In the summer of 1914 son Tom returns from Oxford to find the family falling apart. His handsome father has gone to live with schoolmistress Miriam Lewis, who is to have his child. His mother, broken-hearted, lies ill in bed, while his beautiful sister Catrin longs to leave for London and art college. Soon Tom's college friend Edward will arrive to holiday with them, half-aware of his attraction to Catrin but already engaged to Rose, a supporter of the Suffragettes. And Tom himself is in debt and disillusioned with his proposed legal career. He would like to manage Hendre Ddu, the family farm, but finds that family troubles and the approach of war set him on a very different course.
Sian James interweaves the lives of her characters with skill and understanding as they face the complications of family breakdown, love, war and propriety. Her ear for dialogue and eye for detail make A Small Country a hugely enjoyable novel.
Twice-winner of the Yorkshire Post Prize, Sian James is the author of nine novels, including Storm at Arberth and A Small Country. She was born near Llandysul, Cardiganshire and educated at Aberystwyth.