Goodreads blurb: A charming, irresistible debut novel 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, bombs are falling. Emmy 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 seem suddenly achievable. But the job turns out to be typist to the fierce and renowned advice columnist, Henrietta Bird. Emmy is disappointed, but gamely bucks up and buckles down.
Mrs Bird is very clear: Any letters containing Unpleasantness—must go straight in the bin. But when Emmy reads poignant letters from women who are lonely, may have Gone Too Far with the wrong men and found themselves in trouble, 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 letters back to the women of all ages who have spilled out their troubles.
Prepare to fall head over heels with Emmy and her best friend, Bunty, who are spirited and gutsy, even in the face of events that bring a terrible blow. As the bombs continue to fall, the irrepressible Emmy keeps writing, and readers are transformed by AJ Pearce’s hilarious, heartwarming, and enormously moving tale of friendship, the kindness of strangers, and ordinary people in extraordinary times.
“I told myself we could all get blown up by tomorrow so we might just as well enjoy ourselves.” -Dear Mrs. Bird
Dear Mrs. Bird isn’t your typical WWII novel. It’s about the civilians who kept their country running while Hitler wreaked havoc on the world. It highlights the strength that carried these people through their day to day, creating hope, even in the most dire circumstances. The serious subject matter isn’t undermined by the lighthearted tone, instead it showcases the optimism and sheer will to appreciate life in the face of devastation.
I fell in love with these characters and their stories and was especially interested in how they handled day to day life and problems in the middle of the war. The main character, Emmy, is the kindest, most wholesome girl I have ever read about. Her conscience is almost a character in itself! She is faithful and brave and her loyalty knows no bounds.
The narration itself was captivating–the accents were incredibly well done and the enthusiasm and emotion were very accurately portrayed. I would suggest this book, audio or physical, to anyone who likes historical fiction and maybe wants a break from some of the heaviness this genre can carry. Get your own copy of Dear Mrs Bird here!