Tuesday, March 16, 2010

SMALL WARS: REVIEW AND GIVEAWAY

GIVEAWAY ENDED
SMALL WARS

BY SADIE JONES

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Fresh off her triumphantly assured debut novel The Outcast, award-winning author Sadie Jones has again delivered a quiet masterpiece in Small Wars. Set on the colonial, war-torn island of Cyprus in 1956, Jones tells the story of a young solider, Hal Treherne, and the effects of this “small war” on him, his wife Clara, and their family. Reminiscent of classic tales of love and war such as The English Patient and Atonement, Jones’s gripping novel also calls to mind the master works of Virginia Woolf and their portrayal of the quiet desperation of a marriage in crisis. Small Wars is at once a deeply emotional, meticulously researched work of historical fiction and a profound meditation on war-time atrocities committed both on and off the battlefield.

Hal Treherne is a major in the British Army, a young and dedicated soldier on the brink of a brilliant career. When he is transferred to the British colony of Cyprus in 1956, Hal is joined by Clara, his beautiful and supportive wife, and their baby daughters. The Trehernes quickly learn that the Mediterranean is no "sunshine posting," however, and soon Hal is caught up in the battle to defend the island against Cypriots seeking enosis, union with Greece.

Leading his men in difficult and bloody skirmishes, after years of peaceful service, Hal at last tastes triumph. But his confidence and pride quickly fade: traumatized by the brutality he witnesses—and thwarted again in his attempts to do the right thing—Hal finds himself well trained in duty but ill equipped for moral battle.

A seasoned army wife, Clara shares her husband's sense of obligation. She knows to settle in quickly, make no fuss, smile. But as she struggles to trust her own maternal instincts and resist the anxiety that surges with Hal's frequent absences, Clara grows fearful of her increasingly distant husband. When she needs him most, Clara finds the once-tender Hal a changed man—a betrayal that is only part of the shocking personal crisis to come.

What place is there for honor amid cruelty, and what becomes of intimacy in the grinding gears of empire? A passionate and brilliantly researched novel about the effects of war on the men who wage it and the families they leave behind, Small Wars raises important questions that resonate for our own time.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Sadie Jones's first novel, The Outcast, was published to wide critical acclaim and won the Costa First Novel Award in Great Britain. It was also a finalist for the prestigious Orange Prize, as well as a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for First Fiction. Jones lives in London.

REVIEW:

Sadie Jones’ highly acclaimed first novel, THE OUTCAST, is a tough act to follow but Jones has met the challenge head on. The outcome is the well researched and remarkably written SMALL WARS. Set in Cyprus in the 1950s, Jones recreates the era down to the most intricate detail both physically and psychologically. This is the story of Hal Traherne, a young soldier, and the effects of war on his life that includes his wife Clara and their children. Having grown up in a military family, Hal’s life had basically been set from a young age when he played with his toy soldiers and gained the only approval his father ever showed.

Move ahead several years and Hal has married Clara, the delightfully lovely sister of an officer friend of his. As Hal is quickly given more responsibility, he is promoted to Major and sent off to Limassol on Cypress. Clara and their twin girls join Hal there and that is where the story of the EOKA terrorists who are trying to gain independence from Britain and Greece is played out. This is not an easy task as Britain recognizes this as an important part of their empire and wants these insurgents stopped and peace restored. In that Hal had barely fired a shot and was eager for “action”, he thinks he is now in the right place for him. However, those ideas change quickly as the horrors of war become all too real. Clara is left home to care for the girls and handle all that entails including crabby neighbors, severe cases of measles, and the shocking bombs and land mines she must contend with and protect her girls from. Hal witnesses the soldiers conduct worsening, the horrors of rape, killing, and torture becoming prevalent.

Hal finds himself totally disillusioned and his own involvement increasing to alarming proportions. His men go crazy when a land mine explodes right in front of Hal and they take out their revenge on innocent people of the village. Hal’s reaction to the whole affair being swept under the rug is one of disgust and his loyalty dissolves as does his mental and emotional stability. He can’t even interact with his family let alone sleep or deal with what is happening. Hal sends Clara and the girls away for their safety and at this point subtle hints from the author are leading to the startling and shocking climax. What will become of Hal? Will he go full into the depravity of his men? Will he return to his family and his beloved Clara or be a different person even if he does? How will morals and integrity go hand in hand with torture and death? Sadie Jones brings to light that there are no “small wars” and how they are handled by each individual can change the course of many lives. This is an expertly written, deep and captivating novel. If you weren’t a Jones fan before SMALL WARS, you will be after.

GIVEAWAY

THANKS TO KYLE AND GOOD PEOPLE
AT HARPER COLLINS PUBLISHING,
I HAVE 3 COPIES OF THIS WONDERFUL
BOOK TO GIVE AWAY. HERE IS WHAT
YOU NEED TO DO TO WIN A COPY!


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COUNT AS MORE THAN ONE!


HOW TO ENTER:

+1 ENTRY: COMMENT ON SOMETHING INTERESTING YOU FIND WHEN YOU CLICK HERE TO READ THE INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR SADIE JONES

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48 comments:

Karen in TN said...

I follow the blog via RSS and twitter.


kolists a\t gmail d/t com

Karen in TN said...

Sadie loves the 50's (not a big surprise, considering the setting of her book, The Outcast).


kolists a\t gmail d/t com

rubynreba said...

I follow on google and am an email subscriber.
pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

rubynreba said...

She found a lot of the book was upsetting to write.
pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

bermudaonion said...

I subscribe in Google Reader. milou2ster(at)gmail.com

bermudaonion said...

