Book Title: The Skylarks’ War
Author: Hilary McKay
Total Number of Pages: 320
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Publication Date: September 20th 2018
Format: Paperback (Uncorrected Proof Copy)
Genre: Fiction/ Middle Grade/ Historical Fiction
I have never read any book set in the times of war and I know that there are a lot of books which are centered around that time. ‘The Skylarks’ War’ is a historical children’s fiction which is set in the time of World War I. The book is about Clarrisa (Clarry) who along with her older brother Peter travel to their grandparents’ house to enjoy the summers. Along with their cousin Rupert, this brother-sister duo had been enjoying their time until the war looms around the corner.
The story follows these three children on their Skylarks’ summer. Hillary McKay has written these moments of these three people so beautifully that it can make a reader nostalgic. Even though there was nothing in common between my life and theirs, there was this strong sense of loss that I felt. McKay has such a beautiful writing style that in the narration, there was this tranquillity, serene and peaceful feel to it and then once the war breaks out, I could see the chaos.
‘The Skylarks’ War’ also focuses on showing how women were treated differently in the early century. Clarry stays indoors most of the time and it is shown time and again that her opinions aren’t taken into account as she is a girl. She also sees how differently she is treated from her brother and her cousin. These were the days when women were thought to be only capable of cooking, cleaning and childbirth. Clarry is seen to be struggling with this ideology and wants to go out and get proper education. But of course, there are a lot of hurdles that she has to overcome to fulfil her dreams.
‘Skylarks’ War’ has both happy and sad moments. It is a very moving story that makes you “feel”. The book has a slow and steady pace so it can have a tiresome and soporific effect on the reader. It took me a while to complete reading this book because the pace sort of made me a bit drowsy.
I experienced a varied change in emotions while reading the book. Sometimes it was funny and then next I’ll be like “oh, no!”. It definitely made me feel, there’s no doubt in that.
Recommended to people who would love to read a novel set around the war time and like emotional reads.
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