Member Review

Dear Mrs. Bird

Pub Date:

Review by

Erin K, Reviewer

Last updated on 10 Sep 2019

My Recommendation

"Dear Mrs. Bird" is a great departure from the ultra-depressing tones of most historical WWII fiction (a la "Lilac Girls' and 'The Nightingale.') Pearce creates a jolly vibe for a time and place in history that was bogged down with sorrow. The story is told from the perspective of Emmy, a young woman in London who hopes to become a first-rate female wartime reporter. By accident, she ends up taking a job as a typist for a Dear Abby-type women's magazine, where she becomes drawn to letters from women seeking advice for their troubles while trying to survive in a city plagued by air raids and bombs. At first, the tone felt out of place to me - the lightheartedness and jokes felt contradictory to accounts of people being displaced and injured by bombs. Ultimately, the book really came together for me when a tragic event changes Emmy's perspective on the world around her. It was only then that I was able to truly appreciate Pearce's blend of cheekiness mixed with the horrors of war. I did thoroughly enjoy Pearce's inclusion of so many historically accurate details (especially the real-life bombing of Cafe de Paris in London and the spot-on British slang). The ending did feel a little rushed, but I suspect Pearce is writing a sequel to this.

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