E. E. Smith

     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.

     In June of 1943, due to an acute labor shortage caused by the evacuation of all Japanese from the area, as well as many domestic workers preferring war work to house work, Mrs. Mumson is forced to hire a young schoolgirl named Eileen as a maid and cook for the summer. Through one crisis after another—some more comic than tragic—the people who live in the house manage to pull together and become a kind of family. In the center of it all is Eileen, narrating their stories which she is able to observe from her unique vantage point behind the swinging kitchen door that never quite closes on its rusty hinges.