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Dear Mrs Bird

(Dear Mrs. Bird #1)

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  36,756 ratings  ·  5,216 reviews

London, 1941. Amid the falling bombs Emmeline Lake dreams of becoming a fearless Lady War Correspondent. Unfortunately, Emmy instead finds herself employed as a typist for the formidable Henrietta Bird, the renowned agony aunt at Woman’s Friend magazine. Mrs Bird refuses to read, let alone answer, letters containing any form of Unpleasantness, and definitely not those from

Paperback, 309 pages
Published April 5th 2018 by Picador Books
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Ebony Rae I did not find Dear Mrs.Bird to be at all Juvenile. I would have considered it appropriate as a YA book but I also dont think its at all misclassified…moreI did not find Dear Mrs.Bird to be at all Juvenile. I would have considered it appropriate as a YA book but I also dont think its at all misclassified as an adult book. I think there is alot of enthusiasm, Innocence and optimism in this book that people arent accustomed to reading and therefore associate with immaturity or a "YA" categorization.. Honestly I think the world could use more books with those qualities. ;) (less)
Trudy Nothing graphic at all. Just the facts ma'am - just the facts. It's about how they managed to live a normal life as much as possible despite the const…moreNothing graphic at all. Just the facts ma'am - just the facts. It's about how they managed to live a normal life as much as possible despite the constant air raids. (less)

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Average rating 3.78  · 
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Angela M

With a blend of lightheartedness and a dose of the heartbreaking reality of wartime, A.J. Pierce gives recognition to the women at home during WWII in this story taking place during the London blitz. Emmeline Lake’s lofty ambition to be a war correspondent isn’t meant to be when she finds out the job she applied for as a junior secretary for The Evening Chronicle was actually for a weekly magazine called Woman’s Friend, working for Henrietta Bird. She’s a straight laced advice columnist who will
Mar 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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’s, I could have Done Without the capitalizations which I ...more
Feb 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 1940. London is being blitzed regularly by the Luftwa ...more
May 21, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dear Mrs. Bird (Dear Mrs. Bird #1) by A.J. Pearce (Author), Anna Popplewell (Narrator)

In preparation for reading Yours Cheerfully (Dear Mrs. Bird #2), I listened to the Dear Mrs. Bird audiobook. We follow Emmeline Lake through the perils of living in 1940 London. Everyone is hurting in one way or another. Bombs are dropping somewhere, every night. Food is scarce and everyone has lost someone they know. Twenty three year old Emma is doing her part of the war effort, working at her day job but als
Jul 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, "Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” - Fred Rogers

All in all, this is a story about the helpers of World War 2 - amongst all the atrocities, there was a bit of light in those who came to the rescue of others.

The author drew inspiration for the book after finding an advice column in a women’s magazine from 1939 (love this so much!). AJ Pearce has done some beautiful justice to th
Amalia Gkavea
''Μrs Bird says if people get themselves into a silly pickle, they've only themselves to blame.''

London is trying to survive in the middle of the Blitz. The Londoners are doing their best to go on with their lives, amidst the devastating results of the air raids. A young woman, Emmeline, wants to become a war correspondent. However, she is stuck in the ''headquarters'' of a dying magazine, typing letters addressed to Mrs. Bird, a formidable editor who gives advice on everything. Everything t
Lindsay - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews
3 stars. Charming. Witty. Entertaining.

This was a light hearted romp in 1940’s London that centered around Emmeline (Emmy) Lake, a strong and determined young woman doing her part to help the war effort. Emmy finds herself employed as the typist for an eccentric and outrageous advice columnist, Mrs. Bird. While the job isn’t exactly what Emmy had hoped it would be, she puts forth her best effort and tries to help improve the columns dying fan base.

The novel gives interesting insight into a women
DEAR MRS. BIRD by A.J. PEARCE was an absolutely wonderful, charming, fun, and for the most part an all around light-hearted read that immediately grabbed my attention and had me totally engaged right to the very end. Although there were definitely some very emotional, moving and heartbreaking scenes though that pulled at my heartstrings.

A.J. PEARCE delivers an intriguing and well-written tale here with very interesting, real, and loveable characters. The story was told from the perspective of Em
Jun 20, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This story shows us the rolls of women in wartime Britain during the early 1940’s. A young Emmeline, who works a couple part time jobs, one at the fire station to answer calls after bombs from Hitler go off on the city. She gets a third job at a newspaper in hopes of it being as a wartime journalist, but she is disappointed when it is to help out a Mrs Bird who writes an advice column to people who send in letters.
This is also a story of friendship, and you get a good feel for what everyday life
Elyse  Walters
May 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Quirky cast of characters...
feisty courageous gals in wartime add charm to horrific true events during WWII.

