Cover Image: Goodbye for Now

Goodbye for Now

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Member Reviews

Hauntingly beautiful, highly emotional and full of heartbreak. Goodbye for now is a stunning book!
I loved the story, I am a big fan of WW1 era's novels, there is something about them that pull me in, which is one of the reasons why I was so eager to read this book and it did not disappoint.. Infact I loved this book so much, I have a paperback copy of it on my bookshelf. The cover alone is striking and so perfectly relevant for the story
I love that it tackles some very hard and sensitve subjects, the themes running through the plot are quite tabboo subjects and aren't tackled as much as they such be in stories set in this era. I have to admit that I did shed a few tears while reading this, it got to me in a way that other books haven't. 
MJ Hollows is a hugely gifted author his writing is eloquant and full of real long-asting emotion which keeps you turnign the pages. 
Goodbye for Now is one of those books which will stay with you, it will bury itself into your heart long after closing the last page. I cannot say enough good things about this, it's stunning!!
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I received an ARC copy from netgalley for my honest review,  so thank you netgalley and publishers for sending me a copy =]

Two brothers, only one survives. 
As Europe is torn apart by war, two brothers fight very different battles, and both could lose everything… 
While George has always been the brother to rush towards the action, fast becoming a boy-soldier when war breaks out, Joe thinks differently. Refusing to fight, Joe stays behind as a conscientious objector battling against the propaganda.
On the Western front, George soon discovers that war is not the great adventure he was led to believe. Surrounded by mud, blood and horror his mindset begins to shift as he questions everything he was once sure of.
At home in Liverpool, Joe has his own war to win. Judged and imprisoned for his cowardice, he is determined to stand by his convictions, no matter the cost.
By the end of The Great War only one brother will survive, but which? 
This breathtaking novel is perfect for fans of Jenny Ashcroft, Kate Furnival and Louisa Young.
The cover and title is what originally drew me to this book. 
This is my first book by this author. It was alltogether an easy read. ♡ I give this book a 
4.5 star rating!
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A beautiful, moving and thought provoking read, that I thoroughly enjoyed. 
Hollows captures characters and places wonderfully, and there are moments of suspense and intrigue throughout that keep the reader wanting more. Especially thought provoking considering I was reading it in the run up to the centenary memorial.
I look forward to more work from M J Hollows.
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Joe and George a are brothers but are very different in attitude, especially when World War I begins.   Joe is a pacifist and refuses to fight whereas George has a naive romantic view of joining up and fighting.  Joe is soon branded a coward for standing up for his beliefs and Joe soon discovers how wrong his romantic notion of fighting was as.... but which of them will come home? 

A great book dealing with a difficult subject, pacifism was so looked down on but it often took more bravery for these men to stand by their principles.   A good debut novel and I will look for future books by this writer
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George and Joe are brothers who at the break of World War I make very different decisions. George can’t wait to go to war and has a bit romanticized view of the war. Joe, on the other hand, is a pacifist who refuses to raise a hand to kill others. Their father is a Boer War veteran who doesn’t take Joe’s beliefs kindly.  

Both brothers admit that they’re never been close and don’t have much in common, but they are concerned for each other’s well-being during the war which was great to see. 

It was interesting to read about Joe’s time at home because I haven’t read much about the men who refused to go to war or the people’s treatment of conscientious objectors. He was branded as a coward, but I admire him for standing up to something he believed in. 

It was a great debut book from the author and I really enjoyed reading it.
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Amazing book. Loved it from beginning to end. 
Well written which kept me captivated throughout. 
I will definitely be reading other books by this author
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Such a sweet, sad story of two brothers torn apart by "the Great War." I loved George and Joe and wept over their touching story. If you're a fan of Downton Abbey, this one is for you. 

