What a powerful, thought provoking read. The portrayal of May’s character was stunning. Set in an era that was contentious, uncertain and undeniably controversial. Hello, Goodbye by author Emily Brewin was enthralling reading that I could not tear myself away from. So many sad moments in the story that affected May’s character that as the reader, could not help but feel the effects. The conclusion had me elated, in that something finally went some kind of right for the protagonist. My heart was pounding and my gut was churning throughout and by the story’s conclusion, I was left breathless. The author’s depiction of events and the character challenges, collectively, made for some stunning reading. A book for the fave reads list to be sure.
Review copy received from Allen & Unwin
About Hello, Goodbye by Emily Brewin
It’s 1968 and free-thinking country girl May Callaghan’s world is turned upside down when she finds out she’s pregnant to her boyfriend Sam, who is awaiting draft orders. A profoundly moving story of love during a time of great social change, with an ending that will leave you cheering.
May Callaghan is seventeen years old and on her own. At least that’s how it feels.
Her devoutly religious mother and her gentle but damaged father are fighting, and May’s boyfriend, Sam, has left their rural hometown for Melbourne without so much as a backward glance.
When May lies to her parents and takes the train to visit Sam at his shared house in Carlton, her world opens wide in glorious complexity. She is introduced to his housemates, Clancy, an indigenous university student, and Ruby, a wild bohemian. With their liberal thinking and opposition to the war in Vietnam, they are everything that May’s strict Catholic upbringing should warn her against.
May knows too well the toll that war has taken on her father, and the peace movement in the city has a profound effect on her. For a while, May’s future burns bright. But then it begins to unravel, and something happens to her that will change her life forever.
Hello, Goodbye by Emily Brewin is published by Allen & Unwin, RRP $29.99.