal story of war. Honestly, it leaves me wanting to be more active and make sure nothing like that ever happens. But the shocking reality is that it does happen! How many stories do we hear on the news of revolutions and fights for control?

The strength of this book was the fact that it didn't shy down from the aspects of war. We met soldiers from both sides, we learnt of the obliteration of several cities. There
Sep 12, 2011 Briana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Honestly, I don't even know where to begin with this review. I expected this book to be a good read, perhaps even average, but I quickly found that it was so much more than that. Far From the War tells the story of Esther, a strong female character and her internship at the House of Representatives as part of her goal to become involved in politics one day. As the government, politicians, and military become completely corrupt and everything pretty much shuts down, Esther's experiences show what ...more
For entire review run over to my super awesome blog :
Ever wondered what would happen if war just broke out AND ( as if that wasn’t enough) you were far from home?

This happened with Esther. Esther is from Orcas Island and is now a page for the US House of Representatives in Washington D.C.

The novel follows her on her journey to return home once war breaks out in future dystopian United States.

I initially strugg
Catriona (LittleBookOwl)
Feb 19, 2015 Catriona (LittleBookOwl) rated it liked it
Shelves: owned
3 1/2 stars!

Original review from Little Book Owl

I will admit that I have never read a book based around politics and war. I was surprisingly pleased with it, though, and thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

The beginning was just a little slow for me. I am completely clueless and politics and all that, even more so considering it is American politics, so I was confused with all of the technical and political parts explored towards the beginning.

Esther was an interesting character to follow. I loved
Marybeth (Manhattan Reader)
Oct 15, 2011 Marybeth (Manhattan Reader) rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, i-own
This book is not like your typical dystopia book, where you already see the fall of humanity and the rise of a new oppressive government. This shows what happens beforehand, and what's scary about this book is that it could possibly happen. When you turn on the news you see our current "leaders" you can imagine something like what Esther goes through to actually happen.

Personally, I feel like the book should have been called FAR FROM HOME because the majority of the book was her journey getting
Dec 03, 2011 Jenna rated it really liked it
I went into Far From the War after a string of dystopians. I didn’t read much of the summary before I accepted the request. I knew it was set in the future and involved a second civil war in the U.S.

At first I was daunted; in the first hundred pages you have a lot about politics. It’s stuff the average person can understand. Couple that with Jeffrey David Payne’s very distinct writing style that is characterized by an expansive vocabulary, and I was more than intimidated.

With that being said, I
Oct 27, 2011 Holly rated it it was amazing
Reviewed for In-Interest

Given a chance to leave the small island that just lies of the coast of Washington, Esther Casey is privileged enough to gain a place as a page for the US Government - where she realizes that it's not what's best for society that determines the next move. Tanks start to move into Washington and the pages are expected to act as if nothing is happening. After fleeing the capital,the president declares war. Esther realizes it may be harder to get home — it's not only gold th
Dawn Vanniman
Nov 02, 2011 Dawn Vanniman rated it it was amazing
FAR FROM THE WAR is about the worst things you can imagine happening if the US broke out into civil war. It's also about the tenacity of people, mainly a 17 year old girl, Esther.

Esther is from Orcas Island, Washington and wins a chance to be a Congressional Page in Washington D.C. Shortly after beginning her new job, a coup is accomplished by some political and military leaders. Esther and two other Pages decide to go home and they head out to the airport. Upon reaching the airport, they find t
Nov 28, 2011 Megan rated it really liked it
I gave this book 4/5 stars on my blog

