Dear Mrs. Bird : a novel / A J Pearce.
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- ISBN: 9781501170089
- ISBN: 1501170082
- Physical Description: 1 online resource
- Publisher: New York : Scribner, 2018.
|Summary, etc.:||"London, 1940. Emmeline 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 suddenly seem achievable. But the job turns out to be working as a typist for the fierce and renowned advice columnist, Henrietta Bird. Emmy is disappointed, but gamely bucks up and buckles down. Mrs. Bird is very clear: letters containing any Unpleasantness must go straight in the bin. But when Emmy reads poignant notes from women who may have Gone Too Far with the wrong men, 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 back to the readers who have poured out their troubles"--|
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World War, 1939-1945 England London Fiction
Female friendship Fiction
Advice columnists Fiction
World War (1939-1945)
Dear Mrs. Bird : A Novel
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
When Pearce happened upon a 1939 British women's magazine, the idea for her first novel was born. Pearce glimpsed a time when women faced unimaginably difficult situations and often had nowhere to turn besides writing a letter to the Problems Page. From those voices of the past arose heroine Emmeline Lake, a plucky young woman trying to do her part for the war effort. When Emmy hastily takes a job at Woman's Friend, a magazine on its last legs, her journalistic dreams seem dashed. Instead of gathering stories from the front line, she's under the thumb of conservative Mrs. Bird, who refuses to answer letters with any Unpleasantness. Deciding to take matters into her own hands, Emmy secretly replies to readers looking for guidance. But when her life changes forever after a German air raid, Emmy must end the ruse and face reality. Set against a backdrop of war-torn London, this is a charming and heartfelt novel. Pearce brings to life a tale of true friendship, and how love will outlast even the most challenging times.--Norstedt, Melissa Copyright 2010 Booklist
Publishers Weekly Review
Dear Mrs. Bird : A Novel
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Pearce's clever debut follows a plucky Londoner during the Blitz who dreams about becoming a war correspondent. When 22-year-old Emmeline Lake sees an ad for a "Junior" from the London Evening Chronicle's publisher in 1940, she believes this will be the start of her journalism career. Alas, the job entails assisting Henrietta Bird, the advice columnist in Women's Friend, a magazine dying off from fustiness. Henrietta is a literary Violet Crawley who won't answer letters involving any unpleasantness, which eliminates most everything pertinent. Emmy, however, fails to destroy unsuitable letters as instructed, instead answering them privately under Mrs. Bird's forged signature. Meanwhile, she and her best friend, Bunty, demonstrate resolve as bombs rain down night after night and Emmy's fiancÃ© informs her, via overseas telegram, that he is leaving her for a nurse. The novel has a wonderfully droll tone, a reminder of the exuberance of youth even under dire circumstances. Headlined by its winning lead character, who always keeps carrying on, Pearce's novel is a delight. (July) Â© Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Library Journal Review
Dear Mrs. Bird : A Novel
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
DEBUT In 1940s London, 22-year-old Emmy applies for a job at what she assumes will be the London Evening Chronicle, which would fulfill her lifelong dream to be a journalist. With her fiancÃ© Edmund away at war, Emmy does her part at home, volunteering evenings at the firehouse call center during air raids. To her initial dismay, her position is a junior typist at Women's Friend magazine, with her primary role being to compose responses for Mrs. Bird's Problem Page, much like a modern-day Dear Abby. Overbearing and rude, Mrs. Bird refuses letters deemed unpleasant, allowing Emmy to answer only the most mundane queries with unhelpful replies. After an upsetting telegram from Edmund, Emmy boldly begins answering the poor women whose real problems Mrs. Bird would ignore, keeping it secret from even her best friend Bunty. Emmy bravely keeps a positive outlook, but when tragedy strikes too close to home, she is filled with guilt and loss. VERDICT Fans of Jojo Moyes will enjoy Pearce's debut, with its plucky female characters and fresh portrait of women's lives in wartime Britain.-Laura Jones, Argos Community Schs., IN Â© Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.