Today, I have a fantastic book to tell you all about, which touched my heart more than I ever expected it to.
It is May 1968. Students are rioting, civil rights are being fought and died for, nuclear bombs are being tested, and war is raging in Vietnam. For three ordinary women in Lisbon, London and Washington life must go on as usual. For them, just to survive is an act of courage. How much has really changed in 50 years?
Told through the backdrop of the Vietnam War, student protests and political and racial unrest, Sleeping Through The War is a poignant tale of three very different women doing whatever it takes to survive during increasingly unsettling times. Living spread across the world in London, Lisbon and Washington DC, you would expect that these women would have little in common, but as you follow them through the events of their lives in May 2018, you find that there are some surprising parallels.
Jackie Carreira’s writing skill is clear from the outside as she develops a very distinct voice for each of the women who’s story is being told, from Amalia’s third person narrative, to Rose’s chatty first person, and finally to the character who I only identified as “Mom” pouring out her heart to her soldier son in Vietnam. Although each of these women touched my heart in different ways, I particularly loved the lyrical quality of the writing used in Amalia’s story which really brought the vibrancy of Lisbon’s Bairro Alto to life. I have fond memories of a trip that I took to Lisbon 12 years ago, and reading this book took me right back there. It seems the Bairro Alto has changed very little since 1968.
Interspersed among the women’s stories are historically accurate news articles from around the world, and these add an extra depth to the book, making you realise just how real the worries and concerns of these three women were. Any woman living during these troubled times would have experienced the same feelings and emotions as they made there way through every day life.
I found this to be a truly beautiful book, and one I would recommend to anybody.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Jackie Carreira is a writer, musician, designer, co-founder of QuirkHouse Theatre Company, and award-winning playwright. She mostly grew up and went to school in Hackney, East London, but spent part of her early childhood with grandparents in Lisbon’s Old Quarter. Her colourful early life has greatly influenced this novel. Jackie now lives in leafy Suffolk with her actor husband, AJ Deane, two cats and too many books.
Many thanks to Jackie and Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to take part in this blog tour and for providing me with my copy of the book. Full details of the blog tour are as follows: