Troubador Sleeping Through War

Interview with BBC Radio Suffolk

Released: 28/02/2018

ISBN: 9781788038539

eISBN: 9781788034388

Format: Paperback/eBook

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Sleeping Through War


Set against the backdrop of real, world-changing events, these are the stories that are forgotten in the history books.


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.

THE SEVENTH TRAIN has just won a CHILL WITH A BOOK Readers Award! (May 22nd 2019)
And now it's also won the CHILL WITH A BOOK Cover of the Month Award for May 2019!

'Sleeping Through War' has been awarded a 'CHILL WITH A BOOK READERS' AWARD' (5th May 2018)

(see author website for details of current and future events)

Follow Jackie on Facebook @JackieCarreiraWriter
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Female First

This is a beautifully written book – a single-sitting read for me. It draws you into the lives of the women and their very believable stories, and then cleverly drops in factual reminders of the crazy world at the time. It feels real, it paints pictures, it makes you care. Utterly brilliant.

by Sue Kerridge

I read this book in a day, compelled to read on and find out what was to happen to the very real characters I had grown to know and like so well. A genuinely moving read, charming and informative, that tells of the 'small' lives within great events.

by Dean Andrews

This cleverly written novel spans just a very brief period in 1968 and gives us an insight into the lives of three very ordinary Women, all from very different walks of life. We follow Rose, a nurse working in London, Mrs Johnson, whose son is in Vietnam, and Amalia, a hard working mother from Portugal.
It's a clever writer, I think, who creates characters that stay with you and whisper to you about their lives after you've finished the book - Rose in particular has been with me for quite some time now.
Their tales are interspersed with newspaper reports of what was happening around the World at the time and despite the fact the book is set 50 years ago, the World events are still very applicable to the society in which we live today.

by Waterstones Bookseller Review

Beautifully descriptive and touching read. You really feel for these three women and each of their stories, which are equally emotional, have you gripped wondering what will happen to them. Amalia is totally alone trying to raise her son, trapped in a way of life she is unable to escape from. Rose is alone in a strange country trying to better her own life and her family's amid prejudice and poverty and Mrs Johnson who is completely alone in her grief trying to come to terms with the loss of her son. The author makes these characters come to life and draws you in making you truly feel for them all.

by Annie Wright

'Sleeping Through War' is a boldly-conceived and powerful debut novel from talented playwright, Jackie Carriera.
We are introduced to the voices of three different female characters - one in London, England and two mothers, one in Washington DC and the other in Lisbon, Portugal. We learn that they are all living through the dramatic events of May, 1968, when most of the rest of the world seemed to be suffering from either social upheaval, student riots or full-scale war.
Using alternating chapters from each characters' point of view, Jackie takes us into the hearts and minds of her characters, laying bare their frail hopes and unspoken fears with gentle clarity.
By the end, we are friends with all three characters, and know them well. For me, the story was about how these women coped with loss, death and grief, and the lengths that mothers will go to in order to sacrifice themselves for their offspring.
A poignant read.

by Justin Newland

Jackie Carreira

Jackie Carreira is a writer, designer, musician and co-founder of QuirkHouse Theatre Company. British-born of Portuguese parents, she grew up in Hackney, East London and also lived in Lisbon for a few years as a child.

After travelling the world playing music throughout her twenties with a variety of rock and indie bands, she hung up her bass guitar and picked up a pen. She's been writing ever since and twice been a winner of the Kenneth Branagh Award for New Drama. Some of her plays are available online via

She has published two novels with Matador - the first, SLEEPING THROUGH WAR was her debut, published in 2018, and THE SEVENTH TRAIN (based on one of her award-winning plays) was published in 2019. She intends to write much more!

If Jackie could have another life, she would be a full-time philosopher and get paid to ask questions all day.

(Photo by Andy Abbott)

Book signing at Waterstones
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