Cover Image: Yours Cheerfully

Yours Cheerfully

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Member Reviews

The second book in the Emmy Lake Chronicles series another great story in this series, it takes place in London during WWII. This tells of Emmy and her best friend Bunty as they learn of the very real challenges that women war workers face, and the struggles they all go through but also the humor and kindness that is shown.
I received a copy of this book via NetGalley and am voluntarily leaving a review.
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I LOVE these characters?  How are they all good and sweet and lovely to read.  This is a feel good story that goes into the conditions women had to adapt themselves to during war and I thought it was really well done again.  I don't think you need to read Dear Mrs. Bird to read this one but I very highly recommend it because 1. It's lovely like this one and 2. Some of the storyline is continued and it's just easier to fall back into the characters.
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2.5 stars

I loved Dear Mrs. Bird and was excited to have the chance to read this one.  Unfortunately, this wasn’t nearly as good.  It started off ok, but somewhere along the way I struggled to wanna pick it back up once I put it down. Not sure what it was exactly, but it kinda lost steam towards the end and somehow Emmy became a little annoying in my opinion.

Overall, it was just an okay read, which was a disappointment cause I was really looking forward to it.
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Read about 50 pages and then lost interest in the story. I would not recommend this book., Your Cheerfully by AJ Pearce.
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Yours Cheerfully (The Emmy Lake Chronicles #2) by AJ Pearce

Thanks to NetGalley and Simon & Schuster Canada for an ARC for my honest review.

I was so looking forward to this second Emmy Lake book and she didn't disappoint! This is a heartwarming story about the women who persevered through WWII. I found it very inspiring to see how they did their part working in munition factories, etc, while trying to run their households with minimal childcare.

I highly recommend this to historical fiction buffs who enjoy an uplifting read.

#NetGalley #YoursCheerfully
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Yours Cheerfully is the second book in The Emmy Lake Chronicles, but you do not have to have read Dear Mrs. Bird to enjoy this story. Emmy is a young journalist who has just been appointed to head up the newspaper’s women’s advice column, Cheerfully Yours. She has some great ideas and even though she doesn't have the final word, she is pretty much left alone. When the War Ministry calls a meeting of the editors of the women's newspapers, Emmy is invited by her editor to attend with him. The papers are tasked to come up with ideas to recruit more women workers to produce munitions and other supplies needed by the many men who are off fighting in the war. Emmy is ready for the challenge and visits a munitions factory to meet with the women working there. She meets several women who are mothers, some whose husbands already died in the war and finds out about the balancing act needed to be a working mother, as well as a war widow. What she learns starts her on her crusade to help these women.

I enjoy this series as it does not deal with the darker side of the war, but still an important part. Women were holding down the fort at home, but were still not appreciated for those efforts. If they needed something, like nurseries for their children, they were rebuffed with comments like mothers should not be working, they should be home or there's a war going on, you just do your part without complaining etc. I liked the characters in this story, well most of them. Emmy, her fiancé Charles, her friend Bunty and the women in the factory were extremely patriotic, but also knew that the women working needed help and support. The management at the factory was nasty. His desire to make money and not have any problems overrode any action to do what was right. Emmy was not about to let anything stop her and I loved her persistence to do what she could to help these women, and also to recruit new workers. I loved watching her develop more of backbone as the story progressed. This is a wonderful well-written story, at times funny, poignant and honest. We see the strength of those left manning the home front, mostly women. This is a story of friendship, courage, patriotism, women's rights and family. It is a look at what ordinary people did to support the war effort in an interesting and enjoyable story. I am hoping that there will be another Emmy Lake Chronicles and I definitely recommend this book and series.
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Yours Cheerfully by AJ Pearce is both a charming and uplifting novel set during World War II in London about a brave aspiring journalist. The characters in this book are full of life and determination. I did not read the first book in this series and did feel like I missed out. 

Thank you #netgalley for an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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A.J. Pearce's Dear Mrs. Bird was one of my favourite books of 2018. I loved the hilarious historical fiction novel she had written and the intriguing character of Emmeline Lake. Yours Cheerfully, published on August 10, carries on not long after the previous book ended and allows readers back into the wonderful, if hard and terrifying, lives of Emmy and her friends. I finished it in a day and absolutely adored it.

