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On The Table Read Magazine, “the best book magazine in the UK“, Just Moving On by Dia Webb offers a unique lens on the past through the eyes of Emily, a young teacher in North Devon during World War 2.

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Just Moving On

The world is preparing to commemorate the eightieth anniversary of D-Day in June 2024, and Dia Webb’s latest novel, Just Moving On, offers a timely and evocative exploration of the days leading up to this monumental event. Set against the backdrop of North Devon’s wild and sandy beaches, used by American soldiers for their preparations, the story weaves together the lives of locals and soldiers, many carrying sorrows, trauma or secrets.

In early 1944 thousands of American soldiers continue to engage in military maneuvers with landing craft and tanks on the North Devon sandy beaches. When will they move on and where will they go?

Against this wartime backdrop, Emily, a newly qualified teacher comes to convalesce at the farm near West Buckland owned by her aunt and uncle, after witnessing the bombing of Sandhurst Road School in Lewisham, South-east London and suffering a nervous breakdown. Although there is little risk of bombing in North Devon, farmers are struggling to produce the food demanded to feed the nation, and Land Army girls are called upon to make up the work force.

Emily makes new friends and joins the local orchestra, playing her violin alongside a beautiful and mysterious woman who practises medicine and lives in a remote cottage on the coast. Emily realises that she is not alone in feeling loss and meets others who have to learn to move on and pick up the pieces of their lives.

The friends walk to the beach. The beach is empty. The Americans have left. Doreen runs into the shallow waves and grabs a scrap of paper. It is the wrapping of a chocolate Hershey Bar.

From the bustling farms employing Land Army girls to the local orchestra attempting to maintain some semblance of normality, ‘Just Moving On’ paints a vivid picture of life amidst the chaos and devastation of World War II.

Dia Webb

In writing this novel, I was struck by the parallels between the uncertainty faced by my characters and all of the challenges we encounter today.

It is a stark reminder that, even in the darkest times, we can look to our ancestors for the path forward. Their bravery, cheerfulness and even their stoicism are all testaments to the ‘make do’ attitude that won the war. As the anniversary of D-Day approaches, I think we can all learn something very precious from those who went before us. I look at the novel not only as an entertaining read, but also as a beacon of remembrance for all those involved in the D-Day operations.

-Dia Webb

Dia Webb grew up and lives in North Devon and has a rich background in music and education. A graduate of The Guildhall School of Music, Webb has channelled her creative talents into writing, producing plays, pantomimes, songs, and now, compelling historical fiction.

With Just Moving On and its predecessor, Just Making Do, Webb explores the impact of World War II on her home region, drawing upon her personal connection to North Devon’s landscape and history. Married with two children and seven grandchildren, Webb’s storytelling is infused with a deep understanding of human resilience and the complexities of life during wartime.

Find more from Dia Webb now:

Just Moving On



Just Making Do



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