“Dear Mrs Bird” Book Review

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, “Dear Mrs Bird” Book Review

In my January post I mentioned the wonderful Richard and Judy book bundle that I treated myself to just after Christmas.  I promised to write a review of each book but it turns out I’m more enthusiastic about reading the books than writing about them!  My aim is to read a book and then review it straight away  but every book lover will sympathise with the temptation of instead immediately picking up the next book to read- I can’t resist.  So sorry it’s later than planned but here is my review of AJ Pearce’s debut novel, Dear Mrs Bird:

, “Dear Mrs Bird” Book Review

Dear Mrs Bird by AJ Pearce

London, 1941. Emmeline Lake and her best friend Bunty are trying to stay cheerful despite the Luftwaffe making life thoroughly annoying for everyone. Emmy dreams of becoming a Lady War Correspondent and when she spots a job advertisement in the newspaper she seizes her chance – but after a rather unfortunate misunderstanding, she finds herself typing letters for the formidable Henrietta Bird, the renowned agony aunt of Woman’s Friend magazine. Mrs Bird is very clear: letters containing any form of Unpleasantness must go straight into the bin. But as Emmy reads the desperate pleas from women who may have Gone Too Far with the wrong man, or can’t bear to let their children be evacuated, she decides the only thing for it is to secretly write back.

Dear Mrs Bird Review

, “Dear Mrs Bird” Book Review

So they say never judge a book by it’s cover but I admit when I had to choose which of these books to read first (it was a difficult choice as I wanted to dive into all of them!) I was persuaded by the artwork.  The bright turquoise and orange graphics stood out and the font and stamps design suggested it was going to be going to be a vintage read which the blurb then confirmed.  The embossed cover is gorgeous.

Emmy’s story is told in the first person which drew me in from page one.   Her youthful enthusiasm is refreshing and it certainly took me back to my days of applying for jobs and dreaming of the future.  Emmy’s has a lovely friendship with Bunty, her longtime friend and house mate but sadly this relationship is tested along the way.

I enjoy reading books about life on the home front during wartime.  However I also agree with Judy that “there is nothing nostalgic or “period” about this book- part of it’s charm is that Emmy’s and Bunty’s lives have a curiously modern feel: young people are young people whatever era they live in.”  Even more curiously one of the letters is sent from a “shy teenager” yet this term- teenager not shy- only came into use later on during the 50’s so we’ll put this down to the author’s  poetic license.

Speaking of letters, like Pearce I am also a fan of vintage magazines, comics and annuals.  The problem pages are very interesting and a revealing insight into real life during another era.  The letters to Mrs Bird are dotted about in this book but I would have appreciated a whole chapter dedicated to a “Henrietta Helps” magazine spread. The letters and replies are often amusing, even when they’re not meant to be!   Mrs Bird will not reply to any letters containing “unpleasantness”.  When Emmy replies to the women in need, she does so from a good place in her heart and we’re rooting for her.  She doesn’t always get everything right but this makes her human and endears her to us all the more.

In this book there is heartache, loss, fear and despair but there is also warmth, humour, love, hope and a strong determination to keep going even when life is tough and bombs are dropping.   It’s an easy, comfort read to enjoy over the weekend with an important reminder that even during the darkest of times, the British always looked for the light, a message that is relevant always.

Read Richard and Judy’s review of “Dear Mrs Bird” here:  https://blog.whsmith.co.uk/rjau18-richard-and-judy-introduce-dear-mrs-bird-by-aj-pearce/

I’ll link to the podcast once it’s live!

Buy “Dear Mrs Bird”

Buy the bundle of 6 books for £29.99 here:  WHSmith Richard and Judy Book Club Bundle

Buy Dear Mrs Bird for £7.99 as part of a buy one get one half prize deal here:  WHSmith “Dear Mrs Bird”

Buy Dear Mrs Bird for £4.99 here:  Amazon “Dear Mrs Bird

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Win a Copy of “Dear Mrs Bird”

For a chance to win a copy of “Dear Mrs Bird” please enter the Rafflecopter below, remember to read the terms and conditions- good luck!

 

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, “Dear Mrs Bird” Book Review

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, “Dear Mrs Bird” Book Review

, “Dear Mrs Bird” Book Review

Life in a Breakdown

, “Dear Mrs Bird” Book Review

39 Comments

  1. , “Dear Mrs Bird” Book Review
    Sheena Batey
    February 1, 2019 / 9:58 am

    It sounds intriguing and my sort of book

  2. , “Dear Mrs Bird” Book Review
    Susan B
    February 1, 2019 / 10:02 am

    Sounds good and I always like to challenge myself by reading something good outside my usual genre.

  3. , “Dear Mrs Bird” Book Review
    Sally Collingwood
    February 1, 2019 / 10:21 am

    Good reviews, would love to read this book.

  4. , “Dear Mrs Bird” Book Review
    Margaret Gallagher
    February 1, 2019 / 11:02 am

    Heartwarming tale – feel good factor to face any challenge

  5. , “Dear Mrs Bird” Book Review
    Annabel Greaves
    February 1, 2019 / 11:58 am

    I would love to read an uplifting book like this one x

  6. , “Dear Mrs Bird” Book Review
    Natalie burgess
    February 1, 2019 / 1:23 pm

    It sounds like a different genre and really interesting xx

  7. , “Dear Mrs Bird” Book Review
    Kim Murray
    February 1, 2019 / 2:05 pm

    Like books set in wartime – love to find out little facts I didn’t know about that era x

  8. , “Dear Mrs Bird” Book Review
    Sue McCarthy
    February 1, 2019 / 3:30 pm

    My Mum reads a lot, so would love to win this book for her.

