I never tire of World War II fiction. My late grandparents were young people in the 1940s. Both grandfathers fought in WWII, and I feel like I can visit this time with them through books. Dear Mrs. Bird is a lovely read!
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
4 utterly charming stars to Dear Mrs. Bird! ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
So how does Dear Mrs. Bird eke out a name for herself in a sea of WWII reads? The answer: with humor and finding joy even amid the most turbulent times.
It is 1940 in London, and adorable and lovable character Emmy Lake is seeking the job of her dreams, war correspondent. She currently has her hands full as a volunteer telephone operator with the Auxiliary Fire Services and her unfulfilling current job. She finds an advertisement in a magazine that may be the ticket to her next career.
Emmy takes the job knowing little about it and finds herself a typist to an advice columnist, Mrs. Bird. Emmy needs the job, so she perseveres. Mrs. Bird is a strict enforcer of her rules, and the primary one is that no unpleasant letters will be addressed in the column; however, Emmy finds this impossible to follow. Her heart opens up when she reads the words of these women, and she feels their loneliness, longing, and pain.
With nightly bombings and a war at happening all around her, Emmy writes these women back on her own.
As if you could not tell already, Emmy is a character to adore, as is her endearing best friend, Bunty. Dear Mrs. Bird is about true friendship, warmth, and generosity, in the most frightful and horrendous of times. It is a charming and uplifting read.
Thank you to Scribner for the ARC. Dear Mrs. Bird is now available!
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.