FeaturedHistorical Fiction

A Man Called Smith


Loved it! 😍

A heart-wrenching story of generational trauma and coming to terms with the way that trauma makes you who you are.

This book elegantly details the way grief and trauma can be generational. John Smith faced a war overseas where his life was at risk and now faces a war just as trauma-inducing at home. One of the most skillful elements of this book is the duo-perspective. On one hand, we feel for the man who is desperately trying to keep his family life content while aching for his dead wife. On the other hand, we see how his attempts are not suited to his family at all and his daughter is slowly losing her way in the family.

              John’s story is one of grief and heartache. He is trying to cling on to any hope that his family can be a normal one again. He tries so hard to be there for everyone in the way he sees fit. That way is often understated and tainted with grief. He has left the war zone, but he still must fight to keep close everything he knows and loves. Williams brilliantly draws comparisons of the bullet-ridden war and the one he struggles to comprehend at home. It is an interesting look at how his own experiences of life and death have made him a shell of a man.

              His daughter, Calla, shares the story of the effects of this war-ridden home. She is put down, abused, and made to be a slave in her own home. Through her perspective, we start to feel for John’s attempts at making her feel better about their situations. We also feel heartbroken in the same ways John does. This is a girl who had to grow up way too fast. Her life bears comparison to her father’s in that way; they were both too young to have their experiences of the world.

              This book is heart-wrenching. It is far from a happy family and beyond a dramatic family. This is the story of an entirely unhappy family trying their best to get through it. Williams writes each of these characters with distinct voices and we feel for each one. The style is brilliant, the story is heart-wrenching, and I would highly suggest this.

Reviewed by

I have been a reader forever. I still hold the record for reading the most books in Grade 1, and I have maintained that momentum. Now, I have a degree in English Literature and share my passion as an English teacher. I also have a blog where I occasionally post book reviews.

April 1949

About the author

Tanya loves to help a reader escape through the magic of books. History inspires her stories and her insightfulness into the human condition deepens her character's experiences. Ms. Williams' favorite tales, speak to the reader's heart, making them smile, laugh, cry, and think. view profile

Published on August 13, 2019

Published by

90000 words

Contains mild explicit content ⚠️

Genre: Historical Fiction

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