Dear Mrs Bird
By AJ Pearce
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.
I wasn’t planning on reading this novel, but on holiday I ran out of books and my mum had finished this and said it was good… she wasn’t wrong, this book was brilliant!!! I loved everything about it and I will tell you why.
The story is set in London during World War 2 and all about Emmy Lake’s life. She is doing a lot for the war effort already by volunteering at the Fire Station but she needs a well paid job too. She finds the perfect job working in a newspaper, she dreams up thoughts of her reporting about the war and really getting into the thick of it, maybe putting her life on the line. When she turns up to the paper she finds out the job she actually applied for is not for the paper… it’s for a women’s magazine that is located in the same building, working for a very unorthodox Mrs Bird sorting through Agony Aunt letters…
Mrs Bird will not take any “unpleasantness” but most of the letters they receive are from very worried young girls, wives, girlfriends and women they all have very serious and some harrowing problems and questions for Mrs Bird. Most letters have to get thrown out because of their “unpleasantness” and this causes Emmy to feel really awful and terribly upset. She doesn’t think it’s fair these poor women writing in pouring their hearts out just get ignored, so what does she do?
The book is more than just Emmy working in the magazine, it is about home life, her friendships, relationships, family and how the war effects everyone and everything. This book made me laugh out loud and also made me cry it is written so beautifully very warm hearted, and real. I felt like I was there with Emmy every step of the way. What I really loved about the book was the tone of voice everyone had, you could hear their posh old british accents and after reading a few chapters I wanted to start talking the same.
I have always loved books about the war, this one was so original, fun, sad, and packed full of drama. I can’t wait to read the sequel and see what Emmy gets up to next!
Have you read Dear Mrs Bird? Did you enjoy it as much as me? Thanks for reading : ) Katie x