Many thanks to NetGalley, the author, and the publisher for my ARC. All opinions are my own.
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‘Goodbye For Now’ is one of those rare books, where the cover of the book is enough to convince me to read the story inside.  I then read the synopsis and I just knew that this book was for me.  I absolutely loved reading ‘Goodbye For Now’ but more about that in a bit.
It was hard not to take to the characters of George and Joe from the start.  I really felt for the pair of them.  On the one hand we have George, who is swept along by the general wave of excitement generated by the declaration of war.  George joins up and is sent abroad, where he certainly has his eyes opened.  George, like many recruits, seemed to have a romanticised view of what going to war meant and how it would pan out.  But the reality is so much different and George’s romanticised view of war certainly changes.  I did feel for George in a way because he was a bit naïve when he joined up.  Joe certainly has such a different view of war and I do commend him for standing up for what he believed in.  It can’t have been easy to live in the family home and be a pacifist.  Especially when his father fought in the Boer War and he seemed to excel in the army.  Joe’s father makes his dislike of Joe’s pacifism obvious.  As war is declared and Joe goes about his daily basis, his belief in pacifism is only strengthened.  It can’t have been easy to be a pacifist especially when women were presenting pacifists with the white feather.  How will two brothers with such differing opinions as regards war get on?  Well for the answer to that question you are just going to have to read the book for yourselves to find out as I am not going to tell you.
I mentioned at the top of my review that as soon as I read the synopsis I had to read this book.  My reasons for saying that are the fact that I have a huge interest in the Great War and I have had for years.  I have also researched my family tree and that has only strengthened my interest.  Two of my great grandfathers went to war and came home but my great Uncle went off to fight and he never came home.  The circumstances of his death were tragic.  Reading books either set during the Great War or about the Great War help me to feel closer to them all somehow.  I also have a distant relative, who went off to fight and he was diagnosed as suffering from shell shock.  Shell shock was something else which wasn’t widely understood or accepted.  A lot of men with shell shock were labelled as cowards and were shot at dawn.  Anyway enough of my family tree so back to the review I do go.
Given my interest in the Great War, I became addicted to this book from the moment I picked the book up and began to read.  The author’s writing style is such that you can’t fail to be drawn into the story and before you realise what is happening you are hooked.  That’s what happened to me anyway.  The further I got into the story, the more I wanted to read and the quicker the pages turned.  At one point, the pages were turning that quickly that it was almost as if they were turning themselves.  I was gutted when I got to the end of the book because I was enjoying the author’s writing style, the story and the characters so much that I just wanted the book to continue.  ‘Goodbye For Now’ certainly took me on an emotional rollercoaster ride.  There were times where I felt so emotional that I developed a lump in my throat.  The author uses such vivid and graphic descriptions that if I closed my eyes I could easily imagine that I had travelled back in time to the era in which the book is set.
‘Goodbye For Now’ is beautifully, sensitively and very well written.  I can’t wait to read more from M. J. Fellows.  I would definitely recommend this book to other readers but it will be of particular interest to those who enjoy reading historical fiction.  ‘Goodbye For Now’ is definitely thought provoking and topical.  The score on the Ginger Book Geek board is a very well deserved 5* out of 5*.
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With the 100year anniversary of the end of World War 1 imminent this book is a fitting tribute to the losses our brave men took which nearly decimated a generation.   
It is the story of the two Abbot brothers and their experiences during this period. Both have their own battles as one goes off to fight for king and country whilst the other refuses to fight being a conscious objector and will not raise his hand to kill another human being.
If anyone thought that war is glamorous read this book.
Beautifully researched this book is a history lesson of this period and the hardships endured by our brave soldiers and also those left behind.
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This WWI debut novel initially caught my interest because of its Liverpool setting. The city holds a special place in my heart – my Nana’s family grew up there, and one of her uncles was killed in the First World War. I knew, then, that this novel had the potential to leave me an emotional mess – and oh boy, did it deliver on that front!

Goodbye for Now tells the heartbreaking story of the Abbott brothers throughout the First World War, demonstrating the hardships faced both at home in Liverpool and across the Channel in the fields of France. Joe, the eldest, firmly opposes the war and refuses to join the army – instead it is George, not yet old enough to fight, who signs up.

I love reading stories about siblings, especially those with a difficult relationship – and I felt that M.J. Hollows captured the complexity of the brothers’ familial bond so well. With such vastly differing opinions about the war, on the surface they were not close – but running through each brother’s respective narrative was their concern and hope for the other’s safety and well-being, which I found so touching.

Part of me would have liked to hear more about the Abbott sisters, and the effects of the war on their lives, but I appreciate that wasn’t the story M.J. Hollows set out to tell. The entire structure of the novel was set up to follow the paths of the two brothers, and it was executed very well.

The first third of the book did feel a bit slow for me – but once the plot really got going, I found myself completely swept up in the story. Once George reached the trenches in France, I was spellbound – the description of life on the front line was so heartbreakingly realistic that I almost felt as if I was there. A significant amount of research has clearly gone into the writing of this novel, and it is these finer details which make it such a powerful story.

Overall, this was an incredibly moving read, simultaneously enjoyable and harrowing. As we approach the centenary of the end of WWI, this is a timely debut novel from M.J. Hollows, and I really can’t wait to read more by this author.
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Poignant and unexpected - obviously a lot of research has gone into this.

The first thing to note about this book is that it's obvious the author has done considerable research into the First World War, which gives it a real sense of authenticity. It's a bittersweet story that details family life in Liverpool during the war, but also examines the pointlessness of it all.

George and Joe are brothers living in Liverpool, though they couldn't be more different. George is keen to go and fight when war breaks out, whereas Joe protests at the loss of life, and refuses to sign up.

From then on, their lives go in very different directions. George, though technically underage, fights in the war and experiences atrocities. Joe continues to work at the newspaper, until things take a turn for the darker.

