Good Sons: A Novel of the Great War

Author(s): Greg Hall

Local Authors | NZ History

In early 1914 Frank Wilson and his two close friends, Tom Davis and Robert Sutherland, are growing up in Oamaru in the South Island of New Zealand. The coming war in Europe arouses the hopes and dreams of a generation of young men. The pressure becomes irresistible and one by one the boys become soldiers. Frank delays his decision but in 1916 a strange encounter shocks him into enlisting. After a rapid coming-of-age in the training camps of the North Island the novel moves to France. A reunion, the insanity of a love affair in the midst of a terrible war and a brutal event set Frank on course for the best and worst days of his young life. As he becomes a frontline soldier and experiences hard fighting, fate forces him to make an agonising decision. "Good Sons" is a poignant story of youth and war, love and loss, suffering and hope.


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"Good Sons captures the agony of the First World War. It is a multi-layered exploration of how New Zealanders responded to this first great conflict of the twentieth century and what it took to be a 'Good Son' during a time of war. In a compelling story told by a young man, Frank Wilson, it fully exposes 'the old lie' that the war was a glorious adventure"; Glyn Harper, Professor of War Studies, Massey University

Greg started writing around twenty years ago when his family links to WW1 and his growing knowledge of New Zealand's participation in the Great War took him to Gallipoli, France and Belgium and the profoundly emotional and evocative impact of the battlefields and war graves cemeteries. These visits moved him to record his emotions about the war through poetry and brought to light a deep desire to write. Greg had a career in banking and finance before opting out a few years ago to concentrate on his writing and 'Good Sons' is his first novel. He is a director of the Passchendaele Society which in 2017, is immersed in centenary commemorations of the apocalyptic Flanders battles of 1917. When not writing, his interests include friends and family, boating, walking and the music of Neil Young. Greg has three children and four grand-children and lives in Devonport with his partner, Carolyn, a former bookseller.

General Fields

  • : 9780473383787
  • : Mary Egan Publishing
  • : Mary Egan Publishing
  • : April 2017
  • : 230mm X 153mm X 22mm
  • : New Zealand
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Greg Hall
  • : Paperback
  • : 296