Here's the book's description:
London, November 1941. Following the departure of the formidable Henrietta Bird from Woman’s Friend magazine, things are looking up for Emmeline Lake as she takes on the challenge of becoming a young wartime advice columnist. Her relationship with boyfriend Charles (now stationed back in the UK) is blossoming, while Emmy’s best friend Bunty, still reeling from the very worst of the Blitz, is bravely looking to the future. Together, the friends are determined to Make a Go of It.
When the Ministry of Information calls on Britain’s women’s magazines to help recruit desperately needed female workers to the war effort, Emmy is thrilled to be asked to step up and help. But when she and Bunty meet a young woman who shows them the very real challenges that women war workers face, Emmy must tackle a life-changing dilemma between doing her duty and standing by her friends.
Because it had been two years (almost exactly) since I read Emmy's first story, I was a bit fuzzy on what, precisely, happened. But Pearce does a great job of reminding readers what had happened in the previous book while avoiding a boring info dump. You don't have to read Dear Mrs. Bird before this one - though I do wholeheartedly recommend it! Each book has it's own sort of feel so they work well on their own but are even better together. 

Emmy is the star of the novel but what makes her such a delight are the people she pulls into her orbit. Her best friend Bunty (whose story absolutely breaks my heart but I have a good feeling about a third book and what might happen next) is wonderful and the friendship between the two is ultimate BFF Goals. The team at the magazine are a delight and the new friends Emmy makes in Anne and the women at the munitions factory were an amazing addition to the story.

Whereas the first book focused on the Blitz (and I still marvel at Pearce's ability to make a novel about such a horrifying time so heartwarming and funny), Yours Cheerfully takes a closer look at what war was like for the women. It's 1941, England has been fighting for years now and, with all the men going to the battlefields, there are holes in the workforce. So many women stepped up (do you ever wonder what you would have done during the war?) but they faced so many hurdles when they did. Married women with children had to earn for their families (especially if they were widowed) but shift work at the factories meant it was almost impossible to arrange childcare. And the men running the factories didn't care. Part of it was they didn't understand but so many of them didn't want to understand. Women made a "fuss" and they came with "baggage" and "men would never ask for time off for the children" and so on and so forth. Easier to sack a woman for having to bring her children in because her mother (if she was lucky enough to have a mother nearby able to provide childcare) was ill than put the effort into creating a Government Nursery like they were supposed to. It was absolutely infuriating, even for a woman like me, in today's world with no children. Pearce wrote about these issues so well and it's a great addition to the many WWII books out there.

Emmy does have a sweetheart and I loved them together (even though they were hardly ever physically together). In addition to being adorable, her relationship with Charles was used to show what it was like for couples during the war. Early on, so many women lost their husbands and fiances that no young couple wanted to wait to get married because they didn't know how long they'd have together - and they usually had hardly any time actually together to even have a wedding. It was common to have hasty weddings before the man shipped off, just in case. Honeymoons were one night spent on leave in a small hotel nearby the train station he had to leave from the next day. It's heartbreaking but also...inspiring, maybe? They were faced with the worst and yet made sure to take the time to marry their sweetheart. Yes, there were monetary gains to be had by being married, I know, but Emmy and Charles' relationship is so sweet that it has me casting a rosy glow over it all. 

Yours Cheerfully is a must read for historical fiction fans. It paints a picture of what it was like in England in 1941 as WWII finally becomes a true world war. Emmy is a character who is smart but also real, in all her bumbling, well meaning actions. She and her friends will make you laugh out loud as you read their story. I cannot wait for A.J. Pearce's next novel!

My review of Dear Mrs. Bird is here.

*An egalley of this novel was provided by Simon & Schuster Canada via NetGalley in exchange for review consideration. All opinions are honest and my own.*
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This is Book 2 in a series following the life and career of Emmeline (Emmy) Lake, who has hopes of becoming a Lady War Correspondent. I really enjoyed the first book, Dear Mrs. Bird, and was happy to settle in with the second book which begins in June 1941. Mr. Collins has replaced Henrietta Bird as the editor at Woman's Friend magazine and Emmy is given more responsibility.

It was so nice to immerse myself in this story and see how much Emmy has matured since the first book. I had to smile at her feeling of pushing the envelope when she said "blast" or "bloody". Wouldn't she shudder to see and hear some of the words used these days! This book contained some interesting information about the women who worked in munitions factories during the war and the hardships they faced including lack of child care. Although I didn't enjoy this book as much as the first one I'd still recommend it to friends. Like another book I read recently, it's a nice change of pace from the murder mysteries and psychological suspense I usually read.

