Dear Mrs. Bird

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 31 Aug 2018

Member Reviews

Overall, I really enjoyed the book. I like that it focused less on the main character, Emmy, finding a love interest (because that trope is old) and more on her growth. I felt like the book ended suddenly in a way to neatly wrap things up, when I think it would have been better if it had taken some time, or followed the characters beyond the wrap up.
Was this review helpful?
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’s side of the war effort.   Women’s determination to stay strong and continue living their lives, all the while the horrendous wartime atrocities lingering in their minds.  Their men gone to fight the brutal war with no end in sight, yet they continue on helping where they could while longing for their men to return home safely.  

This was an entertaining story with likeable characters and witty humour.   While I enjoyed the characters and their relationships, I didn’t feel completely invested in them or fully engrossed in their lives.  It was more of a light, surface glimpse into their story without a true connection.  The novel had a lot of sarcastic humour which had me chucking a few times, but for the most part, felt overdone.  I enjoyed the advice column letters scattered throughout the novel and wished the story had a stronger focus on the column itself.  

This was a Traveling Friends read.  

Thank you to NetGalley, Simon & Schuster Canada and AJ Pearce for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review!

Dear Mrs. Bird is available now!
Was this review helpful?
A fun read with a surprise twist that I know my older adult customers will just love. I race through it to find out if Emmy would get caught and then kept reading to find out if Emmy and Bunty would reconcile. I hope to read more from AJ Pearce in the future
Was this review helpful?
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 Emmeline (Emmy) Lake and the setting takes you back to the streets of London during World War II.  Emmy Lake was such a delightful and fun-loving character and I thoroughly enjoyed how optimistic, caring, kind and positive she was during such a heartbreaking time.  

The storyline was extremely amusing at times and I thoroughly enjoyed the advice column aspects to it and everything that it entailed from the “inappropriate topics” to Mrs. Birds intense and no-nonsense character.   

After reading the Author’s Note in the end and learning how the idea of this story began and that many of the letters in DEAR MRS. BIRD were inspired by actual letters and articles from wartime magazines always brings in another added layer to the story for me.  So thought-provoking and touching!

Norma’s Stats:
Cover:  Somewhat intriguing, love the bright colors, the typeset and display of the title with the typewriter keys - very fitting!
Title:  Fits the story well and love how it also plays obscurely into the story.
Writing/Prose: amusing, light, and empathically written.
Plot:  Engaging, steady-paced, held my attention and extremely enjoyable.
Ending: Warming, touching, memorable and completely satisfying.
Overall: An excellent, uplifting, delightful, and heartwarming read! Would recommend!

Thank you so much to NetGalley, Simon & Schuster Canada and A.J. Pearce for the opportunity to read an advanced copy of this book in exchange for a review.
Was this review helpful?
I fell in love with Emmeline, who takes it upon herself to reply to the authors of "unprintable" letters written to a women's advice column. I found the story difficult to read because I felt The Capitalization Disrupted The Flow Of The Text.
Was this review helpful?
Emmy makes me think "Sophie Kinsella meets 1940 London", bringing fun and gumption to a trying time.  Emmy accidentally interviews and gets hired for the wrong job but decides to see it through. Emmy finds it difficult to follow the strict guidelines set out by her new boss, advice columnist, Mrs. Henrietta Bird, and can't resist giving some advice of her own.
Was this review helpful?
Charming story that seemed quite authentic to the period and caused such heartbreak. Loved all the characters, they felt like mostly real people. And you could see the places so well.
Was this review helpful?
Dear Mrs. Bird is the lighthearted tale of a likeable young woman during the Blitz. Despite the jovial tone, she faces many difficult obstacles that one would expect of wartime Britain.  The writing style is reminiscent of Sophie Kinsella in that the protagonist is a young woman making bad decisions and making light of a serious situation.  Some parts of it were quite comical too.
Was this review helpful?
I got an ARC of this book from the publisher through NetGallery (Thanks!!!).

I Heard a lot about this book, even before it was released. The thing that really stood out was the comparison to “Bridget Jones”, but in WWII.

I love reading books that tell us about the “normal” people who lived during this crazy war.
In this book we get a glimpse of London during the war through Emmeline Lake’s eyes. Emmy, a young woman in her 20’s is sharing an apartment with her best friend Bunty and they try, with their friends and loved ones, to live the normal life of young people, while escaping bombs and with some of their loved ones fighting the war far away.

We get to experience life as young people experienced it during the years of the war when they go to cinema and escape bombs on their way back home, or go dancing hoping the night would be raid-free. When they need to deal with loss and love, while working at day and volunteering at nights to help the war efforts.

Emmy dreams to become a lady war corresponded and to write scoops from the front but ends up, after applying to be apart time junior by mistake, in “Woman’s Friend”, a women magazine, working under Mrs. Bird, a tough woman that has no time for nonsense during the war. Mrs. Bird answers the readers worries and questions in her help column in the magazine, but she has a “Not to be published” list with words and phrases that are unacceptable and unpleasant (like affair, bed, Berlin etc.) and most of the readers’ letters are shredded and thrown away. Emmy can’t stand to see all the poor readers’ letters staying unanswered and decide to change it.

