Reader Reviews of  - The Meaning of Our Tears
"It takes a true writer to hold my attention.... I felt this book. I lived through your words. They took me back there if only in my mind. I hope that you will (if you haven't already considered it) write other books. Fiction, nonfiction whatever it may be. I would most definitely buy every one. I love a book that holds my attention so much that I don't even hear the phone, or notice that my bath water is cold etc. MOVE OVER DANIELLE STEELE. TRUDY SMITH is in town... my new favorite author!"

          - Tessa Lawson

"You did an awesome job with this book! When I was reading this book, I felt as if I was there. I now want to travel to this area and drive the roads and see the land... Again, thank you so much for this book. I wish your family well."

          - Robin Webster

"I am so glad you have revised this book. I read it for the first time this Christmas (the first version). I wanted one for myself, so I am ordering it. This story touched me so much. I still think of that family and what happened almost if I had been there the day it happened."

          - Linda Richardson

"I have never had a book to touch me the way The Meaning of Our Tears did. With every page I felt as if I were there. You are one of the most gifted writers that I have had the pleasure of reading in a very long time."

          - Sherry Harrison

 "I honestly didn't think that this book could have the same "draw" as White Christmas, Bloody Christmas, but I was wrong. Even though I know the story and its outcome, I find it very, very hard to put this book down. Where White Christmas, Bloody Christmas was wonderfully done, I might add - The Meaning of Our Tears gets down on a more personal level, especially with the memories from Stella Lawson Boles. The everyday life, the joys and sorrows that the family experienced - you've introduced to these along with their extended family - which makes them more "real" to you. They're not just a legendary family that had a tragic end - they're still very much alive thanks to you, your dad, and Stella. ...I'm sure that there are going to be thousands more who will echo my words. You've taken this book and added a special, bittersweet touch to it. The pages that told about the raisin cake Marie had made - the burning of the family's belongings by Marion- the baby's little crib in one of the photos - it just makes you ache for the family and the grief and heartache that their deaths brought, even years after.... "

          - Cheryl Wray

"This was just a really GREAT book! What a fantastic job of putting together the details of a very secretive and even at times convoluted story. I truly enjoyed this book! Thank you for taking the time and doing the hard work it took to write this story."

          - Judy Burnside, Greensboro NC

"What an awesome book and an awesome story! I really loved the unique way the author wove her actual research from interviews into the book in quotes. It made the story come to life in a way I have not experienced before. Kudos also to this author for bringing all these years of research together in such a great book."

          - Tammy G., Julian NC

"The fascinating story of the Lawson family is vividly retold in The Meaning of Our Tears. It takes us back in time to when life was far simpler, but more difficult than we can imagine today. The author's rich narrative brought the Lawson family back to life as they and their mules carved their existence from the tobacco fields of rural western North Carolina. Trudy J. Smith's diligent research to collect original documents and photos gives added authenticity to this tragic story. I especially loved the quotes of those who were there and experienced the tragedy first hand which were carefully woven throughout the book. This is a story that capture our imaginations today and will continue to do so through the years. This book is not only one to simply read, but to one own."

          - Charlotte Perkins

"I just finished reading the review copy of The Meaning of Our Tears and I have to say that I had a hard time putting it down after I started it. What a fascinating look at life in North Carolina in the 1910's and 1920's, and how well you tell such a tragic story."

          - Steve Carr of

"The book was great!! However, I must my say-- my mother-in-law stole it!!!!  Do you do personal tours?:)  If you do, her birthday is in September and that would make a great gift!"

          - Nathan Tabor

"Author Trudy J. Smith has given us a shocking retelling of silent rage set against the backdrop of a quiet and idealistic rural farming community in 1920's Germanton, North Carolina.  The Meaning of Our Tears reminds us of what can happen when the misery that plagues the human spirit festers without an outlet for release... A lesson learned more often than taught."

          - Author, Rhys Scott


"...I am one of your greatests fans, along with every citizen of the Germanton area....everybody talks of the same subject, your book.   It was a book you can't put down.  Reading it, I was able to retrace a lot of childhood memories... reading the excerpts made the whole thing come alive.  I want to thank you and your late father for putting together this document.  It will always be a treasure in my library."

          - John Wagoner

"This book is a real page turner.... it was a compelling read."

          - Dennis Brown

"I gave this book to my mother-in-law as a gift to read while she recouperated from her operation, and she really enjoyed it.  She has talked about little else since!  She has become so interested in the case that she had to have the companion book, A Child in the Midst also."

          - Carol G., Greensboro, NC

"Loved your book! I read your book and found it to be fascinating. I had not heard of the murders before, you did an incredible job writing it...It is such a deep and moving story."

          - Evelyn Thomas, author of Alone in the Iris City

"Trudy Smith is a wonder. Recreating the world of the small tobacco farmer's of the nineteen twenties, she deftly desribes Charles Lawson's descent into madness and murder. "The Meaning of Our Tears" is a book to be treasured."

          - Jim Wheeler

Original Press Reviews of - The Meaning of Our Tears
"Trudy Smith's book, The Meaning of Our Tears provides new information about the infamous Lawson family murder mystery... An eyewitness account of the murders of two of the victims brings forth [new] evidence... The large crowd at Saturday's book signing illustrated the continuing interest in the case.... People still have a fascination with the Lawson family story."

          - The Reidsville Review

"This is a GREAT book... I love this book! I gave one to my father and you should have seen the wide smile come across his face when I handed it to him. He remembers this story well and it really meant a lot to him to get a copy."

          - Mark Childrey, WGSR Star News 39

"Trudy J. Smith, through diligent research has created a fascinating book revealing the true nature of this story.... with even a more revealing look at the people and the factors that came together on that terrible day...December 25th, 1929.  We may never know everything about this tragedy, but I don't think we will ever get any closer than Trudy J. Smith has presented this day... an accurate and beautiful picture of rural North Carolina in the 1920's... The story has been painstakingly put together... I think the reader will find Trudy J. Smith's book, THE MEANING OF OUR TEARS truly fascinating..."

          - Steve Banks, Cary News

Original Press Reviews of  -White Christmas Bloody Christmas

 "From the decade of the 20's, its secret etched in stone, the past has come alive through the efforts of authors M. Bruce Jones and Trudy J. Smith...straightforward...dramatic...realistic...carefully researched...interesting reading..."

          - The Sanford Herald, Sanford NC

"it is a fascinating and horrifying book about a terrible crime--it is well-researched and sharply written... you have done a fine job..."

          - Paul D. McCarthy, Senior Editor, Pocket Books, NY

"White Christmas, Bloody Christmas finally provides the answer why "...interesting and well-researched."

           - A.C. Snow, Raleigh News and Observer


" is a good book and if you like reading true crime accounts or North Carolina history (or both) you may be interested in reading this book."

           - The Daily Advance, Elizabeth City, NC

"...insightful...recurringly dramatic... appeals to readers of true crime..."

           - The Small Press Review


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