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Edith's War

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  30 ratings  ·  14 reviews
Edith's War, a novel, tells one woman's heart-wrenching, yet ultimately heart-warming, story of hardship, love, passion, and motherhood during Liverpool's Blitz of World War II. In early summer of 1940 young Edith Maguire witnesses the internment of her Italian neighbours following Mussolini's declaration of war against Britain. Edith is swept up in the unthinkable event o ...more
Paperback, 375 pages
Published March 8th 2010 by Axiom Publishing
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Average rating 3.93  · 
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Martha Cheves
Jun 25, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Edith’s War – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat

“You know,” said Anna. “We all think we’re so clever. I know I used to be too proud. I had a good husband, three handsome boys who speak English and get along so good at school. Three fish and chip shops, a nice house – I thought I have it made. And the bang, suddenly it all disappeared. When a war happens, it shows you we don’t know nothing. War or no war, we’re all like leaves being blown around. No matter how much we think
Apr 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
‘An intricate study of war, love and survival.’

Andrew Smith lives both in London and Toronto and writes historical fiction – actual events populated by fictional characters. He has taken creative writing courses at the University of Toronto, and has also graduated as a graphic designer. To date he has published two novels – EDITH’S WAR, first published in 2010 focusing on the internment of Italian men in Britain during WW II, and THE SPEECH published in 2016 defining Enoch Powell's infamous Riv
Lori L (She Treads Softly)
Mar 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Typically I have had some issues with most historical fiction, mainly because many novels tend to take some facts and then proceed to play loose with the details. I like the facts, the setting, and the mood to all be as historically accurate as possible and reflect the period without putting a modern spin on it based on our current sensibilities. Edith's War manages to fulfill my requirements beautifully. Andrew Smith did his research and, much to my delight, kept a real sense of time and place ...more
May 25, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: war-stories
This book is an excellent story and I enjoyed reading Edith's story very much. However, the segments of the book concerning Will and Shamus were, I thought very stilted, a bore to read, and almost felt like it was written by a different person. I found the brothers whiny and self-absorbed. That in itself would be fine, since how they came to be the people they are is central to this story. I just thought this part was poorly written and I could never learn to like Will and his sarcasm towards hi ...more
Many books that move back and forward between past and current time periods cause readers to prefer one period over another. This is what happened to me with this book. It's obvious that the two stories will meet and it's fairly simple to conjecture the final chapters. Despite this the book is well written and interesting; and it adds more information about WWII that many of us are not aware of - the internment of Italians during the war. I think the politics of this move were not illuminated th ...more
Angela Woods
Jul 23, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I won Edith's War as a First Read on Goodreads. It was not a book I would have normally picked up on my own, but I was pleasantly surprised by it. The book alternates between 1940's England and Present-day Italy. Smith beautifully captures the essence of war life while focusing on two families, the Maguires and the Baccanellos. Edith Maguire is at the center of the story as the book follows her life and choices during and after the war. Overall, Edith's War was a worhtwile read full of war, love ...more
Nov 08, 2010 rated it really liked it
This is an extremely well written book. The story line has been beautifully woven around historical facts of the plight of the Italian population in Ireland during World War II.

The author also has an amazing ability to really make you see all of the places that the characters are on their travels. He draws you in not only to the story but also the locations.

I have loaned this book out and everyone who has read it, has also enjoyed it.
Ruth Seeley
May 12, 2010 rated it really liked it
Disclosure: Andrew Smith is a client of mine. However, as a serious reader and a PR person with perhaps too many scruples, I wouldn't have agreed to work with him if I hadn't liked his novel! Hope you get a chance to read it. Book is available from (, ( and @indiepride ( If you prefer the eBook, try Smashwords: ( ...more
May 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Really enjoyed the author's description of the characters' inner feelings, which was peppered through the chapters. Also the juxtaposition the different periods of time greatly added to the interest, as they became more interlinked as the book progressed. This became a real page turner for me. Couldn't wait to get back to find out what happened next.
Feb 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing

I bought this book two years ago in Canada. The author was promoting it in a book shop so I went and had a chat with him. He was very nice and signed my copy of the book.
I don't know why it took me so long to getting around to reading it. I'm glad that I finally picked it up. This is one of those books that once you pick it up you can't put it down.
Ali O'Hara
Jun 21, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, hard-times
Another tough one to decide the rating. I think I'd give this 3.5 if we had halves -- it didn't REALLY draw me in for quite a while, but by the end I was more hooked. Not my favorite ever, but a good book.
Julia Maxham
Jul 01, 2010 rated it really liked it
It was a really good book. I finished it in two days. I found it hard to put it down. The twists and turns were so interesting. I really felt for the characters with all of the emotions and sadness and all that. it's really well written. definitely recommend it to everyone.
Lynn Bornath
I thought Smith did a good job of showing what life was like during the war. I enjoyed the historical aspects more than the relationships but I'm sure the opposite would be true for others. Read the full review.
Chip Barkel
Aug 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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Andrew Smith was born in Liverpool, England and now lives in Toronto and London. He has taken creative writing courses at the University of Toronto, and has also graduated as a graphic designer. His short fiction has appeared in some of the most repected literary magazines in North America. He has published two non-fiction books: Strangers in the Garden, an illustrated history of flowers and Highl ...more

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