Read Don't Pass Me By by Julie McGowan Online


1940: London is about to be ravaged by the Blitz. For Lydia the last beating is the final straw. She has to escape from her husband, and when a gas explosion rips their house apart she flees, taking baby Grace with her. Rejected by her father, and not knowing where to go next, she joins a crowd of evacuee children at the railway station, and her destiny is changed forever1940: London is about to be ravaged by the Blitz. For Lydia the last beating is the final straw. She has to escape from her husband, and when a gas explosion rips their house apart she flees, taking baby Grace with her. Rejected by her father, and not knowing where to go next, she joins a crowd of evacuee children at the railway station, and her destiny is changed forever as they find themselves in rural Wales. "Don't Pass Me By" is the story not only of Lydia and Grace's salvation, but of the lives of a handful of evacuee children transplanted from the city to a tiny village filled with strangers who speak a different language. Torn away from their parents, each child learns to cope - one with a farm full of fearsome animals and a warm, caring family; others not so lucky. From the love and compassion of many, to sinister abuse from a few, the children find different ways to survive their own catastrophes, while Lydia finds what she has always been seeking - but when her masquerade of widowhood is shattered, will she lose everything? "Don't Pass Me By" is author Julie McGowan's third book, and the second based in her much-loved homeland of Wales. Her first, "The Mountains Between," became a regional best-seller. Her second book, "Just One More Summer," is a wonderfully intricate read based in Cornwall....

Title : Don't Pass Me By
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781909278103
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 342 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Don't Pass Me By Reviews

  • Julie Haigh
    2018-10-08 03:20

    Wonderful book, would make a great mini-series for TV.I won this book in a first reads giveaway. It starts off really well, a pleasant read, a cosy read at first then deeper issues emerge. It is set in the time of World War two and centres around evacuees from London and their time spent in Wales. The author writes both from the children's point of view and from the adults. For instance; Amy thinks Edwin's name is 'Ouredwin' as Mrs. Preece keeps saying our Edwin and when the children are talking Arthur is always spelt 'Arfur' ( they think he's called that because of his Cockney accent). So this is an effective little touch which all adds to the realism for me. As well as the young evacuees, Lydia has fled her abusive husband, taking her young baby with her and they end up at the local Doctor's and she takes on the job as his housekeeper. The first few chapters are quite short, easy reading, introducing the characters. Maisie and Arthur are staying at a farm. The countryside is very quiet compared with the sounds and bustle of London. The author paints a good picture of the confusion in Lydia and Billy's relationship; abuse, then he would be all apologetic the day after-he says it will never happen again and, of course, it does. Lydia's family don't want to know her-she's made her bed....etc. This book has many facets; cosy, content village life, contrasting devastation in London, village gossip, sadness, heart-wrenching chapters, powerful, shocking and unpredictable. It's sweet and sad in equal measure. I soon found it absolutely gripping. So moving. I have recently read another book set at the time of the Second World War and thought they might be 'samey'. This wasn't, it deals with a different aspect of the time so yet again I'm learning more about this period in history and experiencing the mixed emotions of the characters. The writer was born in Wales and left at the age of twelve to live in Kent-as the saying goes-'write what you know'-she has and that's why this works so well. A lovely varied book which keeps your interest right to the end. There is a reference to the title on page 258 (for the reviewer who didn't get why it was titled 'Don't Pass Me By'). On the strength of this book, I would read more of this author's work. This has all the elements for a great mini-series on TV. I found the writing exceptionally accurate; just one missing speech mark on page 133, that's all. Just one niggle- for the depth of feeling in the book, I was totally unmoved by the book's cover. I didn't really like it that much, I felt it didn't do justice to the book. It needs attention as it wouldn't 'pull me' in a bookshop-I entered the giveaway as I had read the book's summary and knew it was just my sort of book but in a shop it is the front of the book which first tempts you. I know the rocking chair is an integral part of the story but I just didn't like the drawing-for the book, I don't feel it's good enough. A wonderful, wonderful book. A real winner.

