Small Wars: Book summary and reviews of Small Wars by Sadie Jones

Small Wars

By Sadie Jones

Small Wars
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  • Published in USA  Jan 2010,
    384 pages.

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Book Summary

Sadie Jones, the award-winning and internationally bestselling author of The Outcast, returns with an ambitious, richly imagined novel that confirms her place in the literary firmament.

A passionate and beautifully written tale of personal loss in the midst of war in late 1950s Cyprus, Small Wars raises important questions that are just as relevant today.

What happens when everything a man believes in — the army, his country, his marriage — begins to crumble? Hal Treherne is a young British soldier on the brink of a brilliant career. Transferred to Cyprus to defend the colony, Hal takes his wife, Clara, and their daughters with him. But Hal is pulled into atrocities that take him further from Clara, a betrayal that is only one part of a shocking personal crisis to come.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Yet if the book falters in its more sweeping ambitions, it is uncannily good at the evocation of charged moments ... Jones casts new light on her examination of mid-century Englishness by transplanting it abroad, making us feel the full force of emotion concealed behind the euphemisms all her characters use; and lays out with great honesty and directness the quandaries of war, and war's effects, which remain as painfully pressing today." - The Guardian (UK)

"Jones tries her hand at gory battle scenes, but more compelling are the small inner conflicts of both soldiery and marriage. ... It's hard to imagine how a novel that deals so deftly with shame, duty and discipline could be set in contemporary England. One wonders where Sadie Jones will go from here." - The Telegraph (UK)

"As with The Outcast this is, at heart, a moving love story. Jones explores how love may be warped and threatened by politics or polite society but will ­ultimately endure. She may not have strayed too far from her debut but this follow-up shows that she is no one-hit wonder." - The Times (UK)

"In this exciting novel that resonates with contemporary parallels, Jones is unusual among women writers in focusing as much on the thrills and terrors of front-line action as its psychological fallout. If the events of Hal's homecoming are well-semaphored, the middle section gives this elegantly conceived work its fire. It's a movie waiting to happen." - The Independent (UK)

"[W]ith all the complex contours right there in front of you. You'd swear you can feel the heat and the danger radiating off them like an element on a stove...." - Globe & Mail (Canada)

"Starred Review. This richly imagined and warmly atmospheric story convincingly demonstrates that small wars, like all wars, are hell. This is historical fiction at its best. Highly recommended." - Library Journal

"Starred Review. It's the perfect mix of poignant and harrowing. " - Publishers Weekly

"A thought-provoking meditation that powerfully evokes both the costs of waging war and the loving bonds of marriage." - Booklist

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Author Information

Sadie Jones Author Biography

Photo by Charles Hopkinson

Sadie Jones was born in London, England, the daughter of a poet and an actress.  Her father, Evan Jones, was born in Portland, Jamaica in 1927.  He grew up on a banana farm, eventually moving to the United States, and from there to England in the 1950s.  His most widely acclaimed work is "The Song of the Banana Man".  Sadie's mother, Joanna Jones, was featured as an extra in various television series, including "The Avengers."

As a young woman, Sadie Jones opted out of attending university, preferring instead to work an assortment of odd jobs (video production, temping, waiting tables) and to travel.  After visiting America, the Caribbean and Mexico, Jones settled in Paris, where she taught English and wrote her first ...

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Other books by Sadie Jones at BookBrowse
  • The Uninvited Guests jacket
  • The Outcast jacket
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