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A War of Her Own

A War of Her Own, by Sylvia Dickey Smith

A War of Her Own
(A World War II homefront novel)
by Sylvia Dickey Smith
Crickhollow Books, 2010
Softcover $16.95 • eBook $6.99

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Best Novel of the Year – Press Women of Texas

Best Novel of the Year, 2nd Place Award  – National Federation of Press Women

“A well-written book.” – Dallas Morning News

A War of Her Own is a compelling World War II historical novel, set in Orange, Texas, in 1943, about a Texas version of Rosie the Riveter in search of happiness. It is a tale of family secrets, love, betrayal, forgiveness, and self discovery.

In the summer of 1943, Orange, Texas, is a sleepy little town overrun with tens of thousands of new workers. With jobs galore at the wartime shipyards, the workers are rich with cash and looking for a good time.

Bea Meade, mother of an infant son, finds her life shattered when her philandering husband announces he is leaving her for another woman. To make ends meet, Bea takes a job at a shipyard as a riveter. Meanwhile, she searches for the love missing in her life.

Life is good for everyone in Orange–except Bea, who has to fight her own battles against a no-good husband, the prejudice facing women in the workplace, and the mysteries of her own past.

“Fans of THE HELP, fans of historical fiction, or people wanting to read about a strong woman will love A WAR OF HER OWN.”
– Kelli Nash, reviewer for “I’d So Rather Be Reading”

“Bea Meade is a spunky heroine who, after a rocky start, takes charge of her own life . . . .”
– Carola Dunn, bestselling author of the Daisy Dalrymple and Cornish mystery series

I was born and reared in Orange, and have always been fascinated by its rich history, particularly the war years when local shipyards obtained contracts with the Department of Defense to build warships. The sleepy little town exploded with people. I recall tales told by my mother of her years working at the shipyard. Desperate people caught in the backwater of the Great Depression flocked to the town and the population soared over 700 percent as a result of jobs-for-the-taking at the local shipyards.

Folks had money to burn, but with little to spend it on or a place to lay their heads. Except for the distant war, times were good. Production output of dreadnaughts, destroyer escorts, and P-T boats broke all records. Signs announced: “If you work here, YOU KNOW you’re good.”

Meanwhile, Gypsy camps settled outside of town around open campfires. Shantytowns sprang up to accommodate the severe housing shortage. Beds rented by the hour, the sheets still warm from one body when the next body crawled in.

Frenetic, hectic, and exhilarating.

Other than the distant war, life was good for everyone—for everyone except Bea Meade, who fought her own war. The enemy resided within her, yet she knew not its name.

Step back in time by browsing the links on the right and catch a glimpse of what life was like on the home front during one of the most fascinating times in American history. You’ll enjoy meeting this Texas version of “Rosie the Riveter”!

Watch the Book Trailer for A War of Her Own.

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