  • Adele Jones
    2018-09-27 00:18

    Don’t Pass Me By had an excellent sense of place and description from the outset, but I found myself conflicted by this story. On one hand the plot was well structured and characters effectively drawn and consistent, with good depth and roundedness. Yet, with over ten point of view characters, along with frequent (nearly omniscient) head hopping, I was at times left wondering whose head I’d be landing in next.Some readers aren’t bothered by this style of writing, and if you enjoy the feel of a ‘mini-series in a book’ you will be right at home with this read. For me it was at times a puzzling effort to try and work out connections when introduced to the point of view of yet another minor character. Even so, I was still drawn into the characters' heartbreak (including heinous victimisation of a child by a near-adult with a paedophilic appetite). At times these circumstances were imposed upon the characters through their own choices, but largely they were a consequence of the actions of others.I’m guessing the parallel narrative-like structure was employed to reflect the clutter of humanity displaced as a consequence of the war, and largely characters cast caution to the wind in moral matters, which was probably elected to reflect the ‘live for now for we don’t know what tomorrow brings’ wartime society. But based on the blurb, I expected Lydia to be the main protagonist. Really, there were at least four stories on the boil at once. Granted they do eventually intersect, which the author does satisfactorily, but given this underpinning complexity there were probably quite a number of scenes from introduced points of view that could have been rewritten from the perspective of an already established character.The tone that pervaded the story was one I felt best described as mature, lending depth to the writing. The ending ultimately brought retribution upon the main antagonists, though naturally the knowledge of the lifelong trauma to be endured by their victims shadows the novel’s close.Three and a half stars.

  • Catherine Gourdie
    2018-10-11 05:18

    I loved this book! I was hooked from the first couple of pages and then could not put it down.I really empathised with the main character and loved the various plot twists. I wouldn't usually choose a book not set in the present but a friend recommended this. The fact it was set in war time made for a richer reading experience and has encouraged me to read more fiction set in the past. I hope the next book I read will be as engaging. I have already recommended this book to friends (and bought it for a few people as presents) and would recommend to anyone else.

  • Sandra Peut
    2018-09-22 04:20

    I started reading 'Don't Pass Me By' with an open mind, as I don't often read historical fiction and the cover design looked a little dated. However, the glowing reviews drew me in, and from the very first page, I was hooked. Arfur's, Amy's, and Lydia's stories were told with depth and sensitivity, despite the sometimes confronting subject matter. I thoroughly enjoyed 'Don't Pass Me By', and look forward to reading Julie McGowan's first book, 'Just One More Summer'.

  • Tonia Parronchi
    2018-10-05 00:20

    A lovely tale of Welsh village life, during the second World war told through the eyes of evacuees. There is a warming love story but it is not at all saccharine sweet, it deals with some big issues such as child and wife abuse too. I was very moved in several places and really wanted to know what happened next in the protagonists lives.

  • Christie
    2018-10-07 03:09

    I was given this book in exchange for a honest review. Having looked at the jacket cover to see what the topic was, I was willing to take on this book. I can say, that the jacket cover doesn't do this book justice.I honestly don't know where to start with "Don't Pass Me by." This book is like an onion, you keep peeling layers and layers to find the center. To start this off, Lydia, who is a young wife marries a soldier that is fighting in the war. Hitler's troops are in London and bombs are destroying everything. Lydia learns that her new husband, Billy, isn't what she thought he was. She learns he has a violent temper and an alcoholic. Thinking that a baby would change the situation, Lydia tries to handle a bad situation the best that she knows...cope, it might get better. But for those who have been in these situations learn, 99% of the time, it doesn't, it only gets worse. Then her opportunity strikes. An explosion allows her and the baby Grace to escape.As Lydia transforms herself into a widow, she takes on a job as a housekeeper for a young and attractive Dr. Eliot. This arrangement allows Lydia to learn what a real house should feel like. She and the Dr. develop a bond that will eventually be tested.In the meantime we are introduced to Amy and Arthur. Amy is a little girl about the age of 8. She's sent to live with a family who is to protect her during the war. Only problem is, little Amy learns that sometimes those who are to protect do more harm. Arthur learns a valuable lesson in life that not everyone is who they appear to be. Only problem is, the one that he needs the most is the one who betrays this young man. However, Arthur becomes a very important person in Amy's life.That's the story in a nut shell without giving away the wonderful ending. So here are my thoughts on this book:1.) This book is not for the weak hearted. Abuse is a heavy topic here. Not just the abuse that Lydia endures. But the gut tearing abuse that poor Amy is subjected to. I hated to read of how Amy was being treated. The author does a wonderful job of explaining how and what Amy endures without it being gross. Abuse is always a hard topic to write on, but Ms. McGowan does a great job in her description.2.) The unlikely hero's of this book took me by suprise. I knew that one would step up and defend the honor of the female. However, the other completly threw me off. I want to tell you who it is, but this will spoil the book. I was actually crying when I got to this point in the book to see how it all came about. I was cheering when this moment happen. Karma has a way of being a bit of a bitch sometimes, and this time she rared her ugly head and struck with a vengence. (WONDERFUL)3.) The way the author goes into the historical aspect of the war was really great. We all know how the war ended. We also know how displaced everyone was over the war. To hear a personal story, even though it was fictional, makes the hardships so personal. 4.) At first, even towards the middle of the book, did I wonder, what does Amy and Arthur have to do with Lydia. It seemed as if these two characters didn't belong in the story. Then it all started to flow together. At first, it really threw me for a loop. But eventually, I saw how the connection was being made. I really did like this book. I've read several books that had the subject of abuse as the central topic. It always takes a lot out of me emotionally. This book heavy and will leave you emotional from the beginning to end. It is a wonderful story, but I be honest, some may be turned off by the abuse. Others will see it for what it is, a story of heartbreak that turns into love and for many, freedom.Ms. McGowan, you made me cry way too many times during this book. Thanks for such a wonderful story!