Over 40,000 civilians were killed by Luftwaffe bombings during the war. Another 87,000 seriously injured...
The Blitz was a German bombing against Britain in 1940 and 1941 during WWII.
The Blitz was Hitler’s attempt to bring the British to their knees..... yet British ‘character’ and ‘women’ were underestimated. Hitler overlooked the countries secret weapon: the brave women who refused to
How did I miss this one when it first came out? I ABSOLUTELY loved this charming and "light" WWII novel. Although on the lighter side there were definitely some sad and emotional moments.

The lead character Emmeline (Emmy) takes on a job at a woman's magazine (mistakenly thinking she is working for the prestigious London Evening Chronical.) She begins working for the overpowering Mrs. Bird who is an old-fashioned advice columnist. Emmy must weed thru all the letters that Mrs. Bird receives and o
Holly  B
Jun 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A charming story about Emmeline Lake who accidentally takes the wrong job.

I think Emmy's enthusiasm for becoming a reputable World War II correspondent clouded her understanding of the job description at the London Evening Chronicle.  I loved her optimism and how upbeat she felt even after realizing she was only hired as a typist for a woman's advice column.

Her uptight boss, Mrs. Bird was anything but an endearing lady.  She was overbearing and wanted Emmy to trash all letters containing wha
4.5 Stars

”We'll meet again
Don't know where
Don't know when
But I know we'll meet again some sunny day
Keep smiling through
Just like you always do
'Till the blue skies drive the dark clouds far away

“So will you please say hello
To the folks that I know
Tell them I won't be long
They'll be happy to know
That as you saw me go
I was singing this song”

--”We’ll Meet Again,” Vera Lynn, Songwriters: Hughie Charles / Ross Parker

Overflowing with charm and humour, Dear Mrs. Bird is a treat as sweet as that favour
I really expected and wanted to love this novel, as its main character is a young woman doing her bit for the war effort, during the WWII.

Unfortunately, I found it predictable, overwritten, over-explained, and, generally speaking, I found our heroine, Emmeline Lake, overbearing and too earnest.

Dear Mrs Bird should have been right up my alley and I was disappointed it wasn't the good lighter novel I was so desperate to find. I got bored and skimmed a lot.

I will say this, Dear Mrs Bird could easi
"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 of her dreams. But as she daydreams through her job interview, she misses that 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 in the way of advice at all. Henrietta refuses to deal any reader problems
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
4 utterly charming stars to Dear Mrs. Bird! ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

I never tire of World War II fiction. I say it in many of my reviews, but for posterity, 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.

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 chara
Lucy Langford
This book is heartwarming and mostly uplifting, set in the grim times of the blitz. It pays homage to the women who volunteered and tried to go about their daily lives in London during WWII.

Emmeline Lake is an ambitious young woman with her own desire to be a war correspondent, especially when a junior secretarial job opens up at The Evening Chronicle, she believes she is on her way to achieving her dreams. However, what she has actually applied for is Woman's Friend, a different magazine,
Oct 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Set in London in 1940, the story relates the war time experiences, trials and tribulations of Emmy Lake and her best friend Bunty.

This is a delightful and often very funny book mostly due to the very entertaining characters. I very much enjoyed the descriptions of London during the Blitz and the way the people carried on regardless and helped each other cope in the face of terrible difficulties. Eventually of course these difficulties arrived at Emmy and Bunty's door and then I reached for the
Brenda ~Traveling Sisters Book Reviews
Norma, Lindsay and I read Dear Mrs. Bird with our Traveling Friends and we all were immediately drawn into this charming, heart-breaking and heart-warming story. Things start off chirpy when we first meet ambitious, chipper, and optimistic Emmy and we were drawn into the hilarious misunderstandings, witty dialog, meddling characters and refreshing lighter tone to the story.

