Book Reviews

Evie's War Reviews

Magpies Magazine

Trevor Agnew

This is a remarkably moving account of the war as seen by those overworked and under-appreciated people who provided medical care for the wounded and dying. A large cast is well marshalled and the result is totally convincing. Evie's War is Anna Mackenzie's best novel yet.


Jean Bennett

The author invested years of intensive research and writing to accomplish this exceptional historical novel. Encompassing the sweep of the First World War, the book is a tour de force.

Bob's Books Blog

Bob Docherty

This excellent novel about a New Zealand girl’s experiences in World War 1 can only be described as epic. Written by Anna Mackenzie while in residency in Belgium, by her own admission she became engrossed and immersed in World War 1 to the point of obsession. I am glad she did because this novel is one incredible account of the Great War and of English Society.


Evie is 18 when she and her parents and older brother Edmund take a passage to UK with the intention of touring Europe. The shot that rang around the World changed all that ... Evie gets involved as a nurse treating the hordes of young men with their horrendous wounds while the newspapers are full of the glories of battle.

Evie is courted by a wounded officer and in spite of the raw reality all around them the relationship is totally innocent and refreshingly naive.


Each year of the war from 1914 through to 1918 is depicted in diary entries from Evie’s journal. Historical facts are included in the diary entries and changes in society and perceptions of the war change. Edmund goes to war and what an intrepid tale his is.

Evie herself goes to Belgium as a driver and nurse for the whole of 1918 and the true horrors of this war are portrayed through the men she treats in the most primitive of conditions.


Superbly described ... Anna Mackenzie has clearly put her heart and soul into this novel and I think it is her best. So far!

Bay Buzz

Louise Ward, Wardinis Bookshop

‘Evie’s War’ is a many layered and incredibly well researched novel of some depth. The character development is rapid and authentic – the sudden shocks that war brings have inevitable effects on the cast of the story. The Evie we know at the end of the book is a young woman much changed by her experiences and as the reader we feel that we have been there with her.



Evie’s War by Anna Mackenzie is a fantastic story about a young woman’s experience through World War 1. Anna Mackenzie is a New Zealand author and she has put a New Zealand touch on this story which I enjoyed.


The story is written as Evie’s journal, and this way you get a feel for what the war is like but from a peripheral story rather than as a soldier right amongst things. Evie ends up volunteering as a nurse and through this is exposed to a lot of the results of war. Initially she is based in Cambridge but after experiencing personal tragedy she ends up in France and Belgium and experiences an even more shocking reality of war from just behind the front lines.

Best Bookclub in the Bay

Possibly the best book about the war we've read. Fantastic. Everyone should read it.

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Angela Oliver

A strong follow-up to 'Cattra's Legacy', this instalment establishes Risha as a worthy player in court politics. … Risha is an admirable character, and many of the females are portrayed in bold, active roles. Whilst there are hints of potential future romance, the fact that this lies secondary to Risha's personal growth lends power to the story and portrays her as a stronger role model to her teenage audience. I enjoyed both books, this one especially, and am eager to see where Risha's journey takes her next.

Bob's Books Blog