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Patrick Smithwick (Author)

War's Over, Come Home

War's Over, Come Home

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TidePool Press
9 X 6 in
280 pg

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For soldiers and their families, wars never end. The memories come home, occasionally in triumph, but more often in unpredictable and debilitating ways barely visible to the larger public. Most accounts rightly focus on the soldier’s struggles. Compelling and revealing, Patrick Smithwick’s War’s Over, Come Home is a rare and intimate account from a family’s vantage point, an essential perspective often missed. Their transcontinental efforts to find Iraq war veteran Andrew Smithwick—son, brother and once a friend to many—are a disturbing and eloquent testament to the cascading impact of a single case of PTSD.

Smithwick, a gifted storyteller who has written an acclaimed trilogy about steeplechase racing, has noted elsewhere, “Not for a moment did I imagine that one day I’d be pulling blankets off the faces of homeless men in Seattle, San Diego, Santa Fe, New York, Baltimore, Orlando. Or tapping on their shoulders and asking, ‘Is that you, Andrew?’”

Despite its hopeless moments and recurring despair, War’s Over, Come Home is, at its heart, a love story about a family’s resilient and at times, blind commitment to finding Andrew. The sightings, the close calls, his brief return home are inspiring, yet thus far confounding and fruitless. When does one stop looking?

War’s Over, Come Home will strike home with a wide range of readers, from families similarly afflicted by PTSD to policymakers at the Pentagon, from family counselors to sociologists, and most of all to general readers curious about an otherwise invisible world.

Patrick Smithwick
Author Bio

PATRICK SMITHWICK is the author of the acclaimed trilogy of memoirs, Racing My Father, Flying Change and Racing Time. He has won awards for newspaper features, short stories, and magazine pieces while working as a steeplechase jockey and exercise rider of Thoroughbred racehorses on East Coast tracks, and as a Chesapeake Bay waterman, newspaper reporter and English teacher.

Patrick holds a BA and an MLA from Johns Hopkins University, an MA from Hollins College, and an EfM (Education for Ministry) from the University of the South. The author met Ansley, his wife-to-be, forty-eight years ago at Hollins College.

Patrick and Ansley live on a farm in Monkton, Maryland, and are the parents of three children: Paddy, Andrew and Eliza.