A.J. Pearce does a great job giving a voice to the women at the home front though letters to an advice columnist. We see ho
Aug 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
An utterly charming book, with a tear and a smile, and a fun story too! 'I say old chap', Emmeline Lake is one feisty and courageous young woman indeed! Entertaining and fun, while also heartbreaking, this quick read and therefore four shining stars! More to follow as usual, recommended. ...more
Jun 02, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
I’ve been meaning to read this, but getting the second in the series (Yours Cheerfully) through NetGalley bumped it up my TBR queue. This is a moving story about a young woman in London during WWII. Emmeline is so anxious to get a job as a junior journalist at a newspaper that she fails to truly read the help wanted ad or ask the appropriate questions at her interview. Which is how she comes to be a secretary for Mrs. Bird, the advice columnist for a failing women’s magazine. Mrs. Bird, being of ...more
Mar 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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 she has rushed in without thinking. Rather than fin ...more
Susan's Reviews
I love it when an author writes in an honest, true voice. This is, in equal measures, a laugh-out-loud and grope-for-your-hanky story that will have you glued to each well-written page.

The first two chapters inundated you with all kinds of description and information, but, for me, the rest of the novel just zoomed by at a breathless pace. Talk about action-packed! I really cared about the characters and admired Emmeline Lake for setting aside her fears out of a true desire to help her fellow c
Em Lost In Books

I was not very keen on this book initially but then I always hesitate to pick anything related to WWII as most of them are about spies, holocaust and so. Its not like I don't appreciate them, its just that they seem same story with new characters. So this was a fresh breath of air as this story has its tragedies and yet it succeeded in telling us about people who stayed behind.

"The day we stop caring or showing we are human is the day we might just as well give in."

Our heroine took care
Marialyce (absltmom, yaya)
My reviews can be found here: https://yayareadslotsofbooks.wordpres...

Sometimes no matter how much you try to convince yourself that you are going to love a particular book, it just does not happen the way you planned. Such was the case with Dear Mrs. Bird.

I was so looking forward to reading this book for it had all the elements of a story I would adore. I love books about the trials and difficulties many experienced during the war, as well as a view of London at that time. Typically, this boo
Aug 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ww2, debut, 2018, historical
In many ways this was a quick, light read based on the experiences of a young woman employed to assist a lady writer put together her Agony Aunt column for a weekly magazine during the London Blitz. But there was also a darker side with nightly bombing causing death and destruction and women struggling to terms coping with the changes to their lives brought on by the war.

Emmy Lake thought she was applying for a job as a lady war correspondent and only after she started work realised she'd be wor
May 27, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dear Mrs Bird is set in London during the Blitz, a German bombing campaign against the United Kingdom in 1940 during World War II. It is sobering to read about Londoners being subjected almost every night to air raids that set their homes on fire. Houses were reduced to bricks and glass; buildings disappeared; roads were bomb-cratered; lives were maimed or lost. On the domestic front, securing an onion to make a stew was a cause for celebration. I appreciated how there was a healthy dose of real ...more
May 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Spirited, poignant, and moving!

Dear Mrs. Bird is an intriguing tale that takes you back to the streets of London during WWII and into the life of Emmeline Lake a cheery, optimistic, young woman who after finding herself inadvertently working on the advice column for Woman's Friend magazine takes it upon herself to begin secretly doling out guidance to those on the home front seeking advice for "inappropriate topics".

The prose is comical and light. The characters are plucky, sympathetic, and real
4 Stars. This one is charming.

It’s London, World War II and Emmeline Lake dreams of being a war correspondent. Unfortunately, she has no experience as a journalist and no newspaper will hire her. Finally, she gets what she thinks is her big break, only to have it turn out to be an assistant job to Henrietta Bird, the advice columnist for a women’s magazine.

Henrietta Bird is what is politely called a formidable woman. Her values and outlook are 100% Victorian and she doesn’t tolerate anything tha
Oct 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a spot on rendition of World War 2 London with bubbly, infectious characters in the two young women, Emmeline Lake and her best friend Bunty. The keep calm and carry on attitude of the British is in full force and the era is invoked quite masterfully. I fell in love with Emmy and I haven't felt that way about a person in a book in a long, long time. She is a truly kind person and wants the best for everyone she loves and humanity in general. Emmy is decent, generous, and brave, but is a ...more
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AJ Pearce grew up in Hampshire and studied at the University of Sussex. A chance discovery of a 1939 women's magazine became the inspiration for her ever-growing collection and her first novel Dear Mrs Bird. She now lives and writes in the south of England. ...more

Other books in the series

Dear Mrs. Bird (2 books)
  • Yours Cheerfully

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“Find out what you're good at...and then get even better. That's the key.” 21 likes
“My mother never gave in. One of Father's friends had once said that if Mother had been in charge, the Great War would have been over by 1916. Father had replied that if my mother had been in charge, she would have made damn sure the bloody thing hadn't started in the first place. Mother always said it wasn't just about keeping going, but about standing up for what you believed in as well.” 12 likes
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