This book has everything, laughter, tragedy and it punches you hard in the feelings. I loved the writing, can’t wait to read more of A.J. Pearce.
Was this review helpful?
I found this book difficult at first to get into as the main character seemed flippant and unrelatable.  I am happy I stuck with it though as her unique charm developed through the following chapters.  Overall, an enjoyable read.  Thank you NetGalley for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
Dear Mrs. Bird is a great read about a young girl named Emmeline Lake who wants nothing more than to be a writer for a newspaper. One day she comes across an ad in the newspaper for what she thinks is her perfect dream job. On her first day she finds out that she will actually be working for Mrs. Bird who answers letters for an advice column. Mrs. Bird has very definite ideas about what are appropriate letters to be considered for replies.  It is Emmy's job to shift through the letters and pick out the ones to be answered. Due to the strict guidelines she is to follow, Emmy isn't left with too many options. Emmy decides that it wouldn't hurt to respond to a letter or two herself pretending to be Mrs. Bird. After all these women have legitimate problems and she thinks that she can help them. This is where the fun begins.

This story,for the most part, is a fun and light read with a good dose of what living in London during World War II was like. 

I really enjoyed this one and will be keeping an eye out for future books by AJ Pearce.
Was this review helpful?
I notice that this book is favorably compared to The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. Although it is a charming book on its own, I couldn't agree more!  Set in WWII London, columnist Henrietta Bird needs a secretary, mostly to route out what she calls "Unpleasantness". Emily takes the job, but finds herself answering many of the letters consigned to the bin. Recommended reading.
Was this review helpful?
Unfortunately having ereader issues and cannot get this to connect to my kobo  :(

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Was this review helpful?
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 basic typing and the sorting of “Dear Mrs. Bird” letters, “Mrs. Bird” being the crotchety editor of the column, who refuses to answer any letters with “untoward” subjects. Taking pity, Emmy secretly replies to the letters that Mrs. Bird won’t respond to, knowingly putting her job and her journalistic dreams at stake. 
“Dear Mrs. Bird” by AJ Pearce, is witty, charming, and even, at times, hysterical, while still staying true to the grim backdrop of London during WWII. As bombs drop, Emmeline and her friends and colleagues do their best to keep their heads above water with a positive water, doing what they can to “support their boys” overseas. 
This novel was an unexpected delight for me. Although I would classify it as historical fiction, due to the setting, it was so much more. Emmy is a lovable character, desperate to achieve her dreams in a world where the men still reign, clumsily struggling on her own through a life plagued by heartbreak and disaster. She, and her best friend Bunty, have the kind of relationship every woman should have and I instantly was enamored with both of them. 
“Dear Mrs. Bird” showed the scary and dark sides of World War II, as bomb alarms went off periodically and buildings were demolished. The positivity that radiated from Emmy and her friends prevented this novel from being dismal and depressing. 
A stellar novel, to be sure, and one that took me by complete surprise. Easy to read, I finished this novel before I knew it, and each and every bit of it was satisfying and entertaining. I was surprised to find out that this is Ms. Pearce’s first novel, as it definitely did not have any markings of a novice writer, and I hope she grants us the pleasure of more Emmy, and more novels in the near future.
Was this review helpful?
As long as I can remember I’ve loved historical fiction set during WWII and this is one of the first that really feels like it was written 75 years ago. I can’t wait to read what @ajpearcewrites has in store next.
Was this review helpful?
Dear Mrs. Bird is a Historical Fiction novel set in London during the Blitz -- a time when the daily lives of Londoners were filled with fear, loss and destruction, yet they carried on despite the ever-present threat of the Luftwaffe. 

While some war-time issues are addressed, the feel of the story remains on the lighter side with the characters and story line lacking somewhat in depth. Emmy came across as a little too perpetually plucky for my tastes and her continual and odd Use Of Caps For Certain Phrases wore thin early on. But, overall, the characters (besides the ol' Bird) were endearing and I liked that friendship was a main theme throughout. I just would have loved to have known why and how Mrs Bird became the 'staunch, rule-follower-no-matter-what' sort of woman she was. That information is left to the readers' imaginations.

This is a sweet, lighter read that is set during a horrific time and I feel the publisher's comparison with The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is aptly made.  The premise was interesting but what I truly appreciated was how the reader is privy to a view of the war through the eyes of a young woman who wanted more out of life than society was willing to give her.
Was this review helpful?
This novel is set in WWII during the Blitz in London. A young woman gets a job at a paper where she secretly starts answering letters from readers written to Mrs Bird’s Problem Page. The language for the time and place is on point and takes some getting used to, as well as the Excessive Use Of Capitalization. This does add to the humor of the story and helped set the tone of each situation. This was a thoroughly enjoyable read which surprisingly also required some tissues! 5/5 stars!
Was this review helpful?
I really loved meeting Emmeline (Emmy) Lake and getting to know her. Her dream is to become a war correspondent, so when a job is posted for the London Evening Chronicle, she applies. The job is not quite what she had in mind. She is working for Mrs. Bird, the advice columnist for the magazine Women's Friend.
The time is 1940. This is London and everyone does their part for the war effort. Emmy is no exception- she volunteers as a telephone operator with the Auxiliary Fire Services.
This books gives us a glimpse as to what was going on at home while the war was raging on the continent. Through Emmy and her best friend Bunty and though the letters, our eyes are opened to the feelings of those at home. 
This book was an absolute delight- Emmy is spunky, determined, caring and oh so lovable- I am so glad to have made her acquaintance!
Was this review helpful?
I loved the book. It was charming and witty while effectively illustrating the problems facing women in Britain during WWII.  I was so delighted with "Dear Mrs, Bird" that finding another book to follow it was difficult.  I can't wait to hear more from this author.  Well done.!
Was this review helpful?
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.
Was this review helpful?