The Silent Stars Go By
by Sally Nicholls
YA Romance, Historical Fiction
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?
Thank you to the publisher Andersen Press for sending me an ARC in exchange for an honest review!
There is nothing quite like a Sally Nicholls novel to really draw you in with her gorgeous writing and attention to detail, so I was so excited to receive an early copy of her upcoming novel, The Silent Stars Go By, out next month!
Her newest novel is set in England after the first World War, and follows the life and big secret of Margot Allan – she fell pregnant with her fiance Harry’s baby and was forced to pretend it was her own mother’s child when Harry ended up being MIA during the war. But when Harry returns, Margot realises that some secrets can’t stay secrets forever, and eventually the truth will surface. But how will everyone react?
I really enjoyed this novel! It was quite short, only about 200 pages, but it sure did pack a punch. I love, as always, the writing style of Nicholls. She’s so delicate and precise with her prose that it just reads so warmly and so well. I think I chose the perfect time of year to read this too, because it got me right in the Christmas mood (though, to be fair, that usually happens to me around September every year lmao)
I thought the characters were excellently written and found myself torn emotionally for Margot’s situation. What I loved most about this novel was the setting. I think Nicholls did a wonderful job of really capturing the essence of post-war England, and her attention to detail with the time period was really quite excellent. The language was spot on, and I was quite fascinated myself learning about some of the things I hadn’t already known – such as they keep cards during a ball of who their next dance belongs to. My only complaint is that I wish it had been longer, and I look forward to what Nicholls brings to us next!
This wonderfully sweet, romantic new novel from beloved UKYA writer Sally Nicholls is out on November 5th, so I urge you all to go pre-order a copy from your local indie or wherever you can!