Thanks to Simon & Schuster Canada via Netgalley for the opportunity to read an ARC of this novel. All opinions expressed are my own.

Release Date: August 10, 2021
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3.5 *

So happy to see the endearing Emmeline Lake (just love that name!) back. I loved the first book, Dear Mrs. Bird

In this second book we see Emmy promoted at her job at the Women's Friend Magazine. She is assigned to interview and write a story about women who are employed at a local munitions factory while the men are away at war. The women are stepping up to this, "call to action" but are experiencing some problems at the factory. It is up to Emmy to interview them but can she help the women without jeopardizing the story?

I enjoyed the story but it did move more slowly than the last book. It is well written and draws attention to the problems during the WWII era in a light and heartwarming way. 

I'd like to kindly thank NetGalley and Simon and Schuster Canada for granting me access to this Advance Reader Copy.
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This is by a British writer and is the second in 'The Emmy Lake Chronicles', the first one being "Dear Mrs. Bird".  The author was inspired when she found a 1939 women's magazine.  This one follows the adventures of Emmy, who is working at such a women's magazine in London during WWII.  In this one she helps young women who have taken jobs to support the war effort fight for their rights and some sort of day care.  It is a lighter take on the WWII historical fiction, but wonderfully illustrates the various difficulties experienced by the women left behind.  I would recommend readers start with the first one to benefit the most from the story.
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Put on the kettle, grab a cuppa and be prepared to stay up all night.

Yours Cheerfully is a delightful, heartwarming testament to the tough as nails women of yesteryear. A fabulous, unputdownable must read for 2021!
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I am one of the many readers who fell in love with Dear Mrs. Bird, so needless to say, I was very happy to see another novel featuring Emmy during the same period.

Like its predecessor, Yours Cheerfully feels like a “lighter” WWII novel (if you can think of a novel about wartime that way), because of how well Pearce weaves humour and ordinary life stuff into her work. Those who enjoyed Bunty and Emmy’s friendship in book one will find much more to charm them here.

For me, it’s the tone / feeling of this series that pulls me in. There’s something cozy and comforting about Pearce’s style. Her novels tug at the heart strings, provoke some delighted guffaws, and are the kind of stories you want to read when you need a little hope in your reading life. A perfect TV counterpart would be Call the Midwife. If you like that show, this is for you.

The pace was slower than book one, and it didn’t have the same level of tension, but you don’t read this kind of story expecting a page turner. You read this kind of story for comfort and gentle entertainment.
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☆☆☆☆ /5
(english review below)

Ce second tome peut se lire tout à fait indépendamment du premier, bien que nous ayons plus d’informations sur les personnages et leurs relations si nous lisons le tome précédent.
Pour ma part, je n’ai pas ressenti ce manque et j’ai apprécié la découverte de cette inspirante journaliste qu’est Emmeline Lake.
Londres, Novembre 1941. Après le départ de la formidable Henrietta Bird du magazine Woman's Friend, les choses s'améliorent pour Emmeline Lake alors qu'elle relève le défi de devenir une jeune journaliste de terrain en temps de guerre. Sa relation avec son petit ami Charles (maintenant en poste au Royaume-Uni) s'épanouit, tandis que la meilleure amie d'Emmy, Bunty, encore sous le choc du pire du Blitz, regarde courageusement vers l'avenir. Ensemble, ce groupe d’amis est déterminé à s'en sortir.
Lorsque le ministère de l'Information fait appel aux magazines féminins britanniques pour aider à recruter des travailleuses dont on a désespérément besoin durant la guerre, Emmy est ravie qu'on lui demande d'intervenir et d'aider. Mais lorsqu'elle et Bunty rencontrent une jeune femme qui leur montre les défis réels auxquels les travailleuses de guerre sont confrontées, Emmy doit faire face à un dilemme qui changera sa vie : accomplir son devoir ou se tenir aux côtés de ses amis.
J’ai apprécié le personnage d’Emmeline, qui eut l’effet d’une bouffée d’air fraîche. Déterminée à aider son prochain, empathique et consciencieuse de faire du bon travail, c’est une jeune femme qui a su prendre sa place dans l’environnement dans lequel elle vit. J’ai été touchée par la force des relations qu’elle entretient avec Bunty et Charles. Les personnages sont attachants et à travers les lignes, l’affection qu’ils se portent et leur complicité sont transmises au lecteur, qui les découvre.
Concernant l’histoire, j’ai beaucoup apprécié en savoir plus sur la place et le travail que les femmes vont trouver pendant la Seconde Guerre Mondiale. Beaucoup attendent leur mari partis au combat et ont besoin d’autre chose que de se tourner les pouces. Clairement, c’est une partie de la guerre dont on ne parle ou on n’entend pas parler, mais nombre de femmes ont accompli des choses pendant cette période-ci.
Malgré un style d’écriture qui ne m’est pas familier et avec lequel j’ai eu de la difficulté au début à entrer dans l’histoire, c’est un texte que je trouve riche, autant dans les informations données que dans sa construction.


