> Skip to content

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.


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

Read More

Formats & editions

  • Paperback


    June 1, 2010


    480 pages

    RRP $19.99

    Online retailers

    • Amazon
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Dymocks
    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    • The Nile

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • EBook


    May 1, 2010

    Vintage Digital

    480 pages

    Online retailers

    • Amazon Kindle AU
    • iBooks
    • Google Play EBook AU
    • Kobo Ebook
    • Booktopia
    • eBooks

Also by Sadie Jones