The Stars In The Night

(8 customer reviews)

Harry Fletcher is a confident young man.

Harry’s sure that he will marry Nora MacTiernan, no matter what their families say. He’s certain that he will always be there to protect Eddie, the boy his father saved from the gutters of Port Adelaide.

Only the War to End All Wars might get in the way of Harry’s plans…

From the beaches of Semaphore to the shores of Gallipoli, the mud of Flanders to the red dust of inland South Australia, this is a story of love, brotherhood, and resilience.

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Book Details

Weight 295 g
Dimensions 216 × 140 mm

224 pages






Historical Fiction

Release date

26 January 2019




Odyssey Books

About The Author

Clare Rhoden

Clare Rhoden

Clare Rhoden is a writer, blogger and book reviewer. Inspired by politics, culture, and history, Clare writes thoughtful stories about characters with heart and soul. From immersive world-building in science fiction and fantasy, to well-researched details in historical novels, Clare's books pivot on hope and love in the darkest of times.

Clare lives in Melbourne Australia with her husband and their very clever spoodle.

8 reviews for The Stars In The Night

  1. Kate Murdoch

    The Stars in the Night is a poignant and well-told story about the deep bonds between men who served on the Western Front and Gallipoli, and the women who loved them. It is an intimate exploration of the losses of war and the courage required to start anew. – Kate Murdoch, author of Stone Circle.

  2. K, Adelaide

    This book has been a remarkable gift to my family. My grandfather, a kind and caring man, was born in the mid north of South Australia and left to go to the western front from Semaphore in 1916. On his return he never spoke a single word about his war experiences. The Stars in the Night helps us, his grandchildren, finally understand not only his silence but so much else about him.

  3. Curled Up Books

    19 May 2019
    This is fantastically researched and written.  Clare has done an absolutely wonderful job of bringing this story to life, and looking at the sensitivities and experiences of war.  I will come back to this book time and time again, it’s a truly beautiful but heart-wrenching story.  Most definitely recommended by me.

  4. StacyIsReading Book Reviews

    This is a beautiful heartfelt story that tells of love and hope amidst the backdrop of World War I. The horrors and tremors of war rage through this narrative but love shines brightly in many ways and forms. I was enraptured by this emotionally driven plot and felt it balanced the tragedy of war with the hopeful declaration’s of love winding their way across the globe to their beloved recipients in perfect harmony.

  5. Literary Flits Book Reviews

    The Stars In The Night is an emotional and beautifully written reminder of a war that should never be forgotten.

  6. Dragon Rose Book Reviews

    This book is a must read for anybody with an interest in learning about life during WW1. It might be a fictional set of characters, but looking into the realities of the war is something I think we should all do. I definitely recommend this book if for no other reason than that. Not for people who don’t like to get emotional! 

  7. Jaffa Reads Too Reviews

    The Stars In The Night is beautifully written with a strong sense of wartime camaraderie and brotherhood … From its evocative cover, to the very last sentence, The Stars In The Night is one of those stories which stays with you long after the last page is turned.

  8. Mark O’Dwyer

    1970 in suburban Melbourne: ‘That was how it happened, thought Harry, feeling the memories rise; they were never far away .. Trusting you to do something about it. As if you could fix things, mend the dead, put the world back the way it was.’

    And so we go back into Harry’s memories, into the seared experiences that gave him writhing nightmares for decades, back to the day in 1917 when Harry cannot find his foster brother Eddie. Harry searches. He crawls out of the Passchendaele mud in no-man’s land searching for him. He looks into dugouts and stumbles down communication trenches and he asks at Casualty Clearing Stations. He is still searching, in his spirit, 50 years later when his granddaughter comes upon an old notebook in the attic and innocently asks him,”Who is Eddie?”

    This is a story of love. Nora waits for Harry but he harbours fears whether she can accept him after what he has been through. Eddie hopes for a life with Claudelle. It is a story too of love between men, the love of the two brothers, and the love between brothers-in-arms, Harry and Eddie, Wallis, Hartigan, Alex. From Gallipoli to Flanders the war thunders over all of them like the endless numbing artillery barrages. But it does not end for them when the guns fall silent.

    We only recently have begun to speak openly of PTSD, and understand, or try to, that it messes people up and for a long time. Harry survives wounds and sickness and comes home, but in dreams he returns often to no-mans’ land, still trying to find and rescue comrades. For a long time he will not talk about it to his wife, Nora, not even a little. The women have their losses too, not helped by Harry’s inability to speak of things he simply does not want to bring to mind. His sister Kathleen, who never does marry, only years later reveals her own loss. Harry’s mother Ellen cannot connect with him any more, harbouring an anger that he didn’t bring Eddie back with him. She and other parents, like Alex’s, must grieve without ever seeing bodies laid to rest or even knowing the fate of their sons.

    ‘The mines and the shelling is like the end of the world. The worst we have seen, and we have seen some bad ones. Harry and me are fine but it makes you cry. There are so many dead you cant help but walk on them’. Eddies notebook.

    Clare Rhoden takes us into this vast arena of events, from the debate in Australia about the rightness of the war, into terrible battles, and on through into the waves of pyschological effects upon those who survived and their families. These 220 pages hold material for a 1000 page book. But the author has brought these unimaginably large and complicated things down to the personal level by describing and revealing things in the way that we all ordinarily talk to each other: through a household argument, the queries of a nosy neighbour, the grumbles of soldiers about the food and the cold, the guarded talk about Gallipoli by a sergeant to a fresh officer as they weigh each other up, and through painfully awkward excerpts from diaries and from letters home. This makes Stars in the Night deeply personal and emotional. I got so caught up in it that I paused reading several times so as to absorb it. I cannot praise this novel highly enough both for its story and it’s technical execution.

    Although it is about the experiences of Australian soldiers, this novel could really be about the horror of any war, not just the one that millions of people prayed would be ‘The War To End All Wars.’ The character Harry Fletcher, like thousands of veterans, could not bring himself to attend Anzac Day ceremonies but stayed quietly at home; yet, for anyone interested in the scars left by the Great War and thus the origin of the ‘Anzac legend’, the facts of it, and sometimes the mythology of it, this is a must-read.

    Lest We Forget.

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