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The Day They Shot Edward

Wendy Scarfe

The Day They Shot Edward
It is 1916. The Australian community is riven over a referendum to conscript more troops for the killing fields of Europe. Nine-year-old Matthew's family, divided politically and sinking into poverty, reflects the social conflict. Handsome, generous Edward is at the centre of the family friction. Gran hates the war as Edward does, Mother flirts with him to escape the misery of her marriage, and young Matthew adores him.

As patriotic frenzy takes hold, police informers spy on Edward and track his anti-conscription activities. Sabotage and anarchism are meaningless words to Matthew. Absorbed in childhood fantasies, he is unaware that he too is helping draw the net around Edward. It is left to Matthew's German headmaster to teach him that, like music, people grow with love.

Praise for The Day They Shot Edward:
'A perfect little novella.' - Lisa Hill, ANZ Litlovers LitBlog

'Scarfe effectively shows the ideological clashes and real danger faced by Australians at home, and the differing responses of individual citizens.' - Kerryn Goldsworthy, Age

'A slim volume but vast in scope, The Day They Shot Edward is a novel that, at its heart, asks who the grownups really are. As we near the centenary of Armistice Day, we’ll be offered the same batch of mythic tropes of Anzac heroism and nation-blooding we’re served every year. Read this novel instead.' - Kim Kelly, Newtown Review of Books

'Scarfe's writing is poetic and allusive ... Physically slight, the novella raises emotional echoes that belie its small and very focused extent.' - Katharine England, Advertiser

'There’s something about novellas, about the way they can combine the tautness of the short story with the character development of a novel, and then hone in on an idea, undistracted by side-stories. This, in any case, is what Adelaide-writer Wendy Scarfe achieves in her book, The day they shot Edward ... A lovely, warm, read.' - Sue Terry, Whispering Gums

'The aura of innocence in this slim novella is what makes the dismay of what’s about to happen more confronting.' - Rama Gaind, PS News

'A beautifully written book, evoking tears of sadness and joy ... A 'must read' for those who want to know more about this difficult time in our history rather than merely stories from the battlefields.' - I.F., ARPA News

'The Day They Shot Edward details an important and undervalued period in Australia's recent political history. The story of how national injustices are experienced by everyday people is so well researched and told with such seamless historical detail that is reads as a factual account of a time when patriotism was equivalent to blind obedience and critical thinking was tantamount to sedition.' - Emma Catchpole, Idiom

Born in Adelaide, Wendy Scarfe graduated from Melbourne University and later trained as a secondary school teacher. For over four decades she has written poetry and novels in her own right, revealing her interest in history, political conflicts and social injustice. Her non-fiction works were written with her late husband, Allan Scarfe. Writing in Australian Literary Studies, Dr Katherine Bode commented that Wendy is 'an important and innovative contemporary author' whose books offer a 'difference'.

Wendy lives in Warrnambool. She has three daughters, a son and four grandchildren.

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Format Paperback
Size 210 x 140 mm
ISBN 9781743055199
Extent 136 pages
Price: AU$24.95 including GST
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