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Dear Mrs. Bird

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  31,103 ratings  ·  4,654 reviews
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 oper
Hardcover, 281 pages
Published July 3rd 2018 by Scribner (first published April 5th 2018)
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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  · 
Rating details
 ·  31,103 ratings  ·  4,654 reviews

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Angela M
Jun 16, 2018 rated it really liked it

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
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
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
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 Gavea
''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
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
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
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
Feb 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
"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
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
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
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
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,
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
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.
Oct 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 5000-books
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
Mar 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 11, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: library
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
May 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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
Aug 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical, ww2, 2018, debut
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
Set during the London Blitz in 1940-41, you'd expect a dark and dour novel but this couldn't be farther from the truth.  It was a happy/sad book that highlighted the indomitable and resilient spirit of Londoners during the time, yet cast a keen eye on the devastation of the war.

The story is told from the perspective of a young woman named Emmeline Lake, whose fondest wish is to become a journalist.  In particular, a Lady War Correspondent.  Emmy lives in Pimlico and shares a flat with her best f
Oct 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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
Erin Clemence
Aug 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads, kindle
Special thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for a free, electronic version of this novel received in exchange for an honest review.

Emmeline Lake has a dream of being a war journalist. While the Second World War rages through London, Emmy is volunteering as an emergency services reporter, trying to “do her bit” for the war effort, when she comes across an advertisement to work for a newspaper. Immediately intrigued, Emmy applies and gets the job, only to find out that the job involves basi
Louise Wilson
Jun 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's 1940's London. Emmeline Lake is doing her bit for the war office, volunteering as a telephone operator with the Auxiliary Fire Services.

When Emmy (Emmeline), saw an advertisement for a job at the London Evening Chronicle, her dream of becoming a Lady War Correspondent suddenly becomes achievable. But the job is for a typist for the fierce advice columnist, Henrietta Bird. Mrs Birds rules are very clear: letters containing any unpleasantness must go straight in the bin.

Not the job she was ho
Feb 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Those looking for a WWII story with humour
Recommended to Hilary by: Lisa Vegan
Set during WWII Emmy and Bunty are friends, sharing a flat, both working and doing evening jobs to help the war effort. The story gets off to a great start, it's very amusing and a pleasure to read, it's not at all heavy going and the two friends were instantly likeable. Their friendship was fun to read about, I loved the use of language and phrases of the time, language I'm familiar with having read books as a child written before and after the war. The author had really done her homework with ...more
Jul 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who like Call the Midwife, plucky female characters, stories set in London during WWII
5 incredibly enthusiastic stars for Dear Mrs. Bird.

I fell in love with Emmy, Bunty, and all the other characters in this story and when I realized I'd turned the last page, I was truly disappointed to be leaving their lives. I went into this book thinking it would be light and silly, and parts of it definitely were. But what I didn't expect (and was delighted to find!) were the layers of depth beneath the top floofy veneer.

Emmy, like other young women in London of 1940, is Doing Her Bit for the
Amanda - Mrs B's Book Reviews
3.5 stars
1940’s London during the uncertain and dangerous times of the Blitz is carefully brought to life by debut author AJ Pearce. At the heart and soul Dear Mrs Bird is Emmeline Lake, a young woman who gently reminds the reader of the daily acts of heroism, the stoicism, the friendships and the bravery of the British during the turbulent times of the Luftwaffe assault.

For Emmeline (Emmy) Lake, the central protagonist of Dear Mrs Bird, becoming a female wa
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Goodreads Librari...: This topic has been closed to new comments. edition merge request - GR staff or superlibrarian 4 20 May 07, 2020 06:37AM  
Westfield Washing...: Emmy and Williams 1 3 Apr 02, 2020 07:02AM  
Westfield Washing...: Magazines and Advice Columns 1 2 Apr 02, 2020 07:01AM  
Westfield Washing...: Women's Exeriences in Wartime 1 1 Apr 02, 2020 07:00AM  
Westfield Washing...: Letter Writing 1 1 Apr 02, 2020 06:59AM  
Westfield Washing...: Careers 1 1 Apr 02, 2020 06:54AM  
Westfield Washing...: Bunty's Anger 1 4 Apr 02, 2020 06:54AM  

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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.

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“Find out what you're good at...and then get even better. That's the key.” 18 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.” 10 likes
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