Five Star, Jul 2002, 25.95, 320 pp.
In April 1941, the Ohio Selective Service Board sends a “Greetings” letter to an elated Jack Andrews. Feeling a bit embarrassed because he looks forward to joining the military, Jack tells his girlfriend, an upset Ginny Fairfax that he will be home in a year. Her younger sister Carey seems more mature about Jack's situation so he keeps to himself his belief that America is probably going to join the war and he will serve a lot longer than one year.
Jack is stationed in Hawaii when the Japanese attack Pearl Harbor. He sees combat and his one-year of duty turns into four years at war with the thought of seeing his Ginny keeping him alive. However, back at the home front a bored Ginny seeks solace when and where she can and that is not in Jack's letters home, which to her describe much less than the ones he sends to her younger sibling. What will happen to this couple so in love before the war when Jack returns home to his Ginny after seeing the underbelly of the world while she remained a good time Charlotte?
GOODBYE DEAR, I'LL BE BACK IN A YEAR is an exciting World War II drama that provides incredible insight into the period as few novels have. The story line paints a powerful picture especially in the American Midwest during the war. Jack and Carey are wonderful characters, but Ginny seems too shallow as if the Greatest Generation contained a loser amongst these heroes. Still, Patricia Abbott provides a deeply enlightened look at a bygone era of champions.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner