Sunday, June 8, 2014

Book Review - Small Wars by Sadie Jones

Attending a library book sale is like being told you're about to go on a treasure hunt: so many books that you've either heard of or not and you hope like hell you've brought enough bags to carry them all to your car. After going to library book sales for many years, I have learned to do such a thing. However, the sales are truly treasure hunts; I never know what I'm going to find and I never know if I'll find a book that I've never heard of before that I will later read and love. Such was the case with the book Small Wars by Sadie Jones.

Let me just say that I'd never heard of Jones until I purchased her book, yet when I began reading the book, I honestly could not put it down. She is a talented author who, like so many others who have mastered the Written Word, make you feel as though you're right there with her characters as they face their day to day lives. In this case, we are with British major Hal Treherne and his wife, Clara, as they transfer from England to Cyprus in 1956. At once, we are thrown into turmoil, bloodshed, longing for jolly ol' England that never leaves them and a constant string of choices made with such dramatic consequences to follow. While Hal does all he can for the Crown, Clara tries to live out her life as a wife and mother of two little girls, all the while becoming acclimated to the Cyprian heat and suffering in silence befitting of a British woman.

When the twist that was not really a twist occurred, I actually smiled when it happened; I wanted the choice made to be a good one, no matter of the rippling consequences that continued to do so even after the final page. The wars that constantly surrounded the British as they remained in Cyprus were nothing compared to the inner "small" wars that battled Hal and Clara. To leave or to stay. To speak up or to remain quiet. To love or to just walk away. The one scene that grabbed my liver and shook it ferociously was the shooting scene in which Clara and Gracie, a friend, were caught in the crossfire. It was both terrifying to read and to imagine yet as I read on, it proved to be the catalyst for the twist that was not really a twist later in the book. Once again, the choice later made, in my opinion, was a good one, no matter the consequences.

Thank you, Sadie Jones, for Small Wars.

Happy Reading!

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