Dear Mrs Bird by A.J. Pearce

Dear Mrs Bird

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 d...

Details Dear Mrs Bird

TitleDear Mrs Bird
Release DateApr 5th, 2018
PublisherPicador Books
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Fiction, War, World War II, European Literature, British Literature

Reviews Dear Mrs Bird

  • Fran
    Emmeline Lake takes the bus home from work carrying her handbag, gas mask, and an onion (for stew). She dreams of becoming a war correspondent or a journalist covering political intrigue. Discovering a newspaper ad for part-time work at The London Evening Chronicle, she believes the world is her oyster. Wrong! Part-time work will fit in with Emmy's job three nights a week as a volunteer telephone operator for the Auxiliary Fire Service. It is 194...
  • Tammy
    A fizzy, frothy little novel that takes place in London during WWII. That is, it’s frivolous until it isn’t. With bombings occurring nightly there is bound to be sadness and tears. The main character, Emmeline, is a shoe-in for Honeysuckle Weeks as Samantha Stewart in Foyle’s War. She has spunk to spare. Emmy lands a job and behaves in ways that are less than ethical despite her intention to be helpful. Filled with Britishisms of the 1940...
  • abby
    "I had taken entirely the wrong job."Emmy Lake *thinks* she's interviewing for a war correspondent job. Finally, she will become the hard hitting journalist she's always dreamed of. But she doesn't quite pay attention enough during her job interview to realize she's really taking a typist position at a stodgy women's magazine. Far from being on the front lines, she'll be producing copy of Henrietta Helps, an advice column that does not offer much...
  • Susan
    Emmeline Lake and her friend, Bunty, live in London. It is 1940 and the Germans are making rather a nuisance of themselves, but neither are downhearted. In fact, Emmy has big dreams of being a Lady War Correspondent and, when she sees an advert for part-time work at the London Evening Chronicle, she writes off with high hopes. However, before long, she realises that her Enthusiasm (there are a lot of Capital Letters in this book) has meant that s...
  • ❀⊱Rory⊰❀
    4 Stars. This one is charming.Full review to follow on March 22, 2018, two weeks before publication.Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for the ARC.
  • Cindy Burnett
    4.5 starsDear Mrs. Bird is a Gem of a Book. A.J. Pearce uses a clever writing style and capitalizes the protagonist Emmy Lake’s expressions that are Important or Exciting which makes for an entertaining and enjoyable read. As the book begins in 1940 London, Emmy shows up for a newspaper interview thinking the position is for a lady war correspondent when instead the position is to sort through letters written to a Dear Abby type named Mrs. Bird...
  • Rebecca Foster
    (3.5) If you loved The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, I have just the book for you: another feel-good World War II-set novel with characters you’ll love and cheer for. London, December 1940: Twenty-two-year-old Emmeline Lake dreams of being a Lady War Correspondent, but for now she’ll start by typing up the letters submitted to Henrietta Bird’s advice column in Woman’s Friend. All too quickly, though, the job starts to fee...
  • Cathy
    Dear Mrs. Bird opens in a jolly, lively style full of ‘chin up’ and ‘stiff upper lip’ spirit – a spirit of which the domineering (and let’s be honest, quite frightful) Mrs. Henrietta Bird would be proud. As far as Mrs. Bird is concerned, any problem can be resolved by showing the right amount of grit and by not giving in. However, beneath the spirit of ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’, the book demonstrates, through the letters sent to Wo...
  • Tania
    This was a very sweet story set in WWII. Initially I thought this was too sweet for my taste, but because the author did such a brilliant job with creating a sense of time and place I stuck with it. I am very glad I did, as the characters were warm and funny and in the end I understood that what I saw as sweetness was how the British nation survived the daily attacks, fear and loss. So although not my normal genre I loved learning more about this...
  • Anmiryam
    As you might expect, this was sweet, charming, more than a bit twee and I consumed the whole thing in a plane ride and a bit. I always read novels like this, which confirms my status as a less than literary reader. I bet, however, you have dirty little secrets of a less than highbrow life. Do you watch The Bachelor? Do you binge on HGTV? I'm sure not everything you read is on a par with Ali Smith (who is awesome). So there it is, you watch silly ...
