Small Wars by Sadie Jones

Small Wars

Sadie Jones

Prisoner torture and the violence of war is juxtaposed against the increasingly strained social niceties of a 1950s' marriage. With parallels to more recent conflicts this is a sometimes shocking, yet also moving story about following orders or following your conscience, carrying out one's duty amidst the disintegration of love.


After he had eaten something, and stared at the ground while doing it, Hal walked away from the small group he was with. He stood with his back to them, facing the grey-brown paleness of the wide land. Ahead of him, small whorls of dust blew up from the plain; he watched them. Two of his men were dead. His soldiers had been taken by surprise twice now. They were a massive force, held up and halted by this tiny group, whose resistance was maniacal and hopeless.
Hal, alone in his command, could feel the shifting mood around him. It was like being in a tiny ship, with full sails, set fair towards a point, then seeing the moving sky, feeling the canvas lose tautness, the sheets slacken as the weather changes. He felt the flat unease before a bad wind springs up. There had been the clarity of purpose; now there was division and grief. He didn't want to go into another night with those terrorists still under the ground, hidden, and no resolution brought. He needed to act.

  • Land of the Golden Apple by Eve Makis
  • Aphrodite's War by Andrea Busfield

Books with similar mood

Black Water Rising

Attica Locke

Haunted Ground

Erin Hart

The Frozen Dead

Bernard Minier

In the Full Light of the Sun

Clare Clark


Thomas Enger

The Dead Won't Sleep

Anna Smith

Faith Without Doubt

Anna Blundy


Sofka Zinovieff

The Girls

Emma Cline

My Enemy's Cradle

Sara Young

In the Country of Men

Hisham Matar

The Map of Love

Ahdaf Soueif


Jon Courtenay Grimwood

Human Capital

Stephen Amidon

The Bullet Trick

Louise Welsh

Smaller and Smaller Circles

E H Batagan

The Truth about the Harry Quebert Affair

Joel Dicker

Someone Else's Skin

Sarah Hilary

Bitter-Sweet Harvest

Chan Ling Yap

Sweets from Morocco

Jo Verity

The Wonder House

Justine Hardy

The Music of the Spheres

Elizabeth Redfern

Family Matters

Rohinton Mistry

I Know This Much is True

Wally Lamb


Angie Cruz

The Second Rider

Alex Beer

The History of Bees

Maja Lunde

Into a Raging Blaze

Andreas Norman

The Search

Maureen Myant

Train to Trieste

Domnica Radulescu

The Outcast

Sadie Jones

Under an English Heaven

Robert Radcliffe

The Poet's Wife

Judith Allnatt


Fiona Mozley

Blood Sister

Dreda Say Mitchell

Blood-Drenched Beard

Daniel Galera

Summertime, All the Cats are Bored

Philippe Georget

This is Paradise

Will Eaves


Emily Barr

A Walk Across the Sun

Corban Addison

American Rust

Philipp Meyer

Once Upon a Time in England

Helen Walsh

Astonishing Splashes of Colour

Clare Morrall

The Help

Kathryn Stockett

The Hate You Give

Angie Thomas

Everyone Brave is Forgiven

Chris Cleave

The Starboard Sea

Amber Dermont

Freedom's Child

Jax Miller