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Literary Friday: Dear Mrs. Bird

Friday, July 19, 2019

Happy Literary Friday, My Lovelies!  I must confess that I have not been reading many novels this summer.  I've been reading more about art, Etsy, and camera manuals!

But I did finish this delightful book a couple of weeks ago:  Dear Mrs. Bird by AJ Pearce.  This books is a good one set during the London Blitz.  It's the perfect vacation read, so pick up a copy for your last minute summer trips to the beach or lake.

According to Goodreads:

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. 

My Review:

This is the cutest story, and I love Emmy to pieces.  She is brave, fiesty, and sassy, and she has enough confidence to stop even Hitler in his tracks!  But she is so disappointed when she realizes the part time job at the London Evening Chronicle isn't for the paper itself, but rather for a ladies' magazine owned by the paper.  As Mrs. Bird's assistant, it's her job to sort through Mrs. Bird's letters from readers seeking her sage advice.  Ironically, Mrs. Bird abhors all Unpleasantness, and she won't abide the magazine's reuptation being sullied by inappropriate topics.  This leaves a scant few letters Mrs. Bird will consider for the column.  Emmy decides to take matters into her own hands unbeknownst to Mrs. Bird.

Emmy volunteers as a telephone operator for the Auxiliary Fire Services, and she works literally with a tin hat on her head as bombs explode all around the city.  She witnesses a brave rescue by one of the firefighters one night, but it angers her because she thinks that one of the men (her best friend Bunty's fiancĂ©) is reckless during the rescue.  The confrontation cause a rift between Emmy and Bunty as a tragic event threatens to end their friendship forever.

Although there is plenty of humor in the story, it's also suspenseful with plenty of action. The setting during the height of the London Blitz, broken promises, conflict, remorse for words not spoken, and clandestine letter reading and writing kept me turning pages well into the early morning hours.  It's a fantastic historical, and if you enjoy World War II fiction, I highly recomend it.  I love discovering new authors, and AJ Pearce is a fantastic new voice in literature: It's hard to believe that this is her debut novel.

I purchased this book at my local Indie bookstore.

If you would like to order a copy from your local independent bookstore, please use my affiliate IndieBound link below.

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The above link is for the paperback edition.

Until next time...

Happy reading!
Ricki Jill


  1. I used to inhale any WWII fiction I could find, this sounds like a good one!
    Thanks RJ,

  2. oh, this sounds fantastic Ricki Jill!!! I definitely will read this one, thank you!


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I'm Ricki Jill. Welcome! I'm honored that you're reading my blog. I enjoy sharing my creative lifestyle @ The Bookish Dilettante. For more information about my blog, please read the Start Here page. Thank-you for stopping by, and I hope you'll consider following me via email.

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