The year is 1968 and the world is changing forever. During the month of May, students are rioting and workers are striking across the globe, civil rights are being fought and died for, nuclear bombs are being tested, there are major conflicts on every continent, and war is raging in Vietnam. Against this volatile background, three women strive to keep everything together.
Rose must keep her dignity and compassion as a West Indian nurse in East London. Amalia must keep hoping that her son can escape their seedy life in Lisbon. And Mrs Johnson in Washington DC must keep writing to her son in Vietnam. She has no-one else to talk to. Three different women, three different countries, but all striving to survive – a courageous attitude that everybody can relate to.
Although Sleeping Through War is a work of fiction, this somewhat hidden history attempts to humanise a few weeks in time that were so stuffed with monumental events that it’s easy to forget the people involved. The author was a child in 1968 and lived in London and Lisbon during the 1960s. She met women like these and didn’t want their voices to go unheard into the future. Readers of both history and literary fiction will enjoy this emotionally-vivid work that weaves fiction into fact.
Sleeping Through War is available now in ebook and paperback. You can purchase your copy of both here.
Sleeping Through War is a very interesting book showing life in 1968 from three different points of view. The period of time is brilliantly evoked with descriptions of the blatant racism and ill feelings towards the migrants that came to England to help with job shortages following the war. It also shows the poverty some of the population lived in and the things they did in order to survive.
It is impossible not to feel for all three characters in the book who are all going through a difficult time. I can’t imagine what they must have been feeling and going through. It must be so hard to have a child away at war and have not heard from them for a while. I can imagine your mind must go into overdrive imaging what must have happened and not being able to do anything. Rose’s experiences in the nursing home were shocking to read about and must have been hard to deal with on a daily basis. The restraint she has to use not to answer back and carry on was incredible and I admired her for continuing working. Finally Amalia’s life in Lisbon and her desperation to escape her life there was heartbreaking to read about. If I was in her situation I’d be doing everything possible to get my kids out of that situation too.
I did find this book a little hard to get into as it’s quite slow starting but as I got to know the characters and more about their lives I became engrossed in the book as I wanted to find out more about their lives and to find out what happens to them. The historical events in this book and some of the people mentioned in it are real which was very interesting to read about. I definetly enjoyed learning more about this time and the great changes that took place in it.
This is the author’s debut novel and I look forward to reading more from her in the future. If you like great his fiction with some unforgettable characters then you’ll love this book.
Huge thanks to Rachel from Rachel’s Random Resources for my copy of this book and for inviting me onto the blog tour.
About The Author:
British-born of Portuguese parents, Jackie Carreira is a writer, musician and co-founder of QuirkHouse Theatre. After travelling the world as a professional musician, she hung up her bass and picked up a pen. She’s been writing ever since and twice been a winner of the Kenneth Branagh Award for New Drama. Jackie has a first-class degree in Creative Writing and was a part-time bookseller for 10 years.