  • Linda
    2018-09-24 04:08

    Set during WWII Lydia, along with daughter Grace, escape an abusive husband/father by entering the world of the evacuees of London. As she and the other child evacuees settle into a small village in Wales they learn lessons of life the hard way. While Lydia finds the love that she thought she would never have the children learn some hard truths. There are people in this world who want to help and do it with class and love and then there are people who help only because it makes them look good. Nine year old Amy is thrown into a world of verbal and physical abuse. Ten year old Arfur is loved and well taken care of but all he wants is to return to his mother, a woman who brings all sorts of men home, often leaving Arfur to fend for himself. While Arfur's mother does love her son in her own way, he gets in the way of the lifestyle she wants to lead. How Lydia and the children cope with the stress of being surrounded by both friendly and unfriendly strangers is the theme of this story.This was a very good, well written story that was a little hard to read when Amy was being abused. (Spoiler Alert!) However, the perpetrator does get his in the end and so does his obnoxious mother. Though I feel there was a somewhat satisfying ending to the story I would still love to know how Lydia and the children did when the war was over. Did Lydia remarry? Was Arfur ever able to go home? How many of the children were left with no homes or parents to return to?One day I hope to get to read Julie McGowan's other books.

  • Claudia
    2018-09-21 01:30

    I had a friend who was a child during WWII, in London. Even as a middle-aged man, he proudly displayed his Teddy bear in a place of honor. Teddy had survived the Blitz when my friend was sent, along with other children, to the countryside to safety.This is where this book starts...a train of refugee children on their way to tiny villages in Wales. MCGowan does an excellent job of portraying the fears of these children, yanked from everything they knew, into an alien environment. Instead of buildings and bombs, there are cows and fresh air.Arfur and Amy are both placed with familes, but from the start, their experiences are vastly different. The readers know what's happening with both children long before they do, and it's heartbreaking to read.There was also a young mother on the train with her infant daughter...Lydia is running...from an explosion, from an abusive husband, from his probable death. So, the village settles again, with the new arrivals. But war, loss, small town pettiness, human ugliness, they all rear their heads and nothing is as it seems.The story broke down for me in the romance between Lydia and Andrew...don't know why -- maybe I was just taken more with the kids because of my friends...I found myself hurrying through the chapters about the adults to see what was going on with the children.Not at all sure what the title means...but that's OK...Intrigued by the fact the story begins and ends with Rhian, absolutely sure Arfur would always belong to her...Love her assurance.

  • Valerie Poore
    2018-09-24 22:03

    I've given this four stars, but in reality I'd give it four and a half. Why? Because on the one hand I really really enjoyed it and found it hard to put down, but on the other, I felt some of the sub-plots could have been developed a bit further. Maybe it's because Julie McGowan's characters were so appealing, I wanted to know more about them. I wanted more of Amy's story, more of Arfur's and more of Rhian's. All the sub-plots were worth their own book, actually, so I missed them when the story moved on to another character.As a read, it is very easy. I love these period pieces and Julie McGowan clearly knows her environment in Wales well. The dominance of the chapel and the rigidity of a small, one sector of a rather closed community were very well portrayed. The fact that the novel was set in wartime England and dealt with evacuees and how they coped with fitting in to a very strange, rural environment was also riveting. The story dealt with an abusive marriage, child neglect and child abuse, so it was very moving on many levels. But at the same time, it was quite palatable and not hard going at all. I read One Last Summer a couple of years ago and enjoyed it. This one is even better. I now think I'll go back to the beginning and read Ms McGowan's first book!

