Author: Sadie Jones
Plot: Small Wars tells the story of Hal Treherne and his wife, Clara, in 1956. Hal is a young, enthusiastic soldier in the British Army, poised to quickly rise in the ranks due to his commitment, responsibility, and intelligence. Clara and Hal also have two baby daughters, Lottie and Meg. Hal is stationed in Cyprus, a British colony in a state of confusion and simmering rebellion, and after taking time to get settled Clara and the girls join him. Although Clara knows what is expected of an army wife, she finds that Hal is growing increasingly distant towards her as he experiences atrocities and begins to see the shades of grey that he never imagined when he was being trained.
Review: I found Small Wars to be an extremely engaging, interesting read. The time period and setting were fascinating, as was Hal's transition as time passed and he moved further from enthusiastic but inexperienced to battle hardened and questioning. Another strength in Small Wars is the cast of smaller players, from the Cypriots who Clara and Hal encounter to the other soldiers and their families. Small Wars is at its best when it reveals the struggles of a family and the effects of war on one small family.