The Skylarks’ War


‘The Skylarks’ War‘ is the story of Clarry and Peter, from the turn of the twentieth century to the end of WWI. Clarry’s mother lives for only three days after Clarry’s birth. Somehow Clarry feels responsible for her mother’s demise, but that’s Clarry’s way. She feels responsible for Peter’s happiness and homework, and her father’s silence. The only relief for them all, is when Clarry and Peter head to Cornwall to spend long skylark summers with their grandparents, and their beloved cousin Rupert.

From Peter’s boarding school resistance, to Clarry’s need to learn, we support their determined growing-up. Clarry’s empathy knows no bounds; her lack of envy admirable. We yearn for Peter to find the comfort he has lacked throughout his life, while understanding their, and their friends’, huge admiration of the glorious Rupert.

‘The Skylarks’ War’ is heady stuff. We step right into the setting and tread the footsteps of characters who matter. This is one of the best books that Bookwagon has been fortunate enough to read. You will feel this way too. We urge you to choose ‘The Skylarks’ War’. It is soul-soaring and wonderful.

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The Skylarks’ War

Hilary McKay


The Skylarks’ War begins as Clarry’s mother struggles to live for three days following Clarry’s birth. Although her older brother Peter is three only, he vows to look after her. Alongside a neighbour, housekeeper and friends Clarry is raised for Father is too busy. Throughout his silence and the children’s routine, there is a constant longing for Cornwall, light, opportunity and their cousin Rupert.
As the children grow up, pressures and expectations mount, while Father’s silence continues. Through boarding school, a fight for a fair education, and battle fields, the three cousins and their friends work toward opportunity and a sense of home. At all points throughout this story we are fully engaged, emotionally connected. It means that we care that each receive the fair and safe and loving future they so fully deserve. Yet, is any of this possible?  Could it be the era, the setting or conventions that hold each back?
We realised how Hilary McKay can create such unforgettable character driven stories from her exceptional series, The Exiles. ‘The Skylarks’ War’ is one of the best books you will read. Bookwagon recommends it to readers of all ages.

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