Dear Mrs. Bird: A Novel by AJ PearceDear Mrs. Bird: A Novel by AJ Pearce

Dear Mrs. Bird: A Novel

byAJ Pearce

Paperback | July 3, 2018

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“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.
Title:Dear Mrs. Bird: A NovelFormat:PaperbackDimensions:288 pages, 9 × 6 × 1.1 inPublished:July 3, 2018Publisher:ScribnerLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1982101105

ISBN - 13:9781982101107

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from So Good! Oh, do you know that delicious thrill you get a few pages into a new book - just knowing that it's going to be an absolutely wonderful read? That was the case with A.J. Pearce's debut novel - Dear Mrs. Bird. I loved the cover - those typewriter keys, colours and fashion style set the stage for the story within. 1940 London, England. With the war raging, everyone must Buckle Down and Do Their Part. Emmy Lake volunteers as a telephone operator with the Auxiliary Fire Services. She dreams of being a Lady War Correspondent as well. When she sees an ad for a position with a newspaper, she leaps at the chance. She gets the job, but it ends up being a typist position for an advice column in a women's magazine - Dear. Mrs. Bird. "Finally I gave what I hoped was a plucky Everything Is Absolutely Tip Top Smile. I had taken entirely the wrong job." Mrs. Bird is quite strict about what should be published - there is an Unacceptable Topics list. But Emmy feels bad about those whose letters go unanswered. You know what's coming next, don't you? Yes, she begins to reply..... (And before you think I've made some mistakes with capitalization in this post - they are part of Emmy's inner dialogue and denote important information.) Pearce has created an absolutely delightful character in Emmy. She's plucky, irrepressible and so darn likeable. The supporting cast including best friend Bunty, and the magazine staff are just as well drawn. Mrs. Bird is in a class of her own. Pearce has captured the stalwart attitude of the Brits in the war years. "My mother steadfastly referred to the war as This Silly Business, which made it sound like a mild fracas over a marmalade sponge." Pearce's descriptions of a London being bombed nightly, the damage, the loss of life, the rescue workers and more paint the backdrop of this tale and underscore the reality of those war years. Dear Mrs. Bird had me laughing out loud many, many times. As the book progressed, things did take a more serious turn. And I couldn't stop turning pages. I was so invested in Pearce's tale. I loved reading the letters, from the advice column as well as those Emmy writes to friends and family. Letter writing is such a lost art nowadays. Pearce says 'the inspiration for Dear Mrs. Bird began when I came across a 1939 copy of a women's magazine. It was a wonderful find - a glimpse into an era and world where I could read about everything from recipes for lamb's brain stew to how to knit your own swimwear.""Many of the readers' letters in Dear Mrs. Bird were inspired by the letters and advice, articles and features printed in those wartime magazine. I found them thought-provoking, moving and inspirational, and my admiration for the women of that time never stops growing....It is a privilege to look into their world and remember what incredible women and girls they all were." I absolutely adored Dear Mrs. Bird and I know you will too - definitely recommended.
Date published: 2018-07-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Meeting a fiesty gal named Emmeline Follow the daily events, adventures and trials of Miss Emmeline Lake, as she deals with life during the Blitz. A wonderfully charming book which shows us the lives of those who survived and thrived during that challenging time. From fashion to food to holding on to her dreams of being a writer, we get to know Miss Lake, and I know that I surely missed her as the last page was turned.
Date published: 2018-05-21

Editorial Reviews

"If The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society and Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day are up your alley, get ready to embrace the delightful Dear Mrs. Bird.”