This second book can be read independently from the first, although we have more information about the characters and their relationships if we read the previous tome.
For my part, I didn’t feel this lack and I enjoyed the discovery of this inspiring journalist Emmeline Lake.
London, November 1941. Following the departure of the formidable Henrietta Bird from Woman’s Friend magazine, things are looking up for Emmeline Lake as she takes on the challenge of becoming a young wartime advice columnist. Her relationship with boyfriend Charles (now stationed back in the UK) is blossoming, while Emmy’s best friend Bunty, still reeling from the very worst of the Blitz, is bravely looking to the future. Together, the friends are determined to Make a Go of It.
When the Ministry of Information calls on Britain’s women’s magazines to help recruit desperately needed female workers to the war effort, Emmy is thrilled to be asked to step up and help. But when she and Bunty meet a young woman who shows them the very real challenges that women war workers face, Emmy must tackle a life-changing dilemma between doing her duty and standing by her friends.
I liked the character of Emmeline, who had the effect of a breath of fresh air. Determined to help her colleague, empathetic and conscientious about doing a good job, she’s a young woman who has taken her place in the environment in which she lives. I was touched by the strength of her relationship with Bunty and Charles. The characters are endearing and through the lines, their affection and complicity are transmitted to the reader, who discovers them.
Regarding the story, I really enjoyed knowing more about the place and work that women will find during World War II. Many are waiting for their husbands to fight and need more than twiddling their thumbs. Clearly, this is a part of war that we don't talk about or hear about, but many women have accomplished things during this time.
Despite a writing style that is unfamiliar to me and with which I had difficulty at the beginning to enter the story, it’s a text that I find rich, as much in the information given as in its construction.
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I absolutely adored AJ Pearce's debut novel, Dear Mrs. Bird. I was thrilled to find she had written a second book featuring the indomitable Emmy Lake. Yours Cheerfully is newly released - and it's just as wonderful as the first book!

1941 Britain. Emmeline Lake works for Women's Friend magazine. She's now in charge of the advice column, Yours Cheerfully. Her role expands even further when women's magazines are asked to help recruit female workers to the war effort, such as working in munitions factories.

What has endeared this series to me? Pearce has created an absolutely delightful character in Emmy. She's plucky, (don't you love that descriptor?) irrepressible and so darn likeable. The supporting cast includes best friend Bunty, the magazine staff, the women in the factories and more and are just as well drawn. I easily became invested in their stories.

Pearce has captured the stalwart attitude of the Brits in the war years, the 'can do' attitude, the camaraderie of the women and their determination to help the war effort. Her plotting is based on historical happening. Her detailed descriptions paint vivid mental images of wartime Britain. And I quite liked the features, stories and letters from the magazine.

Pearce also weaves romance into her books, both found and lost. Again, all capturing the time period. The social mores, the joy in simple things, the making do and more. And more is what I want! Pearce is working on the third book and I can't wait to see what's next for Emmy and et al. Absolutely recommended!
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As a huge fan of Dear Mrs. Bird, I was excited that AJ Pearce was going to publish another book with the characters Emmy and Bunty.  After reading Yours Cheerfully, I am so glad that more books are rumoured to be on the way.  These books cover a time in history when there were rations and a lot of uncertainty.  Somehow, the stories seem to evoke a sense of optimism which is why this book is another hit.  Emmy continues her work as an advice columnist at Woman's Friend after Mrs. Bird has left the magazine.  Her flatmate Bunty is still mourning the loss of her fiancé from the blitz and is also recovering physically.  Together, the two women head out of London to visit Bunty's grandmother and befriend a war widow Anne and her young children.  Anne is on her way to start a job doing war work with her children in tow.  Relying on the help of her Mother, Anne is able to work the long hours to help support her family and her country during the war.  Emmy is chosen by her boss to attend a meeting with the Ministry of Information intended to have women's magazines help encourage recruitment of women in war work at home.  Emmy contacts Anne who agrees to have her come to the factory to speak with the management for apiece in Woman's Friend. While she is there, Emmy discovers that the women who have chosen either as the only way to support their families when their husbands are killed in action or their country while their husbands are off fighting, have limited options to care for their children.  This leads Emmy and Bunty to start a campaign to help the women working to help the war effort at home have child care so they can work the long hours needed.  This story touches on the balance of traditional roles of women and their dedication to their country in a time of war and overcoming the many barriers that stood in their way as they tried to do it all.  Part love story, part perseverance story, but all heart.  I look forward to many more books to come in this series.  Thank you to Netgalley and Simon and Schuster Canada for the advanced copy of this book.
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Doing one’s part for the war was the common refrain in World War II in Britain, and with the government pushing for women to work in factories, the sentiment becomes even louder. Unfortunately, support for women with kids, and for women whose husbands were either dead or lost because of the war, was pretty rare. These women needed to work, as their male relative's war pension was insufficient, and to work needed childcare, and requests for union support, or creation of nurseries near or associated with factories were made too bureaucratic or seen as unpatriotic, putting these women in terrible situations. 