  • Laura Kemp
    Dear Mrs Bird is simply gorgeous. It’s a war time romp of mishaps, comedy, fun and tragedy, spun deliciously as if it was made for a series. It’s perfect pick-you-up reading with compassion at its heart. A joy to read. I’d love to see it turned into a TV drama too.
  • Karen Whittard
    I absolutely loved this quirky, fun read. In this book we meet Emmeline who quits her job as a waitress to become a lady war correspondence. But when she applies for a job and gets it. Things are not quite what they seem. She has unwittingly taken a job to be a helper to a contacetous Mrs Bird. Who writes a self help column. But Mrs bird refuses to answer any letters relating to lots of subjects that she finds risqué. Deciding to take matters in...
  • Nancy
    This WW2 historical novel covers a lot of familiar ground but has a fresh twist and a lighter tone because of the principal character's career challenges . Instead of accepting disappointment when a job in journalism wasn't what she expected it to be, our protagonist takes a creative approach to her clerical position and the complications (and fun) ensue.The story has lots of light moments, but any novel set in London during the Blitz is going to...
  • Jessica Gilmore
    A few years ago I went on a writing retreat and one of the other people there mentioned the book she was working on - a book set in WW2 based around the problem page of a magazine. How interesting thinks I and forgets all about said book until the author pops up on Twitter having sold it as her debut. And this, dear readers, is that book. Let me just make it clear that a fleeting acquaintance three years ago hasn't influenced this review a jot. T...
  • Kate Moore
    I received this book as an advanced reading copy through work, not having a clue what to expect and not being particularly drawn in by the title. What I didn’t expect, was to be moved to tears of laughter and sadness — more so than any other book I’ve read this year. This book is simply stunning.Set in 1940s London, Emmy takes a job she hopes will be a step in the direction of ‘Lady War Correspondent,’ instead typing out letters for a s...
  • Rona
    Oh this is a truly lovely book. The sort of book you want to cuddle. It made me laugh and cry and laugh again. The characters were beautifully drawn and very relateable, the story was wonderfully original and the setting was brilliantly constructed. It is set at the start of WWII and follows the fortunes of Emmy, a young woman, who starts a job as an assistant to an agony aunt in a failing magazine. Through readers letters and Emmy's own experien...
  • Laura
    When I was growing up, we had Dear Abby in the newspaper. There was also Anne Landers. People would write letters in, about their troubles, and the advice columnists would well, give advice. Sometimes it was cleaver, sometimes sad, sometimes funny. To this day I still read advice columnists, and try to see if their answers match mine. In the UK, they were/are known as Agony Aunts, and in this book, there is one such advisor, who is very firmly se...
  • Lucy
    I could not put this book down from the moment I started it. Set against the background of the blitz, Emmy Lake aspires to be a journalist and is beyond excitement when she gains a job at the London Evening Chronicle - however, she's mistaken and the job is actually with its sister magazine Woman's Friend. Emmy is employed as a junior typist to Mrs Bird, who writes the advice column. Gradually Emmy starts to push against boundaries, and takes it ...
  • Kelly
    A lovely read showing the importance of fun, family and friendship in some of the hardest times. Dear Mrs Bird is filled with wonderful genuine characters and laugh out loud moments help offset the air raid and bombing events that must have been terrifying to experience and are described so vividly. The main character, Emmy, is hilarious and seems to be so genuine in her desire to help those people who write in with their problems despite probabl...
  • Beverley
    Easily the best book I have read this year! This wonderful novel drew me in instantly - I really couldn't put it down and was totally bereft to leave it behind at the finish. Emmy's WW2 London is so evocatively portrayed ( I absolutely loved the clever use of so many typical 1940s phrases) it had me smiling, laughing out loud and close to tears so many times. A feel good story despite all the death and destruction going on around. As Emmy would s...
