The Silent Stars Go By

The Silent Stars Go By

The Silent Stars Go By
Sally Nicholls

Andersen Press Ltd

ISBN 9781783449903

Seventeen-year-old Margot Allan was a respectable vicar's daughter and madly in love with her fiance Harry. But when Harry was reported Missing in Action from the Western Front, and Margot realised she was expecting his child, there was only one solution she and her family could think of in order to keep that respectability. She gave up James, her baby son, to be adopted by her parents and brought up as her younger brother. Now two years later the whole family is gathering at the vicarage for Christmas. It's heartbreaking for Margot being so close to James but unable to tell him who he really is. But on top of that, Harry is also back in the village. Released from captivity in Germany and recuperated from illness, he's come home and wants answers. Why has Margot seemingly broken off their engagement and not replied to his letters? Margot knows she owes him an explanation. But can she really tell him the truth about James?

Librarian's Book choice

What could be a more Christmassy setting than the vicarage of a Yorkshire village? It's 1919; the young men who survived the trenches are home, it's snowing, and the church bells can again ring in the season after four years of war. There are proper candles on real trees, holly and ivy galore - there are chestnuts roasting on an open fire. All we need now is a love story...

Margot is travelling home to Thwaite for Christmas. The beauty of the vicarage family, at 19 she works at a school in Durham and lives in a respectable boarding house for single young ladies. Back in Thwaite her devoted fiance, Harry, can't wait to see her. Barely a month after he left for France, he was declared Missing in Action and Margot assumed the worst. But - a miracle! - he arrived home earlier that year, having spent the war as a PoW.

However, Margot is dreading seeing Harry. She has a huge secret, one that she didn't think she would ever have to tell him, and now doesn't know how to. How can she share a confidence when they are constantly chaperoned? How can their relationship continue when Harry doesn't know? But when he knows, will he ever want anything to do with Margot again?

This book is a feel-good read that will have you reaching for the mince pies whilst watching Carols from Kings under a blanket.

It could be enjoyed by readers from Y8 but younger readers will struggle to empathise with the heartbreak of Margot's situation. Curriculum links to history and, perhaps, to PSHE. The historical detail centres around society; the round of church services, the emphasis on good manners, the many duties of the vicar and his family, and a return to normal life after the war.

240 pages / Ages 14+ / Reviwed by Kimberley Lawson, school librarian


Reviews

The Silent Stars Go By5/5

The Silent Stars Go By

Sally Nicholls

Review

This book is written from the female protagonists POV giving a thoughtful and emotional perspective on complex family relationships. The subject matter, without spoiling the plot, centres on a closely guarded secret which has affected all members of the family, some unknowingly, but if it is to be revealed will lead to repercussions within the wider community. A surprise return creates the dilemma. A difficult choice must be made - to reveal the truth or not? Neither option is consequence free.....

The story is set following the end of WW1 and considers this and wider themes such as the position of women in society, religion, war and first love. The main character is likeable and authentic and the story centres around her return home for the holidays.

The consequences of one moment of pleasure are examined in the context of the time period as the author describes the pain this secret has caused. It is in parts tender, sad, faithful and hopeful, and you cannot help but want the same outcome as the central character. Set at Christmas, this would be the perfect present for your teen!

240 pages / Ages 14+ / Reviewed by Ruth Cornish, school librarian

Reviewed by: Ruth Cornish


The Silent Stars Go By4/5

The Silent Stars Go By

Sally Nicholls

Review

What could be a more Christmassy setting than the vicarage of a Yorkshire village? It's 1919; the young men who survived the trenches are home, it's snowing, and the church bells can again ring in the season after four years of war. There are proper candles on real trees, holly and ivy galore - there are chestnuts roasting on an open fire. All we need now is a love story...

Margot is travelling home to Thwaite for Christmas. The beauty of the vicarage family, at 19 she works at a school in Durham and lives in a respectable boarding house for single young ladies. Back in Thwaite her devoted fiance, Harry, can't wait to see her. Barely a month after he left for France, he was declared Missing in Action and Margot assumed the worst. But - a miracle! - he arrived home earlier that year, having spent the war as a PoW.

However, Margot is dreading seeing Harry. She has a huge secret, one that she didn't think she would ever have to tell him, and now doesn't know how to. How can she share a confidence when they are constantly chaperoned? How can their relationship continue when Harry doesn't know? But when he knows, will he ever want anything to do with Margot again?

This book is a feel-good read that will have you reaching for the mince pies whilst watching Carols from Kings under a blanket.

It could be enjoyed by readers from Y8 but younger readers will struggle to empathise with the heartbreak of Margot's situation. Curriculum links to history and, perhaps, to PSHE. The historical detail centres around society; the round of church services, the emphasis on good manners, the many duties of the vicar and his family, and a return to normal life after the war.

240 pages / Ages 14+ / Reviwed by Kimberley Lawson, school librarian

Reviewed by: Kimberley Lawson