One brother survives the war, the other doesn't. I won't spoil the end for you, but it wasn't one that I saw coming, which made it especially poignant. 

The stand-out thing about this book was definitely the attention to detail. It's clear that this book has been a labour of love for the author, and he manages to capture a real sense of what it must have been like. This is especially the case with the scenes in the trenches - the horror and panic of those moments is powerfully brought to life, even down to the smallest elements, such as the lice in the uniforms and the squabbling between the soldiers themselves.

Likewise, Liverpool is lovingly depicted and you get a real sense of the community there, and the way of life for all the residents. I really enjoyed this aspect of it.

I have to say, I personally enjoyed George's story more than Joe's. George I felt had more motivation to make the decisions that he did, whereas I found myself questioning Joe's motives a little more. I understood his desire not to take human life, but it didn't seem to be founded on much logic or personal life experience - what made him protest the war so passionately? Given how he sticks so firmly to his guns right through to the end of the book, I wanted to understand more about what drove him to adopt this stance.

Also, I felt the females in the book were a bit 'shadowy', apart from Anne at the newspaper. The sisters didn't feel fully formed, and the mother felt a bit like the stereotyped little woman at home, whereas the father (with his fierce temper and strong opinions) felt very much more rounded. I'd have liked to hear more of their voice in this book, but I do accept it was focusing mainly on the two brothers. 

Overall though, a really good read, and an intriguing insight into what life must have been like at that time. If you like historical books, you'll definitely enjoy this.
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Goodbye For Now is a very powerful and emotional piece of historical fiction that was an utterly fascinating read.  It is also an in-depth look at the war years as it follows two brothers one at home and one fighting on the front line.

As mentioned in a previous post I haven’t read much about the first world war so I enjoyed learning more about it.  I especially hadn’t read anything involving a character who is anti war and the other people’s reactions to his supposed cowardice, so Joe’s story was very interesting.  It’s amazing to think this was people’s reactions to someone not wanting to fight, though perhaps understandable as the country was in the middle of a war.

The story goes back and forth between the two brothers, describing their experiences during the war.  I did like reading both of the brother’s stories as they were both very likeable characters.  Their experiences were very different and both men were incredibly brave in their own way.  While George was perhaps more obviously brave for going to war, I really admired Joe’s bravery for standing up for what he believed in.  He faces some quite fierce opposition at times and could easily have given in but doesn’t which I found very impressive.

This was a wonderfully written book, with lots of different things happening that kept my interest throughout.  The dual timeline helped with this as the differences between them were fascinating to read about.  Its also an incredibly emotional book as the effect that the war has on the two brothers, their families and friends is very poignant to read about.  This is made even more so by the fact that we know this was a real event and that people really were affected like this.

Goodbye For Now is, unbelievably, this author’s debut novel and I will definitely be interested in reading more from him.  If you like beautifully written, emotions historical fiction then you’ll love this book.

Huge thanks to HQ Stories for my copy of this book via Netgalley and to Isabel Smith for inviting me onto the blog tour.
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Goodbye For Now by M.J. Hollows is an absolutely heart breaking account of the First World War both at home and at the front. The reader 'lives' throughout the war. We see the futility - everybody loses on both sides. The total waste of life. Young men used as cannon fodder. Young men, even underage signed up believing "It'll be an adventure."
War is not an adventure. War is hard. War changes people, at times they become robotic, believing the lies and propaganda they are told. "The German figures...  weren't human, they were only his enemies." Really? Brain washed by the war machine. No doubt, the German soldiers believed the same thing about the allies.
M.J. Hollows has perfectly captured the horrors of World War I. As a historian I recognised the accuracy of the portrayal of the trenches and no mans land - it was carnage and a blood bath. A living hell. We will never truly know the horrors because those who returned were so traumatised and affected by what they had seen that they kept silent for decades, sometimes, forever. And of course the dead have no voice.
The reader witnesses the absolutely appalling treatment of the conscientious objectors. "No one should have to kill another or be killed for their country." Their argument is compelling but dismissed as cowardice. The people who inflicted the punishments and the women who handed out white feathers should be ashamed of their actions. They judged, pronounced a guilty verdict and behaved disgracefully towards their fellow man.
Shell shock was not understood. The reader witnesses the treatment of so called deserters - brave young men who were ill and clearly just could not take it anymore.
Absolutely heart breaking. Absolutely brilliant. Absolutely riveting. Very atmospheric showing the true horrors of war. Read it with tissues close by - you're going to need them.
To all the countless men and women who have fought and who continue to fight for our freedom... thank you every single one of you for your selfless sacrifice.
Thank you M.J. Hollows for highlighting this story.
I received this book for free. A favourable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.
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A wonderful  book with such heartache and loss
Set during the war so many lives lost and how family's coped I really enjoyed this story and would recommend.
Delighted to get an early copy from netgalley in return for an honest review.
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