“A War of Her Own” by Sylvia Dickey Smith

  Austin author Sylvia Dickey Smith is a woman after my own heart. She writes about strong-willed women who solve mysteries, face danger head-on and take the bull by the horns when the going gets tough. And Bea Meade, a Texas version of Rosie the Riveter, does all this and more in A War of Her Own.

In the summer of 1943, life was good for the people of Orange, Texas. With plenty of jobs to go around, thousands of people flocked to the wooded patch of southeast Texas to work in the wartime shipyards. With extra cash in their pockets and steady jobs, the town’s residents were finally getting a taste of the American dream. But in the midst of the excitement, Bea Meade’s world shatters to pieces after her no-good husband leaves her and their newborn baby to shack up with his pregnant mistress.

With no other choice but to take on a “man’s job” at the shipyard, Bea doubts she has what it takes –mentally or physically – to make it on her own. But with some help from her next-door neighbors and her feisty big sister, she puts on her big-girl pants and takes on a rigorous night job. In defiance of the constant catcalls and insults from her fellow workers, Bea works her way up in the ranks and lands a coveted position as a riveter. Discovering skills she never knew she had, she realizes she could be so much more than a homemaker.

As the young mother begins to embrace her newfound independence, she no longer feels a need for a man in her life. That is until she meets Oskar Eichel, a mysterious blond stranger  who came to Orange in search of his missing brother. Unable to resist the inexplicable pull he has on her, Bea discovers a fire in her belly she never knew existed.

But for everything that’s changed, some things remain the same. Even with her toxic  husband out of her life, she still cries herself to sleep at night. What is it about the dark and solitude that drives her unstoppable tears? Why does she still feel so alone?

Desperate for answers, Bea probes into her past and uncovers a tangled web of family secrets. And as she puts the pieces together, she must figure out who she is, who she wants to be and how the old Bea evolved in the first place.

In this richly textured novel, Sylvia combines romance, family drama and a splash of mystery. In Bea Meade, she has created a deeply wonderful character, brave and true. Sylvia Dickey Smith just keeps getting better and better!

Want to know more about this talented author? Check out her website for more about her books and her super-cool radio show Writing Strong Women. For more about her Sidra Smart mystery series, check out my review here.

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