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.