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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Now is the Hour (Follies Book 1)
Format: Kindle Edition|Change

Now is the Hour written by Hilary Green for me was another wonderful read by one of my favourite authors. This book tells the story of four friends who say goodbye to each other on the day war is declared between Germany and United Kingdom. As each of the friends says goodbye they do not know will they every see each other again.
This is the first book in a series of four and I fully recommend you read the four books as the stories connect throughout.
Each character had their own strengths and quirks but what connected them was the love of performing for an audience, they do not realise that their days of performing will not be over quite just yet.
The main characters are Richard, Felix, Guy but known as Merry and of course the beautiful Rose. And as we follow each of them I was on the edge of my seat waiting to see will they survive the many tribulations the war has brought to them.
Why I liked this book it showed each character not only at their weakest but when bravery was needed they had to show it in their own way. Part of the book was based in London when the Blitz was taking place, but for me the real heartbreaking story was how the author showed not only the suffering of the men who were caught up in the evacuation of Dunkirk but through the main character Richard the suffering of the French was shown through his eyes and it was hard to understand how the German Airforce could simply shoot down the innocent refugees even the children were not protected from their wrath. This is one book which I know will stay in my head for a long time as the writing was addictive and Hilary Green has a wonderful gift of showing history through fiction which made this book extra special.
If you have an interest in the Second World War this is a wonderful read and with each turn of the page, each character narrated their own story and such a story they had to tell.
Now is the Hour is a fantastic read and one I am happy to recommend. The full series is as follows.
1. Now is the Hour (Follies Book 1)
2. They Also Serve (Follies Book 2)
3. Theatre of War (Follies Book 3)
4. The Final Act (Follies Book 4)
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on 26 August 2017
Really good read following several people through the start of WWII well researched & written to make an interesting book
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 31 August 2011
Now Is The Hour is the first of the 4 follies books this is not my usual type of book, and nor have I read any books by this author, but I'm happy to say I really enjoyed it. Set at the start of the 2nd world was this book follows 4 main characters In London, the country side (where one of the characters becomes a land girl) and France. The book includes forbidden love and friendship, war, and people involved with the resistance. Each character follows a different path through the war, some faring better than others. This book is a easy read with interesting characters and flowed really well throughout. I enjoyed this book so much that I intend to get the other 3, to follow them through to see what happens to the main characters
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on 27 March 2010
I stumbled on this book by chance but loved it. I know quite a bit about World War 2 but this novel took me into new territory. It was cleverly crafted to engage our sympathies and then keep us turning the pages. The characters were very vivid and immediately engaged my sympathies so I wanted to know how they would fare as the war changed everyone's lives. Thoroughly enjoyable, I raced through it and so I was delighted that there were 3 more to enjoy. Highly recommended for anyone that likes a good story, warm and human characters combined with historically accurate background and a well-told storyline.
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on 4 June 2012
The story begins in 1939 when war has been declared on Germany, following Hitler's invasion of Poland.

It charts the lives, and loves of Rose, Felix, Merry and Richard, four members of a group of entertainers known as The Follies, until the war curtails this life.

Rose, a dancer, is in love with Richard but won't marry him because they're from different backgrounds. A foot injury threatens her career and the book follows her in London during the Blitz and as a land girl in Dorset, working for Matthew, a farmer who loves her and proposes. Not knowing what has happened to Richard, will she or won't she?

Distraught Richard - a trained opera and later cabaret singer joins the Army, misses out on rescue, is wounded at Dunkirk, and becomes a prisoner of war. By the end of the book he's back home and determined to find Rose and pop the question again.

Felix Lamont (real name Ned Mountjoy), magician and distinguished Spitfire pilot and "Merry" Guy Merryweather, concert pianist turned Forces Entertainment Co-ordinator, are both gay and become close when a tragedy involving Felix, draws them together.

You'll need to read the second Follies novel "They Also Serve" to find out what happens when the foursome meet up again in Dorset at Christmas 1940.

Having read this after the other books, I already knew the outcome. However, "Now is the Hour" is entertaining and readable, either as a stand-alone or as part of The Follies quartet. The characters are well-drawn and likeable without being perfect and the description of Blitz bomb damages requires no imagination.

I'm now curious about the pre and post-war lives of Rose, Felix, Merry and Richard. Any scope for further tales?
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on 12 October 2009
I enjoy books set in the wartime era and this book certainly did not disappoint. It was enjoyable, authentic and with lots of different characters with whom you could relate. Also, it was not set in the same place as the chapters were about different characters, some of whom were in London, some evacuated, and some in France which made for gripping reading. I liked the theatre theme and now know a bit more about how ENSA worked during the war. Hilary Green certainly did her research with this book. As this book is part of a series, when I finished it I could not wait to start the next one and will certainly be reading the rest in the series. The characters become almost like friends and I am looking forward to see what happens to them all. A thoroughly good read and a book I found I did not want to put down.
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VINE VOICEon 16 February 2013
Hilary Green is a new author to me so based on a recommendation I thought I'd give it a try and The Follies seemed like an ideal place to start as it is set and WWII. A bit different to others that I've read about the services and the resistance this is a mix really - it follows four individuals who were part of an entertainment act up to 1939. I was enthralled with all the characters and the flow of the book right from the first one to the last. Would definitely recommend it to others.
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on 6 September 2012
Found this book in a charity shop and bought it on impulse. Absolutely loved it!

A really heartwarming story, and the characters are so likeable. A well written story that really evokes the feeling of WWII.

Will definitely be reading the rest of this series, the cliffhanger ending really has me gripped!!
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on 27 May 2010
bought this series for my mother for Christmas and she loved it, problems arose when i tried to get her book three of the series {theatre of war} which is described on amazon,and most other stockists,Now is the Hour (Follies 1) as out of stock, I found out after months of trying to obtain it that it is out of print, so beware if you buy the follies series by hilary green it may take you longer than you expect to finish.Now is the Hour (Follies 1)
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on 24 September 2012
Brilliant book, could not put it down ,I have now read follies 1.2.3.and 4 More books like this please. As a reader of this era I hope there will be more to follow.
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