Our Last Goodbye by Shirley Dickson
A heart-wrenching, poignant and totally unforgettable tale of a young woman who must finally face up to the secret she has hidden for a lifetime. A beautiful World War Two novel for fans of Wives of War, Lisa Wingate and Diney Costeloe, that will have you reaching for the Kleenex.
1943, England: On a foggy night during the blackout, twenty-five-year-old May Robinson’s mother is tragically killed. Heartbroken, May isn’t sure she has the strength to harbour the secret she has kept for so many years – a secret her mother devoted her life to hiding, that would tear their broken family even further apart.
Vowing to make her mother proud, May trains to be a nurse at Edgemoor General hospital in South Shields, against a backdrop of wailing air-raid sirens and the eternal drone of enemy planes. Tending to wounded, ashen-faced soldiers, fighting to save lives, May is immediately drawn to kind-hearted Richard Bentley, who works tirelessly alongside her. He has sparkling brown eyes, and makes her laugh.
In the darkest of days, amongst death and despair, May and Richard are beacons of hope for one another. But why isn’t he fighting in the war like thousands of other brave young men?
May knows how she longs to escape her own past, and her mother’s. In this perilous time of such uncertainty, she finds herself asking – how well do they really know each other? And when the shocking truth of May’s secret comes to light, just as the war comes too close to home, can their love survive the impossible?
Our Last Goodbye is another unputdownable and emotional World War II story by Shirley Dickson. I didn’t realize, at first, when I picked up this story to read that it is actually a sequel to The Orphan Sisters, which I absolutely loved. This time around we learn more about May and her life during the war that begins shortly after the ending of The Orphan Sisters.
Shirley Dickson has such a way of easily drawing you into a story with her beautifully written text that is both honest and heartfelt. I really felt as if I was transported back in time and it reminds me of certain phrasing my grandmother would say and the old black and white movies my grandmother would make me watch on the weekends when I was young. Dickson really captures the time period and her writing feels so genuine and flows so effortlessly and beautifully.
I really loved May’s story and found her to be such a sweet and innocent character that always sees the good in people even if she was a bit naive at times. Reeling from her mother’s death, May makes a journey of discovery when she decides to join the war effort and become a nurse. Here is where the story really takes off and May slowly starts to come into her own and how she learns what she is really capable of achieving. In the process, May meets a man, Richard, who she can’t seem to stay away from or stop thinking of. Will may ever find her place in this world and a love unlike one she has ever known or felt?
Our Last Goodbye will take you on a rollercoaster of emotions. Once again Shirley Dickson has captured my heart in her stories. Dickson is truly a gifted author who will pull every emotion out of you while reading her books. This one is definitely another 5 star read for me and another top book of the year. Even though this is a continuation of sorts, it can definitely be read as a standalone, but I would seriously pick up Dickson’s first book, The Orphan Sisters, and immerse yourself in these powerful moving stories.
About the author
Shirley Dickson is the author of The Orphan Sisters, her debut novel.
She lives under the big skies of Northumberland with her husband, family and lucky black cat.
She wrote her first short story at the age of ten for a magazine competition. She didn’t win but was hooked on writing for a lifetime.
For many years she wrote poetry and short stories and got many rejection slips.
Shirley decided to get serious about writing novels when she retired.
She signed with Bookouture in 2018 for a two-book deal. She has written two stirring World War Two historical novels.
Shirley says she is a prime example of ‘never give up on your dream.’