The Skylarks War

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Skylarks War

Book Review - The Skylarks War by Hilary McKay

After the tragic death of their mother, Clarry and her brother Peter have grown up in a joyless house. The only thing they did look forward to was their summers in Cornwall!

The Skylarks War by Hilary Mckay is based around three siblings, and how the war is taking over their lives. Clarry and her older brother Peter spend their summers in Cornwall, staying with their grandparents and running free with their charismatic cousin Rupert. But normal life resumes each September – boarding school for Peter and Rupert, and a boring life for Clarry at home with her absent father, as the shadow of a terrible war looms ever closer. When Rupert goes off to fight at the front, Clarry feels their skylark summers are finally slipping away from them. Can their family survive this fearful war?


After the tragic death of their mother, Clarry and her brother Peter grow up in a joyless house. Raised by numerous maids, as their cold father is least interested in bringing them up. The only thing they did look forward to was their summers in Cornwall!

A time when they could just relax, be themselves and let go of family expectations; all while playing with their charming cousin Rupert. But as the fear of the world war draws near, the siblings find a dark shadow looming over their lives. Rupert volunteers for the army to everyone’s shock,  leaving Clarry and Peter wondering when he will return and most importantly if he will…

This story is about the hardships encountered by the siblings while growing up during war times.


Skylarks War was a book I read quite a long time ago, and to write this review, I had to re-read it and I simply got lost in the story all over again. I personally favor stories based around wartime and what it was like to grow up then. This book is a perfect example of just that.

 One of my favourite things about reading books is the different writing styles of authors. I just love the way the text is written, without revealing too much of the story. Personally I can assure you that this book is the opposite of dull. This book is enticing and written in such a way, that just makes you read on. Once you pick it up, it’s hard to put down.

This book has a perfect balance of love and war, one cannot exist without the other. A story based on a very important time in history that brought people together by tearing them apart.

Warning: this book has the power to make you giggle, laugh, and send a jolt of pain through your heart. The Skylarks War is simply amazing, never a dull moment !! Hilary McKay has that unique ability to make something so dull and sad, into something beautiful and bubbly.

“There were no rules, only consequences”

This book, at first, looks like a cliché, however, when you delve deeper, you find how interesting and unique it is. A great book for you to read in one sitting. The main protagonist of this story is Clarry, and even though you don’t get to see it in the book, you can just tell by her nature, that she has a sweet temperament, but if needed she can be very determined and  stubborn as a rock to get things moving in the right direction .This is what I like about characters like her, they may seem small, but inside there a whole new side to them.

I would recommend this book to readers between the ages of 10 to 14. This book is the following genres: historical fiction, children’s, young adult, fiction, war, and family.

Overall, I would give The Skylarks War by Hilary Mckay a five out of five, as it is a wonderful read about family war.

About the Author

Hilary Mckay is a Boston based author. She was raised in a family with four younger sisters and all book lovers. He grew up with the library as her second home. After studying Botany and Zoology at St Andrew’s University she went to work as a biochemist. She liked her job but had to fight down that burning desire to write. She left her job when she gave birth to two children, wanting to consume her time with her kids and writing. Hilary Mckay is currently living in a small village in Derbyshire with her family. When not writing, her hobbies include, reading, walking and having friends stay over!!

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