The plight of these women forms a large part of book two of the Emmy Lake Chronicles. The wonderfully positive and energetic Emmy’s back, with Bunty and Charles. Emmy’s a breath of fresh air, and she and Bunty are again solidly together in their friendship, making a fine team together. 

Emmy’s busy at the magazine, this time legitimately answering letters from women around England looking for advice on what to do about moving alone to cities, or handling affairs, or unwanted pregnancies, or any number of other concerns and fears women had while their boyfriends, husbands and fathers were away at war.

This book was so entertaining — Emmy’s can-do attitude, as well as fighting spirit and her tendency to tell people off repeatedly brought a grin to my face. I loved how she listened carefully to the working women she was writing about for her magazine feature. Her compassion led her to immediately wanting to help the women get some basic consideration from factory bosses and the government. Considering the people in charge  wanted women to work outside homes, it's frustrating and unsurprising that they would not think or care that many of these women were also running households and raising kids. This story also reinforces that things haven’t changed that much in eighty years. 

While the premise of both this and the previous book seemed light, there are some darker, more serious points the author raises, that even though it was important for everyone to pull together, it’s impossible to harness everyone’s energies while part of the population is discriminated against. 

I greatly enjoyed this book, and dearly hope there will be more adventures in store for Emmy and Bunty with this series.

Thank you to Netgalley and the Publisher for this ARC in exchange for a review.
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I absolutely loved returning to Emmy Lake and her friends at the Women's friend magazine set in London during WWII. In this story, Emmy gets promoted to help with two new newspaper columns and there is a lot of focus on highlighting working women's lives and the challenges they faced trying to both fill in while the men were off fighting but still manage to take care of their children and homes. There was honestly nothing I didn't like about this book. It had everything my historical fiction lover's heart craves. Based on real women's lives, strong female friendship, a swoony love story with a hard earned HEA. This was worth the wait and I hope we get more Emmy Lake adventures soon! Much thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for my advance review copy.
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Thank you to NetGalley for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.

Although I tend not to read a lot of WWII era historical fiction, I really enjoyed Yours Cheerfully! Although Emily, our dedicated journalistic protagonist, is interviewing female war workers and dealing with fairly heavy subject matter, Pearce has done a wonderful job of keeping the book light and easily readable!
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Thank you to Simon & Schuster and NetGalley for access to this eARC in exchange for an honest review.

Dear Mrs. Bird was one of my favourite reads of 2020, so when I saw Yours Cheerfully pop I knew I had to read it.

Emmeline Lake is continuing her time at Women's Friend Magazine, living with best friend Bunty and still volunteering at the local fire station.  She continues to be hilarious, and always making the most of the wartime she finds herself in the middle of.  In this installment, Emmy has really taken to journalism and is given extra projects to work on in addition to the advice column she assisted on initially.

On a trip out of London to visit with Bunty's grandmother, Emmy and Bunty meet Anne Oliver, a recent war widow who is moving out to her mothers, with her children, to take up work in an ammunition factory.  The three of them become friends, and end up spending more time together than expected throughout the book and show Emmy more ways the war is affecting women that she wouldn't have seen without meeting Anne.

These books are perfect for someone looking for WW2 historical fiction that is cheerier than most.  Emmy, Bunty and the rest of the cast of characters are hilarious and bright, but still tackle the real issues from war time in London.
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