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Dear Mrs. Bird
by A. J. Pearce


Overview - "A marvelous treat. Charming and delightful." --Nina Stibbe, author of Love, Nina

An irresistible debut set in London during World War II about an adventurous young woman who becomes a secret advice columnist-- a warm, funny, and enormously moving story for fans of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and Lilac Girls Read more...


 
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More About Dear Mrs. Bird by A. J. Pearce
 
 
 
Overview
"A marvelous treat. Charming and delightful." --Nina Stibbe, author of Love, Nina

An irresistible debut set in London during World War II about an adventurous young woman who becomes a secret advice columnist-- a warm, funny, and enormously moving story for fans of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and Lilac Girls.

London, 1940. Emmeline Lake is Doing Her Bit for the war effort, volunteering as a telephone operator with the Auxiliary Fire Services. When Emmy sees an advertisement for a job at the London Evening Chronicle, her dreams of becoming a Lady War Correspondent suddenly seem achievable. But the job turns out to be working as a typist for the fierce and renowned advice columnist, Henrietta Bird. Emmy is disappointed, but gamely bucks up and buckles down.

Mrs. Bird is very clear: letters containing any Unpleasantness must go straight in the bin. But when Emmy reads poignant notes from women who may have Gone Too Far with the wrong men, or who can't bear to let their children be evacuated, she is unable to resist responding. As the German planes make their nightly raids, and London picks up the smoldering pieces each morning, Emmy secretly begins to write back to the readers who have poured out their troubles.

Prepare to fall head over heels for Emmy and her best friend, Bunty, who are gutsy and spirited, even in the face of a terrible blow. The irrepressible Emmy keeps writing letters in this hilarious and enormously moving tale of friendship, the kindness of strangers, and ordinary people in extraordinary times.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781501170065
  • ISBN-10: 1501170066
  • Publisher: Scribner Book Company
  • Publish Date: July 2018
  • Page Count: 288
  • Dimensions: 9 x 6.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Fiction > Historical - General
Books > Fiction > Coming of Age
Books > Fiction > Humorous - General

 
BookPage Reviews

Do your part

Emmeline Lake has big dreams. She’s already doing what she can to support the war effort as a volunteer telephone operator for the Auxiliary Fire Service. She writes frequent letters to keep her boyfriend up to date and in high spirits while he’s fighting Hitler and the Nazis. But she wants to do even more: Emmy dreams of becoming a war correspondent.

She’s so busy dreaming, in fact, that she doesn’t pay attention during her interview for a job she spotted in The London Evening Chronicle. Emmy daydreams of seeing her byline under important reports from the front. Instead, she’s hired as a typist for another publication: Woman’s Friend. Emmy will spend her days typing up tough-love advice from Mrs. Henrietta Bird, author of the column “Henrietta Helps.”

The problem? Emmy actually wants to help. Mrs. Bird sends any letters containing “unpleasantness” to the rubbish bin. But as Emmy sorts through the mail, she sets aside such letters. Those readers deserve a response, she reasons, and it should be more thoughtful than the harsh advice Mrs. Bird doles out.

So Emmy writes them back. And signs her boss’s name.

It seems like a small offense in the context of World War II. London has so much more to worry about. But as Emmy continues to sort through her boss’s mailbag, she finds that she can provide some hope in the midst of the world’s darkest time.

In Dear Mrs. Bird, debut novelist AJ Pearce draws inspiration from women’s magazine advice columnists of the era. The result is a charming story full of as much pluck and grit as its protagonist.

 

This article was originally published in the July 2018 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

 
BAM Customer Reviews