I found it interesting that Jones worked as a screenwriter for 15 years. milou2ster(at)gmail.com

Vera said...

I subscribe by email. vvperesk@gmail.com

Vera said...

Oh man, I've been wanting this book forever! Read the interview and I it's very interesting how she talks about authors being ruthless with their characters and putting them through hell. vvperesk@gmail.com

ossmcalc said...

I read that Sadie Jones's first novel, The Outcast, was published to wide critical acclaim and won the Costa First Novel Award in Great Britain.

thank you,

Christine
womackcm@sbcglobal.net

ossmcalc said...

I follow your blog via email.

Thank you,

Christine
womackcm@sbcglobal.net

ossmcalc said...

I tweeted about this giveaway http://twitter.com/ossmcalc/status/10573179381

thank you,

Christine
womackcm@sbcglobal.net

Colleen Turner said...

I follow via email, google connect and facebook.
Colleen
candc320@gmail.com

Colleen Turner said...

I went to the website and thought it was interesting that they asked her if she would like her character Lewis if he was real...I had never thought to ask that!
Colleen
candc320@gmail.com

traveler said...

I am captivated with this novel. Thanks for this giveaway. She said we are closer to our childhood selves which is true. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

Lacey said...

I find that her interest in psychology and human behavior will make the characters in this book feel real and interesting.

Lacey914 at sbcglobal dot net

Lacey said...

I follow on networked blogs and google friend

Lacey914 at sbcglobal dot net

Lacey said...

http://bookinwithbingo.blogspot.com/2010/03/small-wars-review-and-giveaway.html

tweet

Lacey914 at sbcglobal dot net

Lacey said...

http://twitter.com/HtxAstrosFan/status/10580291994

tweet

Lacey914 at sbcglobal dot net

Pamela Keener said...

I follow this blog via google reader & e-mail subscription thereby never missing a post.
Love & Hugs,
Pam
pk4290@comcast.net

Pamela Keener said...

I like that she really doesn't think about meeting her Lewis on the outside so imagining meeting him is odd.
Love & Hugs,
Pam
pk4290@comcast.net

Pricilla said...

I tweeted
http://twitter.com/BrokenTeepee/status/10581953083
thank you
kaiminani at gmail dot com

Pricilla said...

I follow by google and I subscribe
thank you
kaiminani at gmail dot com

Pricilla said...

I find it interesting that she considers alcohol a character due to its impact in the book
thank you
kaiminani at gmail dot com

Margie said...

I follow by GFC, email subscription, and RSS feed.
mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

Margie said...

The author has always liked the films and the books of the 50s.
mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

Linda Kish said...

follower


lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Linda Kish said...

Alcohol plays a big part in the book. There really was no other acceptable escape in the fifties that I know of.


lkish77123 at gmail dot com

holdenj said...

I am a loyal Google Friend Connect follower.
JHolden955(at)gmail(dot)com

holdenj said...

I didn't know she has been a screenwrite and I liked her comments about childhood. I agree taht sometimes those emotions are very easily identified in novels.
JHolden955(at)gmail(dot)com

Lisa R said...

+1
I follow on GFC and email

alterlisa AT yahoo DOT com

Lisa R said...

I love that Sadie's two books were set in the 50's. I was born in 1955 and always enjoy a book set in those years. My dad was on a Navy cruiser for the 50's decade, generally in the Pacific but I'll definitely drag out his annuals to see where he was during the "Small War".Thanks for introducing me to yet another new author.
alterlisa AT yahoo DOT com

Lisa R said...

+1 blogged about contest
http://lisaslovesbooksofcourse.blogspot.com/ RECENT GIVEAWAYS THROUGHOUT THE LAND

alterlisa AT yahoo DOT com

bison61 said...

I read that Drinking, like ways of expressing love, or violence, is passed down through families.

tiramisu392 (at) yahoo.com

Rebecca O said...

Follower via gfc, reader, and email. bekki1820cb at gmail

Rebecca O said...

I found her comment: "Drinking, like ways of expressing love, or violence, is passed down through families." very intriguing. I agree with her.

Thanks for the chance. bekki1820cb at gmail

Debbie said...

I follow through GFC.
fourkidsrgreat(at)gmail.com

Debbie said...

It is interesting to me that she said drinking was a main character in the book and was passed down through families.
fourkidsrgreat(at)gmail.com

Jolee said...

I follow your blog through google friends.

Jolee said...

I found it interesting in the interview how she said some parts were actually difficult (emotionally) to write. joleehamlin@comcast.net

Kristen said...

I follow through Google Reader.

whitreidsmama at yahoo dot com

Kristen said...

I find it interesting that she thinks we are closer to our childhoods than we perhaps suspect.

whitreidsmama at yahoo dot com

Benita said...

I follow via GFC and am an email subscriber.


bgcchs(at)yahoo(dot)com

Benita said...

I find it interesting that Sadie worked as a career screenwriter for fifteen years.


bgcchs(at)yahoo(dot)com

Mariela said...

I follow this blog via google reader.
Marimasiel@aim.com
marimasiel@gmail.com

Mariela said...

Ive read some books from this author and i have always found it interesting that she was a screenwriter.... we often get involved with the characters of a book, we either hat them or we loved them, and well it says a lot that she likes the character lewis in her book.

marimasiel@aim.com

Nancye said...

Sadie was a screenwriter for 15 years

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Nancye said...

Tweet! Tweet!

http://twitter.com/NancyeDavis/status/11446398754

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Nancye said...

Follower via Google Friend Connect and thru email

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

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