Thursday, 21 March 2013
Small Wars by Sadie Jones
The novel concerns Major Hal Traherne, a promising young officer, and what happens when his wife arrives on the island with their twin daughters. The army compound where they are housed with other army families should be a safe environment, but there is the perpetual problem with any kind of war - long spells of tedium broken up by moments of violence and terror.
The Cypriot rebels use guerrilla tactics often resulting in British casualties before vanishing into the mountains. To maintain control the British have to come down hard on the rebels. Hal cannot discuss the terrible things he sees with Clara, so the war becomes a wedge between them, affecting their marriage. The characters struggle to maintain a facade of normal life as the violence around them intensifies. This eventually explodes into the world of Hal and Clara, throwing them into a crisis that has life-changing effects.
Small Wars is a gripping novel and Sadie Jones does well at recreating what it might have been to live in a largely forgotten corner of British colonial history.
Posted by JAM
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Small Wars by Sadie Jones, 2009