Gateway Gazette

From My Bookshelf: A Man Called Smith

By Lynn Willoughby

A Man Called Smith ~ Tanya E. Williams

After surviving his years in WWII, John Smith returns home and marries Violet, the love of his life.  Nightmares of what he has seen, done, smelled, felt and survived during the war haunt him constantly.  But Violet asks the tough questions and listens to the tougher answers.

John is beginning to feel whole again when Violet dies, shortly after the birth of their second child.  John is stricken with grief and plunges into a deep depression.  He is unable to care for himself and his parents take the children and raise them in a joyful and loving home.  Two years later John marries Bernice and his life, and the life of his children, goes completely off the rails.

This is the story of a kind and gentle man who is afraid, and therefore unable, to let his life be ruled by the anger inside him.  We never know what has happened in the past when that anger was unleashed, but today he walks away from all conflict, leaving his children to bear the brunt of Bernice’s insane jealousy and brutality.  No fairy tale about a wicked stepmother could be worse than what we see in this novel.  And John always walks away.

Are there really people out there who are so afraid of confrontation, so blind to the pain and chaos in their children’s lives that they will let their children suffer, withhold them from their grandparents, ignore the bruises?  This was a dark and heart wrenching novel  and there were many times I wanted to slap John Smith and tell him to stand up and be a man.  It got a four and a half star rating, but I would rate it much lower as it just left me so angry.

  • Stealing Mr Smith
  • Becoming Mrs Smith

Who Knew?

Trauma is when we experience or witness something difficult, changing us forever.  It can result from war experiences, or physical or emotional abuse.

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