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The Silent Stars Go By

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  65 ratings  ·  21 reviews
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 b ...more
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published November 5th 2020 by Andersen Press Ltd
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Ivana - Diary of Difference
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The Silent Stars Go By by Sally Nicholls is a beautifully written book. It takes you back to a 1919 Christmas setting and leaves your heart warm, days after you’ve finished it. Thank you to Kaleidoscopic Tours and Andersen Press, for sending me a copy of this book, alongside all the amazing goodies as well.


Seventeen-year-old Margot Allan was a respectable vicar’s daughter and madly in love with her fiance Harry. But when Harry
Jinghay (these.blank.pages)
Review to come!✨
Maya Chhabra
Apr 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Disclaimer: I received an ecopy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

This is the heartbreaking though not ultimately tragic story of Margot Allen, a vicar’s daughter in 1919 who accidentally became pregnant at sixteen and whose son is now being raised as her younger brother. Meanwhile, the father, formerly Missing in Action in WWI, returns, and nineteen-year-old Margot still hasn’t told him what really happened or why she stopped speaking to him. Over Christmas, she g
Nov 06, 2020 rated it liked it
“This secret should never have been kept from him. One way or another, they were going to have to face it”

Margot Allen, the daughter of the much respected and loved vicar has a secret. And now with her fiancé returning from The Great War after being deemed missing in action, she has a choice to make. To tell Harry the truth and risking him hating her forever or keep it a secret and live with the guilt and heartache for the rest of her life.

This was a lovely, easy read and is perfect for Christma
Mary Judy
Oct 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Rarely have I been so moved by a book. Each page is written with a poignancy and depth that demands that you feel that heartbreak, joy and confusion of each character. Margot gives us the full extent of her character; complex, torn, grasping the moments of happiness and balancing them with her devastation and shame. She has to deal with the consequences of whatever choice she makes, both within her family and the relationship she will have with them going forward and in the world outside of it. ...more
Kristel Greer
Nov 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I was sent a copy of this book for review.

Margot fell in love young with the charismatic Harry in 1916. They courted, lived a summer of fun in the wake of WWII. When Harry decides to volunteer for the war they agree to get engaged before he goes. Just before Harry is sent to the Front, they meet in secret and sleep together one last time. Not long after Margot receives word that Harry is missing in action and she finds out she is pregnant. Her world collapse
Oct 20, 2020 rated it liked it
Margot and her fiance Harry return to the small village of Thwaite in Yorkshire for Christmas; he from the Western Front of World War I, she from a secretarial course in Durham. Against this post-war backdrop, a number of family secrets are soon revealed, which threaten to destabilise the family and their respected status as the inhabitants of the Vicarage. As the story continues, it becomes clear that Margot has her own decision to make; she can choose to share her secret with Harry and risk up ...more
Beth Jones
Nov 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
Thank you to Kaleidoscopic Tours and Anderson Press for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I don’t usually pick up historical fiction but this one actually really intrigued me and I ended up almost requesting a copy through work. And then a beautiful parcel turned up on my doorstep, with a copy of this book, which also included parcels and envelopes to unwrap at certain pages. It was such a delightful thing to be a part of, thank you to everyone involved!

This book felt weirdly
Nov 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Sally Nicholls' latest historical YA, The Silent Stars Go By, is set in the aftermath of the First World War. Margot Allan, a vicar's daughter, discovered she was pregnant after her fiancé Harry was reported missing in action. Two years later, Margot's parents are bringing up her son James as their own and Harry has returned to their village in time for Christmas. What kind of future can Margot expect with James and with Harry? I loved Nicholls' YA suffragette novel, Things A Bright Girl Can Do; ...more
Nov 08, 2020 rated it liked it
This is a beautifully written book based during WWI.

Margot had to make the tough decision to give up her baby as her fiance Harry is reported missing in action. As the daughter of the village vicar, Margot decided to hide her pregnancy and allow her parents to adopt her baby. Years later, when Harry returns from the war, Margot has yet another decision to make. Tell Harry the truth? Take her baby back and raise him as her own, or leave everything as it is.