  • April
    2018-10-08 06:17

    I was intrigued to find yet another angle about WW II. I've never read a story from the perspective of people in England who were sent to the country side. I was interested in the characters. They felt very real to me and I wanted to learn more about them beyond the pages of the story. I could picture the setting and the personality of the town. I was rooting for the main character. I have one critique that I can't share without giving away part of the story, so I'll refer to it vaguely. There is an abusive situation and it is almost always described before or after a similar non-abusive situation. I thought putting these scenes together was creepy and even after finishing the whole book, I didn't see any reason for it. Even though I really enjoyed the other parts of this book, for that reason alone, I won't recommend it to my friends. I won this book through the Goodreads first reads giveaway.

  • Nikki Bywater
    2018-09-27 23:27

    When Lydia’s house is destroyed by an explosion in the blitz, she sees it as the perfect opportunity to flee and join a group of evacuees to safety in South Wales. What she needs to run from is just as much putting her life at risk than any bomb. Arthur and Amy are two school children also evacuated out of London to the small peaceful village in South Wales. While some of the characters are fleeing from danger, and to find safety, others are walking straight into events that will change their lives forever.This is one of the most incredible moving stories that you can read, the author does not shy away from telling an amazing story, which covers some very dramatic events, and tragic circumstances. With a good balance of good and bad characters with an amazing storyline that is gripping, this wartime drama is not to be missed. I will look forward to reading more books by the author Julie McGowan.

  • BarbaraLynn
    2018-10-09 22:19

    I won this book in a first reads giveaway. I love historical fiction! I had heard of the train loads of children being taken to safety during WW2. The little town the characters went to sounds like every little town I have ever lived in, full of people with hearts of gold and full of busy bodies. I could identify with the main character, Lydia. My heart went out for little Amy and her situation. Little Arfur was so brave and would not give up on his mother. I give this book 5 stars because it was historically accurate and the fact that I worried about little Amy while I was at work and couldn't wait to get home to read more. The only problem I had was figuring out the meanings of some of the words. I figured out knickers and bloomers, but still have no idea what elevenses is. A dictionary at the back would be a good idea.

  • Debbie Roome
    2018-10-18 23:15

    Don’t Pass me By was a great read – especially as I have Welsh ancestry and the language and expressions used in the book were authentic and familiar. My mother grew up in England and has told me of the air raids and bomb shelters and Julie’s story captures the truth of this era so well. I loved the multiple story-lines and the way she wove from one to another. The characters were real and I enjoyed the book from beginning to end.

  • Gillian
    2018-09-30 22:31

    i won this book on Goodreads and i am so pleased. What a great book. They story took me in straight from the beginning. A nice mix of characters to keep you interested with some shocking goings on. Upset when the baby is dead in his arms and justice at the end. Will definately look for more books by this author. A great read.

  • Elizabeth Simon
    2018-09-28 22:32

    Brilliant book! I've been reading it on my way to and from work and I actually found myself looking forward to my daily train rides because of it! I've just finished it and I'm actually disappointed that the story is over. I'm going straight to buy the author's other books - her writing style is addictive!

  • Susan
    2018-10-08 06:22

    Another great read from Julie McGowan. With a dramatic opening, the story draws you in from the very beginning. I found myself racing through it. This book has it all - history, drama, romance and deftly-woven plotlines. I didn't want it to end!

  • marvin shults
    2018-09-22 02:17

    Wartime storyThis was a very well-written story of war time living in England. The characters were interesting, loving, ugly, sad,mean people. Pretty much like people today. Might not be good reading for anyone under 12 but everyone else should enjoy it.

  • Merissa Mangialaio
    2018-10-11 22:25

    Won this book in a goodread giveaway very excited I did!. I have never written a review of a book before so ill keep it simple. Enjoyed reading it from start to finish liked the characters great story. I defiantly will be recommending this book to family and friends!

  • Bettie☯
    2018-10-01 04:28