Becoming Mrs. Smith

Fiction - Historical - Event/Era
152 Pages
Reviewed on 08/29/2018
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Author Biography

A writer from a young age, Tanya E Williams loves to help a reader get lost in another time, another place through the magic of books. History continues to inspire her stories and her insightful view into the human condition deepens her character's experiences and propels them on their journey. Ms. Williams' favorite tales, speak to the reader's heart, making them smile, laugh, cry, and think.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Trudi LoPreto for Readers' Favorite

World War II is beginning and the boys are marching off to war, but Becoming Mrs. Smith takes a very different and enlightening look at the families and friends left behind in a very beautiful love story. We are not on the battlefields; we are with Violet who is at home in a small town in South Dakota, worrying about John. They have been best friends since childhood, but more importantly, they are hoping to marry when he returns. Violet is constantly thinking of John and hoping that he will soon be coming home to her. She spends her days working and her evenings doing volunteer work with her best friends for the war effort. When others receive the dreaded telegram about their loved one, Violet mourns with them and prays that John is still alive. When he is missing in action her imagination takes awful turns. John’s mother and father are also distraught and together the three spend time sharing letters and memories with each other.

Becoming Mrs. Smith is full of happiness and sorrow, taking me back in time and pulling me right into the pages of the story. It was impossible not to feel Violet’s misery as well as her joy. Tanya E Williams is a superb writer who brought the wartime home front alive and Violet, John and the supporting cast became very real people to me. Becoming Mrs. Smith covers love, friendship, small town life and war in a kind and thoughtful story that is hard to put down. I am anxiously awaiting a follow-up book to join with my new friends again. Please do not pass up reading Becoming Mrs. Smith.

Jack Magnus

Becoming Mrs. Smith is an historical fiction novella written by Tanya E. Williams. Violet Sanderson’s idyllic childhood was abruptly and permanently altered when the eleven-year-old was stricken with a fever that only seemed to get worse. Doc Walton recognized the symptoms of scarlet fever, and, after treating her, hammered up a quarantine sign on the Sanderson’s farmhouse door. Violet prayed to God and urged her body to heal, but, as the doctor had feared, the fever had put a strain on her heart that would never heal. While she was recuperating, she found her dreams to be extraordinarily vivid. She and John Smith would be sitting outside their one-room school and doing arithmetic problems while the younger children prepared for a spelling bee. John Smith was easily the nicest boy she had ever known. Her mother said they were hallucinations brought on by the fever, but those dreams felt so real to Violet.

Tanya E Williams’s historical fiction novella, Becoming Mrs. Smith, featuring a young woman whose heart was weakened by a childhood bout of scarlet fever, is set in rural South Dakota in the mid 1930s and 1940s. Williams gives the reader a real sense of what it was like living in a farm community in those days. I enjoyed seeing Violet grow up, move into town to finish high school and become an independent adult. Her relationship with John Smith is a joy to behold, and her dismay at hearing he’s enlisted in the war effort is understandable. Williams shows how the war effort was so much more than the enlisted and drafted troops going off to war. The reader sees how the uncertainty affects families and loved ones, and also gets to witness how communities became involved in preparing bandages and other wartime necessities to be sent to the front. The author also shares the fear and dread each and every person at home had at hearing that they had a telegram waiting for them. Williams’s plot is enthralling and her characters are well-defined and authentic. Becoming Mrs. Smith is highly recommended.

Maria Beltran

Becoming Mrs. Smith by Tanya E. Williams is a trip back to the years between 1935 and 1945 in a small town in the United States of America. This intriguing novel tells the story of a typical American girl and her childhood sweetheart. Their almost idyllic life becomes complicated when the US gets involved in the Second World War. Stricken with scarlet fever as a child, Violet feels vulnerable but her family's love and John Smith's devotion give her the courage to live and love fully. And when John decides to join the US army and is shipped off to Europe, Violet's life is turned upside down. Will Violet fulfill her dream and become Mrs. Smith?

Tanya E. Williams's Becoming Mrs. Smith unravels innocently enough with a young girl stricken with scarlet fever in a 1935 in an idyllic small town in the United States of America. With a story that is descriptive, vivid, and with an author's sharp eye for details, it is easy to lose oneself in Tanya Williams's novel. It is a roller coaster ride as we follow Violet through her adolescence and adult years, and just as everything seems perfect, the love of her life is shipped off to Europe where a terrible war is being waged. This is a story of innocence, friendship, love, hope, uncertainty and death. And when all the dust settles, it is not a plot that is predictable in any way. And this is perhaps the reason why this novel is a very interesting read. You see, Becoming Mrs. Smith is not as easy as you probably think. I am looking forward to the follow up to this book! Perfect for fans of historical romance and war time stories.

Emily-Jane Hills Orford

Life is all about how you live it and the choices you have to make along life’s difficult path: who you choose to love, who you choose to share your life with, and how you choose to deal with every hardship that presents itself. Life is a journey, after all. For Violet, it is a journey beleaguered by a broken heart, a heart made weak from the severity of the scarlet fever she suffered as a child. Whilst her heart isn’t physically strong, her joy of life and her love for those around her make it spiritually strong. Her childhood beau, John, called to fight in World War II, coupled with all the fears and concerns surrounding Violet as she waits for his safe return, makes for a difficult time. But she is not alone. Others share her love and concern. But when her true battle confronts her, Violet realizes that her broken heart can withstand the stress. “I’ll not die of a broken heart, after all. My heart is so full it’s bursting with love.”

Tanya E. Williams’ novella Becoming Mrs. Smith is a gentle story, told in first person narrative like a memoir. Although confusing at times when the author switches from past to present tense and back to past tense, the novella unravels at a steady pace with compassion and good character development. Violet is a powerful example of how one should live their life, an example that affects all those around her, especially her younger sister, Iris. “I’ve admired you so for your strength, Violet. You and Mother taught me to be strong enough to go after what I wanted. I wanted to be happy, so I am. Even you get to choose how you experience life, Violet. Maybe now is the time to choose happiness, too.” The power in this little story is in the message: to live life to its fullest, to love unconditionally, and to choose wisely. A wonderful story well told.


Very good read from a talented author

Tammy Rebere

Becoming Mrs. Smith is an incredible story that magically takes you to the time of WW2 by means of Violet's letters as she anxiously awaits the safe return of her love, John. This book is beautifully written and will stir your emotions. A must read!!

Dennis Dunbar

My wife read Becoming Mrs. Smith in the summer and passed it to each of our daughters. A perfect blend of history, life & romance in small-town USA. A must-read.