Small Wars Paperback – 15 Apr 2010
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"Jones is fabulous at this, offering titbits of danger and discord while keeping a cool, matter of fact tone for the big horrors... This is, at heart, a moving love story" (Sunday Times)
"Jones's first novel, The Outcast, winner if the Costa First Novel Award, was a very hard act to follow. Her second, however, is even better... Jones's research is impeccable, and her emotional intelligence outstanding" (Kate Saunders The Times)
"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 frontline action as its psychological fall out...it's a movie waiting to happen" (Emma Hagestadt Independent)
"Ambitious...uncannily good at the evocation of charged moments" (Guardian)
"Here Jones's talent really shows... In an excellent encounter with a military psychiatrist, the dialogue breaks like dry twigs" (Stephanie Cross Times Literary Supplement)
The devastating follow-up to the massive bestseller The Outcast. What happens when everything a man believes in - the army, his country, his marriage - begins to crumble...See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
This novel tells of a man and a family terribly damaged by the conflicting demands of duty and love, following orders and knowing the difference between right and wrong, and how this can become blurred. It portrays a man's internal agonies in the face of serving his country alongside those around him, however they might behave, and at facing up to his own doubts and weaknesses. Additionally we experience the struggle that Hal has to verbalise or express in any way the life-changing feelings he experiences. The events in Cyprus prove to be a test of the strength of love between Hal and Clara, and test their marriage to the limits. I found this a moving and intelligent read, with situations at times having parallels with the modern day.
After reading and loving Jones' first book 'The Outcast' I knew she had plenty more to give. That said not all second novels live up to the promise of their predecessor. Jones does not disappoint with 'Small Wars'. Set in post second world War Cyprus, where the British are trying to hold on to their Mediterranean colony in the face of unionist insurgents, 'Small Wars' details the impact of this so called minor military intervention on the lives of the everyday people involved; in this case Major Hal and his wife Clara Treherne. As the story unfolds Jones' reminds us that there is no such thing as a small war. The fact the book takes place in the 50s doesn't make it any less topical. Jones is one of those wonderful breed of writers (all of whom seem to be women) who master the art of credible dialogue. Beneath the ellipses and the apparent banality of the conversations whole worlds are changing. The strain of army life on the Treherne's marriage and the toll it takes on Major Hal's moral and emotional well-being is conveyed fantastically well through Jones penchant for the minutiae. What could be boring, irrelevant detail if handled badly is used by Jones to great effect to show the importance of the ordinary in life. It's the absence and rupture of these things when disaster strikes that can be so devastating.
As has been stated in other reviews book is paced well. Jones knack for characterisation is indisputable. Even those of minor importance jump off the page with whole back stories one can easily imagine even if not apparent on the page. The character of Lewis is particularly fascinating and I would have liked him to feature more, particularly towards the end of the book; or at least a stronger resolution to his story.Read more ›
Clara, trying to be a Good Army Wife. And she does it. She does it to the letter. She tries not to be needy, yet indulges Hal's neediness. In her strength she becomes a victim. Lines blur, fade out, break are never straight where strong and weak, good and bad, right and wrong are concerned in this story. Jones' research into the actual military incidents and into the reactions of people in that situation at that time is either immaculate or comes from first hand experience. Impressive. And all so hopelessy stiflingly, emptily sad.
The story contains graphic but not gratuitous violence. If you are someone who wants hearts and flowers and conventional heroes and brave heroines, this is not for you.
Hal, a man from a staunchly military family, is full of idealistic zeal through trying to change the Cypriots hearts and minds. The idea is for protection as well as rule and Hal is here to root out terrorism and to protect the population from it. While Clara attends to the girls, together with Adile, a Turkish Cypriot, Hal, acting on orders from his superior, Colonel Burroughs, goes away for a stint of "proper fighting." His task is to root out the terrorist Loulla Kollias, a member of the EOKA organization with the mission culminating in a raid on his farmhouse. Left alone at home Clara tries to accept the reality of their situation. The house is empty and there's evil around her, hiding itself. She didn't want Hal to think that she wasn't coping. She befriends Mark and Deirdre Innes, and later, Captain Davis who experiences a shared, unspoken sympathy for Clara that is mysterious and comforting.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Completed on May 4th 2016. A compulsive read and very different from the “Outcast” which was her first novel and really made an impression on me. Read morePublished 2 months ago by suzanne
Very good, capturing a little known or even forgotten 'war', with the struggles for Cyprus' independence. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Gareth Lukey
I first saw Sadie Jones at a book festival in Ilkley, I think she should be better known, and I loved the book.Published 6 months ago by J. H. Trossell
SPOILER*** I loved this book, and I loved the way Sadie Jones writes so quietly that the characters live for themselves in your head after you've finished. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Mrs. Carlie Lee
It was a good read and easy to believe in the characters. Definitely recommended.Published 10 months ago by izzie
When I first spotted this book on Kindle, and noted it's setting, I just had to read it. I served my National Service in the RASC at Episkopi in Cyprus, just prior to the country... Read morePublished 10 months ago by P. Wilson
well written story about repressed englishman during the troubles in Cyprus.Published 11 months ago by oxo
Sadie Jones doesn't shy away from bleak topics and this is definitely one. Poor Hal trapped by upbringing and then his military commission stifling him until he inevitably cracks. Read morePublished 11 months ago by J. Sweetman
I decided at last to read Small Wars after putting it off for so long. I so enjoyed her first novel The Outcast that I can't think why I waited. Read morePublished 11 months ago by nickyb