December 8, 2018
Dear Mrs. Bird by A J Pearce
Genre/Categories: Historical Fiction, WW11
Emmy Lake has two goals: to be useful in the war and to become a war correspondent.
Quite a Character. Emmy Lake is an adventurous and highly spirited young woman who accidentally becomes an assistant to Mrs. Bird, a well-known advice columnist for a women’s magazine. Emmy is also helping the war effort by volunteering three evenings a week as a telephone operator with the Auxiliary Fire Services. Her greatest dream is to become a war correspondent, and she hopes that her day job at the magazine will lead to an opportunity with the newspaper. As she devotes all her effort to writing and answering phones and helping to plan her best friend’s wedding, the bombs continue to fall and cause damage in their neighborhood. Emmy faces ethical dilemmas at work and after one especially devastating bomb drop, her friendship with her dear best friend, Bunty, also seems beyond repair. Will Emmy’s strengths and her impulsiveness be the cause of her greatest failures?
Early Amazon rating (December): 4.2 Stars
Light Hearted. Dear Mrs. Bird is a quick read and has quite a lighthearted tone for WW11 historical fiction. It has an old-fashioned vibe and uses the language of the time period effectively to enhance sense of place. Even though the tone is light, the realities of war are not avoided. Emmy is a delightful and capable young woman filled with spunk and an enthusiastic spirit. She approaches every problem and dilemma with a great deal of optimism and impulsiveness. In fact, she comes across as too cavalier sometimes and it kept me from forming a strong connection with the character. Emmy, though, has the best intentions, is willing to take risks to do the right thing, is a hard worker, idealistic, and a loyal, encouraging, and supportive friend.
Editing Choices. This falls under personal preference….one aspect of the book that is bothersome to me is the frequent use of capitalization to emphasize Certain Words or Phrases and inconsistent punctuation of dialogue. Once I notice strong stylistic elements like this, I can’t overlook it and it begins to affect my reading experience. It’s not necessarily negative, just distracting.
Plot. Dear Mrs. Bird is a page turner, and I was engaged by wondering what Emmy would do next, if they would be safe, how her actions at work would play out, and if the friendship could be saved. Although not necessarily a HEA (happily ever after) which for me saves it from the chick lit category, problems are neatly resolved and it’s inferred that the future might be bright.
Recommended for historical fiction fans that are looking for a ‘lighter’ read featuring a spunky, persistent, and independent woman. This would be an interesting book club selection and could be an appropriate gift for a woman on your holiday shopping list: a mother, grandmother, aunt, sister, or best friend. I think it’s an overall enjoyable and solid read.
My Rating: 3.5 Stars
Meet the Author, A J Pearce
AJ Pearce grew up in Hampshire and studied at the University of Sussex. A chance discovery of a 1939 woman’s magazine became the inspiration for her ever-growing collection and her first novel Dear Mrs Bird. She now lives in the south of England.
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Next week, I’ll post my review of The Dreamers by Karen Thompson Walker (releasing in January). Very different from my usual reads!
My Fall TBR
I FINISHED ALL the books on my Fall TBR list! Usually I can’t get to every book on my list, so I’m feeling a sense of accomplishment. My winter TBR will post on December 21.
Check Out My Gift Ideas For the Readers on Your Holiday Shopping List!
“Everyone Gets a Book!”
In movie news….
Reese Witherspoon to produce “Where the Crawdads Sing”!
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Do you like books that are written with a lighter tone for a change of pace?
Are you finding time to read in December?!
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[…] Dear Mrs. Bird by A.J. Pearce (pub date 7/3) ***UPDATE: 3.5 Stars. A light hearted read. Full Review Here. […]
Can’t wait to hear what you think of The Dreamers! I haven’t read it yet but ahhhh that cover!!
Spoiler: 4 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ unique and interesting 👍
Terrific review, Carol! I enjoyed Dear Mrs. Bird, too, and I have The Dreamers coming up. Can’t wait for your thoughts on it!
Thanks Jennifer! I hope you like The Dreamers! I found it engaging and different from my usual genres.
Thɑnks for finally talking about >Review: Deear Мrs.
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[…] Dear Mrs. Bird by A J Pearce […]
Hi Carol– I enjoyed Mrs. Bird– light reading, as you said, in the spirit of an old 40’s movie. But I liked the characters and am partial to mostly happy endings! And congratulations on tearing through your fall reading list! It was a hefty one– and I admire your intrepid reading! I’ve managed to read a few of them– thanks for the book inspiration! Just finished the Women in the Castle for our book club. Interesting to read three different women in post WWII Germany. OK, glad to be back in touch! Been consumed with Christmas, but as of yesterday, it’s just Larry and me in our now quiet house– and I have a stack of books to dig into! Hope you had a lovely Christmas! xo
Mrs Bird was the exact light reading I needed in December! I started a denser longer book and had to set it aside…..couldn’t muster the mental attentiveness! I have Women in the Castle on my TBR I think. Enjoy the quietness and your winter reading! I’m trying to catch up on ARCs in January.
Now’s the time to do it Carol! Loved catching up on your posts! xo
[…] Stars. (ARC) Light Historical Fiction (WW11, London). Author of Dear Mrs. Bird. Review coming August 10, […]
[…] this follow up to Dear Mrs. Bird, Emmeline Lake continues her journalism career as an advice columnist for Woman’s Friend […]
[…] Dear Mrs. Bird and Yours Cheerfully by AJ Pearce […]