"Wave Me Goodbye" by Ruby Jackson, a Scottish writer living in Angus, is the second in the author's series of books dealing with the lives and experiences of four friends during the Second World War. Grace, Sally, and twins Daisy and Rose have grown up together in Dartford in Kent. Each finds their own way of dealing with the dramatically changed and changing world around them. Sally is destined for a career as an actress, despite the stage school she is about to join closing down for the duration, while Rosie goes to work in a munitions factory. The first book in the series, "Churchill's Angels" followed Daisy, who felt obliged stay at home and work in the family greengrocers shop until leaving to pursue an unexpected career in aviation.
In "Wave Me Goodbye" we follow the story of orphaned Grace, who joins the Women's Land Army as a way of escaping an unhappy home life with her uncaring sister, and a hopeless love life. She's always had a soft spot for Sam Petrie, the older brother of Daisy and Rose, but she knows he's in love with Sally. Grace's life is in many ways a hard one, and she finds herself making enemies as well as friends as she goes through training, then finds herself working on the home farm of a country estate in Bedfordshire. She later moves to the same estate's farm in East Lothian in Scotland and here she at last begins to find her place in the world, and to understand what she really wants from life. But will she achieve it?
Grace's story is beautifully told, and her arduous life is sufficiently punctuated with incident to keep you turning the page. The passage of time means that few readers will have lived through the events described in the book and be able to recall them in any detail, but most readers will have an idea of what Britain was like in the early years of the Second World War. This makes it important that the background feels exactly right. Ruby Jackson's historical setting is superbly drawn and totally believable, which adds much to a thoroughly good read.