  • Felicia
    A tribute to the brave women who were Left Behind during WWII. I can’t remember another book that had me laughing from one page and in tears the next. I wish there is a sequel because I’m not ready yet to let Emmy, Bunty, Kath, and Mr Collins go.
  • Grace J Reviewerlady
    Dear Mrs Bird sums up the spirit of the British people during WWII very neatly. The shortages, the sacrifices and the determination to keep going and 'do your bit' shine throughout this book.Emmeline Lake shares a London flat with her best friend Bunty who works for the War Office. Emmy dreams of working as a war correspondent and sees her interview at Launceston Press as a first step on the ladder. Whilst she daydreams her way through the interv...
  • Paul
    AJ Pearce’s debut novel Dear Mrs. Bird is a touching look into the lives of several twenty-somethings living in London amidst the blitz of 1940. The protagonist Emmy Lake has always wanted to enter the exciting world of journalism, and with the war on, she sees herself reporting in the most dangerous of locations. But the job she interviews for and accepts is far from dangerous and far from what she expected. Emmy’s new position entails combi...
  • Emma
    This was a delightful read and I loved every second of it. When Emmeline takes a new job, it is not what she expected, her ambitions of being a Lady War Correspondent are put on hold when she accepts a job as a typist at Woman’s Friend magazine. But this is an era of wartime pluck, so despite her disappointment Emmy throws herself into the job of typing up agony aunt letters. Quickly it becomes apparent that this magazine is not what it once wa...
  • Laura Tisdall
    Emmy Lake is determined to become a Lady War Correspondent, but finds herself as a general dogsbody on Woman's Friend instead, given the job of sorting through problem page letters for her intimidating boss, Mrs Bird. Mrs Bird refuses to answer 'Unacceptable Letters' containing what she calls 'unpleasantness' - references to sex, infidelity, divorce, pregnancy or even grief. Emmy is instructed to put such correspondence directly in the bin. How...
  • Camille
    I was drawn to the book by the vintage looking cover, and the fact it looked like it was epistolary. Then, the summary sounded interesting. There are so many WWII novels out there - like the Tudors, WWII appear to be a huge market for historical novels, and I'm not overly interested in them, but this sounded quite original.Dear Mrs Bird tells the story of Emmeline Lake, a young woman in her 20s in WWII London, who dreams of becoming a War Corresp...
  • Sophie Eminson
    To take a break from all the horror, murder and suspense I have been reading lately, I decided to take a gamble on Dear Mrs Bird. While this may have looked like the kind of book I would usually overlook, a lot of publishing professionals who I look up to had given it rave reviews, so I decided to try it out.The plot of this novel is that Emmeline Lake, in amidst the war gets a job typing up letters and responses on the advice page for an out-of-...
  • Cheryl
    Dear Mrs Bird is a great read. Its hard to believe that this is a debut novel, the author writes with a lot of skill and I really felt like I was in war time London. I love how the story is set in a woman's magazine and the attitude of trying to help people who still had their problems as well as being at war! There is a sense of togetherness and helping each other through the nightmare of being bombed. The bombing scenes are emotional and they r...
  • Sarah
    I was captured from the first paragraphs by the amusing situation comedy and the sunny spirit of the narrator, Emmeline. Then, in the middle, I got a little bogged down by several rather ponderous parts (too much introspection maybe?), which I feel could have been edited. The ending, however, was predictable and sweet. The story is told from an original angle, that of a young secretary but would-be war correspondent, who also volunteers most nigh...
  • Fiona Mccormick
    I loved this book! It is set in London during the Blitz with friends Emmy and Bunty having their first taste of freedom by living together and working in London. Emmy thinks she is set to become the next Lady War Correspondent in her new job, but it transpires that she is actually the assistant to formidable agony aunt Mrs Bird who won't entertain any queries which are in any way 'racy' or inappropriate'. I loved the way that the book gave such a...