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Dear Mrs. Bird
by A. J. Pearce


Overview - This charming, irresistible debut novel set in London during World War II about a young woman who longs to be a war correspondent and inadvertantly becomes a secret advice columnist is "a jaunty, heartbreaking winner" ( People )--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
This charming, irresistible debut novel set in London during World War II about a young woman who longs to be a war correspondent and inadvertantly becomes a secret advice columnist is "a jaunty, heartbreaking winner" (People)--for fans of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and Lilac Girls.

Emmeline Lake and her best friend Bunty are doing their bit for the war effort and trying to stay cheerful, despite the German planes making their nightly raids. Emmy dreams of becoming a Lady War Correspondent, and when she spots a job advertisement in the newspaper she seizes her chance; but after a rather unfortunate misunderstanding, she finds herself typing letters for the formidable Henrietta Bird, renowned advice columnist of Woman's Friend magazine.

Mrs. Bird is very clear: letters containing any Unpleasantness must go straight into the bin. But as Emmy reads the desperate pleas from women who many have Gone Too Far with the wrong man, or can't bear to let their children be evacuated, she begins to secretly write back to the readers who have poured out their troubles.

"Fans of Jojo Moyes will enjoy AJ Pearce's debut, with its plucky female characters and fresh portrait of women's lives in wartime Britain" (Library Journal)--a love letter to the enduring power of friendship, the kindness of strangers, and the courage of ordinary people in extraordinary times. "Headlined by its winning lead character, who always keeps carrying on, Pearce's novel is a delight" (Publishers Weekly). Irrepressibly funny and enormously moving, Dear Mrs. Bird is "funny and poignant...about the strength of women and the importance of friendship" (Star Tribune, Minneapolis).

 
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.

 
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