Far From War is from debut novelist Jeffrey David Payne and is the first book in a trilogy. When I first picked up Far From War I was a little confused as the book is set in Washington D.C. where the main character Esther is serving as a page in the United States House of Representatives. The confusion was I don't live in the U.S. and I don't know how the whole political system works there. However there was just somethi
Sep 12, 2011 Donna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Product Description
Economic ruin and partisan rancor have pushed America to the brink of a new civil war. Esther is caught in the middle, serving as a page in the United States House of Representatives when rogue politicians and military leaders stage a modern day coup d’état. When the coup turns violent, she abandons Washington, D.C. for home. She must learn to survive on her own as transportation and financial networks fail, as the war disrupts food and water supplies. The result is a cautiona
Nov 27, 2011 Sabrina rated it really liked it
I would like to thank everyone involved with the Goodreads Firstreads program for the opportunity to read this book since I REALLY enjoyed it. It seems weird to say that given the nature of the content, but the story was so compelling I finished this book in just a few days and probably could have read it in one sitting. The story, about the US when the next civil war breaks out, certainly made me think about the current economic and political situations and actually made me appreciate my brothe ...more
Aug 05, 2011 Kathryn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
You may think that I am just being partial, given my relationship with the author, but even he will admit that I am one of his biggest critics. I think Far From the War is his best work to date. But I also think that this book was written for someone like me. Esther is a great female character and the journey that she takes is one that you won't regret joining her on. I am extremely proud of this accomplishment and I hope you take the time to read this book and let me know your thoughts. I would ...more
Sep 21, 2011 Gary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A real page-turner. Can't wait for the next addition in the trilogy. A very timely read given the times we live in. A great story on how one woman can overcome in some of the most difficult times one could imagine.
Could this happen? I hope not, but maybe "Far From The War" will be a clarion bell warning of what could be. I loved it. A must read!
Jan 28, 2012 Christy rated it really liked it
Just a really good book. With the tensions between political parties it is easy to see how this fictional book can become a reality and how completely a civil war would effect our lives.
Oct 17, 2011 Amanda rated it it was amazing
reviewed at
Carrie Rundhaug
Oct 19, 2012 Carrie Rundhaug rated it it was amazing
The first few chapters of Far From the War were slow and a little hard to read to the point I put the book down and told my husband that I didn't think I could read anymore. However, we still had a good hour to go in the car so I picked it back up and continued reading just to kill the time and I'm so happy I did. The story really drws you in and captures your undivided attention.

Esther is a strong and independent young lady who makes an incredible leading character. She is truly focused on what
Jasmine Rose
This took quite a while to catch my attention. All the parts before the actual war kinda bored me. Instead of feeling like a setup for the story, it just felt like we were watching Esther's fairly mundane day-to-day life and then BAM there's a big fat war going on. The flow definitely wasn't there for me.

I loved the concept of the story though I wasn't sure about the political aspects. The first third of the book is pretty full of political jargon fulfilling my fears and leaving me pretty lost,
A Book Vacation
Oct 13, 2013 A Book Vacation rated it it was amazing
To see my full review:

The fact that we live in the United States makes many of us feel rather safe. We hear about the civil wars breaking out in other countries, and we read about what’s happening in Syria, we protest wars that many of us don’t fully understand… but what would we do if a civil war broke out in the United States? We act like it won’t, can’t, shouldn’t, but the truth is, we never really know. There are a lot of things that could go wrong in
Dec 27, 2012 Michelle rated it it was amazing
My first review in a LONG time! And what a great book to start with again! Yes it has taken me a while to read this one - but it is not because of the book it is for many other reasons! Every time I picked up this book to continue reading it - it was SO hard to put it back down. Let's see in a nutshell what is it about? Imagine the United States going to war with itself... and 17-year-old Esther is caught smack dab in the middle of it. We first meet Esther when she leaves her home on Orcas Islan ...more
Leigh Collazo

More reviews at

WHAT I LIKED: I always love a good post-apocalyptic survival story, and it was interesting to read about how quickly things could break down in the event of a White House coup. Esther is tough, smart, and driven to survive. She is very serious much of the time and doesn't waste time with a bunch of shenanigans or worry about what everyone else is doing. While she probably would not be much fun to hang around with, I have to respect her focus.

When Es
Preston Fleming
Dec 14, 2011 Preston Fleming rated it really liked it
My interest on dystopian fiction drove me to read this book on the recommendation of a friend. Though I do not read many Young Adult novels, I enjoyed FAR FROM THE WAR.
I found it to be a thoughtful and original coming of age story set in a dystopic not-so-distant future. The author seemed to capture the anxieties and concerns of the protagonist and her fellow teens very well, with an keen ear for their dialogue.
In my view, Esther Casey came across as a strong and capable protagonist with who
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Jeffrey David Payne began writing at age seven when his work was selected for the Missouri Young Author's Conference. Since that time he's studied Mathematics at DePaul University, Nuclear Engineering at Naval Nuclear Power School, and co-founded a software company whose technology provides logistics support for some of the hottest entertainment properties in the world. His technical writing has b ...more
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