I really enjoyed this YA. It was a very
Bee Jay
Nov 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
You can't tell from this picture, but this is a physically beautiful book. All those leaves are picked out in shiny metallic bronze, and the back cover is a deep blue under bronze leaves - a colour combo I think works really well together.

It's also beautiful inside, of course.

I should have known before I started reading. This is the author of Ways to Live Forever, a book that made me cry for hours the first time I read it and still makes me tear up when I reread. Be prepared going into this.

It r
Claire Tierney
Nov 16, 2020 rated it liked it
"It's not really something you can talk about to anyone [...] everyone else can be happy...and normal... and you can't because you carry this awful weight around everywhere. And you can't ever put it down or talk about it, so you're always pretending to be something you aren't".

Secrets are in everyone's family. Some might be harder to bear than others.

In this novel, we follow a young girl called Margot just as WW1 is coming to an end. She is quite lost but as her fiancé comes back from the war,
Mrs Waldron
Nov 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
Beautiful story. As a mother I truly felt for Margot, I cannot imagine how much hurt and turmoil she was going through. I enjoyed her interactions with her siblings and mother but the best parts were with Harry, James and towards the end, her father, finding her place within the family as she transitioned from child to adulthood. She is trying to keep everyone happy and thinking of others at the expense of herself at times. I did feel the ending was rather abrupt and I was left a little unsatisf ...more
Barbara Band
Jul 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
Christmas 1919 - Margot's fiancé, Harry, has been reported missing in action and she's pregnant with his child. In order to avoid scandal her parents agree to bring the child up as their own - a secret that no-one else knows about. When Harry miraculously returns, Margot is in turmoil. How can she pick up their relationship again with this secret between them?

An excellent story that details the stigma around unmarried mothers during the 20th century. Many children born in these circumstances wer
Nov 01, 2020 rated it liked it
A beautifully written story set at Christmas after the end of WW1 - this is a YA book suitable for ages 12 up. Some aspects of this book felt a lot older than YA for me - I felt like had the plot been expended upon to become adult historical fiction this book would have been so much better.

Having said that, this is an easy reading story that flows well, it explores tricky subject matters but written in a way for younger readers to understand. The descriptions are really lovely and all the charac
May 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya-fiction
I really enjoyed this book, which I read as a pre-pub. It is an exploration of a common problem at the end of the War - babies born outside of marriage, and the huge stigma that unmarried mothers faced. The solution to that problem outlined in this book, for the mother or another married family member to pass the child off as their own, was fairly normal. A beautifully written book, taking place over the Christmas holiday of 1919, this is not graphic but an exploration of the emotional toll of t ...more
Suzanne Bhargava
Sally Nicholls tugs at her readers’ heartstrings with this story set during the Christmas after the end of First World War.

Even though this feminist historical fiction’s premise, storyline and cast of characters is totally different to Things a Bright Girl Can Do, it gives a similar sort of feeling and emotional journey, which is deeply satisfying and immersive.
Fred Langridge
Nov 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful little book with romance, Christmas, emotional turmoil and moral complexity.
Sally Nicholls' historical fiction is (as far as I can tell!) so well researched that it tastes like it was written at the time of the story.
Hayley Quarmby
Nov 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book was a whirlwind! I’m not usually a historical fiction lover but I absolutely adored this book. It tells the heartbreaking tale of Margot Allen. Set in 1919 in the aftermath of World War 1, it is full of forbidden love, family tensions and shocking secrets.

I flew through the short chapters of this stunning book with ease and finished it in (almost) one sitting. It made me feel a whole range of emotions; sad, joyful and best of all festive!
Oct 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Captures old double standards perfectly and paints an extremely detailed picture of this period of time. Themes of love, loss and family.
Awesome social history looking at a heartbreaking fascinating topic set just after WWI
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Sally Nicholls is a prize-winning British children's author. She was born and grew up in Stockton-on-Tees. On finishing school, Nicholls chose to travel around the world. Her first novel was Ways to Live Forever.

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