Small Wars – Sadie Jones

Title: Small Wars
Author: Sadie Jones
ISBN: 9780061929885
Pages: 384
Release Date: 1/19/2010
Publisher: Harper
Genre: Literary Fiction, Historical Fiction
Source: Publisher
Rating: 4 out of 5

Summary:

Small Wars takes place during the 1950’s on the island of Cyprus.  It was one of the last British colonies, and they believe that hanging onto it was crucial to the survival of the British Empire.  Major Hal Treherne has been assigned to Cyprus, and he brings his wife, Clara, and his two daughters with him.  This is a book about the horrors of war, the importance of duty and the necessity of remembering your own humanity.

Review:

While Small Wars is about the aftermath of World War II and the conflict between the British and Cypriots, it’s not just about physical and political conflict.  Instead, it’s about the small wars – the fights between husbands and wives, and the sad feeling of being alone when there’s someone sitting right next to you.

The book starts out by showing the reader how much Hal and Clara care for each other and the strength of their love.  It’s well-placed, as the reader needs this reminder while they are reading the book and watching Clara and Hal’s marriage unravel.  It’s useful to know that their relationship wasn’t always this dysfunctional.

Though the background of Small Wars is the war in Cyprus, it is a character driven novel.  Both Hal and Clara begin drifting apart in different directions once they arrive on Cyprus.  Hal becomes more and more involved in his unit, while he is also horrified by what is going on around him.  He bemoans the lack of decency and humanity that comes with war.  Meanwhile, Clara is caring for their twin daughters and forging friendships of her own.  Jones does a great job making these characters seem real and ensuring that the reader really cares about and is invested in what happens to them.  She also doesn’t fall prey to predictability in the storyline, which is very much appreciated.

Small Wars is a well-written book that I recommend for fans of literary fiction, especially if you are interested in the time period.  It’s a complex study, yet it’s easy to read and progresses very quickly!

Comments

  1. Thanks for the excellent review. I have to move this book up in my TBR pile, it sounds like I would enjoy it; thanks again.

  2. Thanks for the excellent review. I have to move this book up in my TBR pile, it sounds like I would enjoy it; thanks again.

  3. Nice review! I did not realize there was elements of post WWII in this novel. That is sort of my time period of choice, so that could set it apart from the normal “marriage on the rocks” theme, which do tend to bring me down.

  4. Nice review! I did not realize there was elements of post WWII in this novel. That is sort of my time period of choice, so that could set it apart from the normal “marriage on the rocks” theme, which do tend to bring me down.

  5. Hummmm. This may work for me. I like the time period and the setting.

  6. Hummmm. This may work for me. I like the time period and the setting.

  7. I’ve noticed this book around and am glad to hear your thoughts on it. I love the cover. I’m such a cover junkie. Anyway, I’ll put it on my list. Think I would enjoy it.

  8. I’ve noticed this book around and am glad to hear your thoughts on it. I love the cover. I’m such a cover junkie. Anyway, I’ll put it on my list. Think I would enjoy it.

  9. This sounds interesting.

  10. This sounds interesting.

  11. This sounds wonderful to me. I love great characters and am fascinated by the time period.

  12. This sounds wonderful to me. I love great characters and am fascinated by the time period.

  13. I didn’t realise that Sadie Jones had a new book out. Have you read The Outcast? I remember reading that and thinking it was only OK. I’m not sure I want to try another of her books….

  14. I didn’t realise that Sadie Jones had a new book out. Have you read The Outcast? I remember reading that and thinking it was only OK. I’m not sure I want to try another of her books….

  15. Great review! I just added this to my TBR list. Your blog is greatly influencing my wishlist…

  16. Great review! I just added this to my TBR list. Your blog is greatly influencing my wishlist…

  17. I’m so happy you liked this one. I haven’t started mine yet, but I’m so happy to know that it’s coming recommended by you. 🙂

  18. I’m so happy you liked this one. I haven’t started mine yet, but I’m so happy to know that it’s coming recommended by you. 🙂

  19. I love the cover of this book, and the time and setting are really appealing. I’m glad to hear you like it!

  20. I love the cover of this book, and the time and setting are really appealing. I’m glad to hear you like it!

  21. Ooh, this sounds right up my alley. Must get it!

  22. Ooh, this sounds right up my alley. Must get it!

  23. I’m putting this one on my list. Great review.

  24. I’m putting this one on my list. Great review.

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