"What Small Wars shows us, and quite masterfully, is on how many fronts war takes its toll. Love, trust and intimacy in marriage become casualties. But so does war itself--our belief in it, that it's right and just and necessary; that it solves anything...Told with strikingly clear and muscular prose...Jones's narration is powerfully restrained, with a great deal of subterranean tension." -- Cleveland Plain Dealer
Set on the colonial, war-torn island of Cyprus in 1956, Sadie 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. Hal is a dedicated soldier on the brink of a brilliant career. He is eager to lead his men into combat. Clara, however, is relieved when they are posted instead to seemingly peaceful sun-kissed Cyprus. But war erupts over unification with Greece, the island is consumed by violence--and Hal discovers that his military training cannot help him navigate the minefields of moral compromise that lie beneath every battle he fights. Clara grows fearful of her increasingly distant husband. When she needs him most, she finds the once-tender Hal a changed man--a betrayal that is only part of the shocking personal crisis to come.
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.