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About the book
  • Published: 1 June 2010
  • ISBN: 9780099540526
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 480
  • RRP: $19.99

Small Wars

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…

Hal Treherne is a young and dedicated soldier on the brink of a brilliant career. Impatient to see action, his other deep commitment is to Clara, his beautiful ‘red, white and blue girl’, who sustains him as he rises through the ranks.
When Hal is transferred to the Mediterranean, Clara, now his wife, and their baby daughters join him. But Cyprus is no ‘sunshine posting’, and the island is in the heat of the Emergency: the British are defending the colony against Cypriots – schoolboys and armed guerrillas alike – battling for enosis, union with Greece. The skirmishes are far from glorious and operations often rough and bloody. Still, in serving his country and leading his men, Hal has a taste of triumph.
Clara shares his sense of duty. She must settle down, make no fuss, smile. But action changes Hal, and Clara becomes fearful – of the lethal tit-for-tat beyond the army base, and her increasingly distant husband. The atrocities Hal is drawn into take him further from Clara; a betrayal that is only part of the shocking personal crisis to come.
The prizewinning and bestselling author of The Outcast returns with an emotionally powerful portrait of a marriage in extremis and a world-view in question. Sadie Jones has produced a passionate, gut-wrenching and brilliantly researched depiction of a ‘small war’ with devastating consequences; and in doing so, raises important questions that resonate profoundly today.

  • Pub date: 1 June 2010
  • ISBN: 9780099540526
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 480
  • RRP: $19.99

About the Author

Sadie Jones

Sadie Jones is a novelist and screenwriter. Her first novel, The Outcast (‘Devastatingly good’, Daily Mail) won the Costa First Novel Award and was shortlisted for the Orange Prize. It was also a Richard and Judy Summer Reads number one bestseller and adapted for BBC Television. Her second novel, Small Wars (‘Outstanding’, The Times; ‘One of the best books about the English at war ever’, Joel Morris), was published in 2009, and longlisted for the Orange Prize. Her third, in 2012, was The Uninvited Guests (‘A shimmering comedy of manners and disturbing commentary on class... a brilliant novel’, Ann Patchett) followed by Fallout in 2014 (‘Intoxicating and immersive’, The Sunday Times).

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Praise for Small Wars

“Stylish fiction follow-up to Orange Prize-shortlisted The Outcast”

The Sunday Times

“This is an unforgiving, far from comfortable read, but a very compelling one”

Tina Jackson, Metro

“Sadie Jones pulls no punches in her description of the savagely unsophisticated island war. An exceptional book that shudders with the weight of human responsibility”

Kerry Fowler, Good Housekeeping

“Jones writes brilliantly; you quickly inhabit Hal and Clara's world; from the dank, metallic smell of the interrogation room to the taste of White Ladies at the Limassol Club that linger long after you've reached the end”

Claire Longrigg, Psychologies

“Poignant and compelling, Sadie Jones's latest novel captures the claustrophobia of a passionate marriage that is overwhelmed by circumstance”

Eithne Farry, Marie Claire

“Here Jones's talent really shows...In an excellent encounter with a military psychiatrist, the dialogue breaks like dry twigs”

Stephanie Cross, TLS

“Heavy with menace and a dark streak of violence, it's as unforgiving as it is gripping”


“An absorbing story about emotional constraint and its dangers”

The Telegraph

“Small Wars is a gripping account of emotional disintegration against a backdrop of emotional repression... A well-paced novel possessing both literary and moral integrity”

Sunday Telegraph

“A beautiful tale of love and loss”

Sunday Telegraph Stella Magazine

“Elegant, powerful with a huge emotional punch”

Woman and Home

“Jones's first novel, The Outcast, winner if the Costa First Novel Award, was a very hard ac t to follow. Her second, however, is even better ... Jones's research is impeccable, and her emotional intelligence outstanding”

Kate Saunders, The Times

“Meticulously researched and emotionally powerful, this is a second novel to be proud of.”

Emma Lee Potter, Express

“Her prose is direct, undecorated, irresistibly dynamic and immensely powerful... Small Wars is at least as good as The Outcast. In fact, it is probably better, and praise doesn't come much higher”

Sue Gaisford, Independent on Sunday

“An inspired subject for a historical novel, the occupied island is vividly drawn...[Jones] lays out with great honesty and directness the quandries of war”


“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

“With her second novel, Sadie Jones...confirms her brilliance”

Books Quarterly

“A timely read for the end of 2009”

Katherine Whitbourn, Daily Mail

“A novel that resonates with contemporary parallels”

Emma Hagestadt, Independent

“Sadie Jones again pulls no punches in this strong story.”

Sally Cousins, Sunday Telegraph

“Intelligent and moving novel”

Woman and Home

“This impassioned tale is a gripping read”

James Smart, The Guardian

“Jones is fabulous...offering titbits of danger and discord, yet keeping a cool matter-of-fact tone for the big horrors”

Sunday Times

“Her second novel is a must-read; a devastating, brilliant account of what happens when everything a man believes in...begins to crumble”

Cath Kidson Magazine

“Full of danger and discord”

Sunday Times Summer Reading

“Quite an achievement...Jones explores how love may be warped and threatened by politics or polite society but will ultimately endure. She may not have strayed too far from her debut but this follow-up shows that she is no one hit wonder”

Lucy Atkins, Sunday Times

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