  9. , “Dear Mrs Bird” Book Review
    Solange
    February 1, 2019 / 5:09 pm

    Sounds like a sweet, uplifting book about courage and friendship.

  10. , “Dear Mrs Bird” Book Review
    Lisa
    February 2, 2019 / 4:11 am

    The story sounds very much like the stories that i enjoy.I think it’s right for the people with problems not be ignored and that she does the right thing.I’d love to read more about where it leads her.

  11. , “Dear Mrs Bird” Book Review
    Sandra chambers
    February 2, 2019 / 11:28 am

    Thanks for the review. Sounds like my sort of book

  12. , “Dear Mrs Bird” Book Review
    Susan B
    February 2, 2019 / 12:46 pm

    Buying new books either for myself or the children is a little treat so I really appreciate reviews as I know they will be read. Thanks for the giveaway, also.

  13. , “Dear Mrs Bird” Book Review
    Laura Pritchard
    February 2, 2019 / 2:15 pm

    The cover and the Richard & Judy review have intrigued me!

  14. , “Dear Mrs Bird” Book Review
    Chris Andrews
    February 2, 2019 / 3:05 pm

    Why would you like to read “Dear Mrs Bird”?

    set in my favourite era and looks to be a great read

  15. , “Dear Mrs Bird” Book Review
    Clifford Sherwood
    February 2, 2019 / 4:45 pm

    Sounds like a book you could really get your teeth into

  16. , “Dear Mrs Bird” Book Review
    Karen Richards
    February 2, 2019 / 9:12 pm

    Heard so much about this book and the reviews are good. It’s on my must read list.

  17. , “Dear Mrs Bird” Book Review
    Sadiyya Maryam
    February 2, 2019 / 11:50 pm

    It sounds so interesting and heartwarming and I just want to know what happens to Emmy if and when she gets found out!

  18. , “Dear Mrs Bird” Book Review
    Ruth M Harwood
    February 3, 2019 / 10:04 am

    I love discovering new authors and new books!

  19. , “Dear Mrs Bird” Book Review
    Katie Robertson
    February 3, 2019 / 2:26 pm

    This book sounds like like my sort of book.

  20. , “Dear Mrs Bird” Book Review
    Michelle Smith
    February 4, 2019 / 11:43 am

    It looks like the kind of book I would really enjoy.

  21. , “Dear Mrs Bird” Book Review
    Carole Nott
    February 10, 2019 / 10:10 am

    Sounds like a great read – intriquing cover that says open me

  22. , “Dear Mrs Bird” Book Review
    Rachael Sexey
    February 11, 2019 / 9:30 am

    This sounds like a brill read. Thank you for the chance to win 🧡

  23. , “Dear Mrs Bird” Book Review
    Amy Bondoc
    February 11, 2019 / 1:47 pm

    sounds like a good read i love to read

  24. , “Dear Mrs Bird” Book Review
    Charlotte G
    February 15, 2019 / 11:10 am

    I like to read all different kinds of books and this one sounds good

  25. , “Dear Mrs Bird” Book Review
    Maxine Lewis-Enright
    February 17, 2019 / 4:07 pm

    I enjoy finding new books to read, this one seems interesting and I would like to give it a go 🙂

  26. , “Dear Mrs Bird” Book Review
    Priscilla Stubbs
    February 23, 2019 / 10:38 am

    I love to read and this book looks interesting and different to my usual genre.

  27. , “Dear Mrs Bird” Book Review
    Andrea Upton
    February 23, 2019 / 9:27 pm

    I would love to read this as I am a bit of a book worm and I think I would enjoy this

  28. , “Dear Mrs Bird” Book Review
    Claire woods
    February 24, 2019 / 11:02 am

    It sounds good.

  29. , “Dear Mrs Bird” Book Review
    AnnaSSS
    February 26, 2019 / 4:34 am

    Sounds like my sort of book. Love reading! Thank you for the giveaway.xxx

  30. , “Dear Mrs Bird” Book Review
    Bridget Willard
    February 27, 2019 / 9:54 am

    It sounds really interesting and eciting! I love all things to do with the 2nd world war so this would be a great new angle on this subjsct.

  31. , “Dear Mrs Bird” Book Review
    JULIE WARD
    February 27, 2019 / 1:40 pm

    Sounds like a good easy read book, just what I like

  32. , “Dear Mrs Bird” Book Review
    Sylvia Paul
    February 27, 2019 / 9:53 pm

    This sounds like just my sort of book. I find reading about the war so interesting and informative

  33. , “Dear Mrs Bird” Book Review
    Alison
    February 28, 2019 / 2:39 pm

    I am doing a challenge to read 50 books this year and am loving it, have found several new authors and would love to try this one.

  34. , “Dear Mrs Bird” Book Review
    Rebecca Whatmore
    February 28, 2019 / 3:40 pm

    It sounds ideal for my mum as part of a mother’s day gift. She likes reading books set in the war era.

  35. , “Dear Mrs Bird” Book Review
    Angela Kelly
    February 28, 2019 / 4:29 pm

    I will read pretty much any fiction and I’m always looking for my next book!

  36. , “Dear Mrs Bird” Book Review
    Sheri Darby
    February 28, 2019 / 7:51 pm

    Yes it sounds a really good book

  37. , “Dear Mrs Bird” Book Review
    Natalie Crossan
    February 28, 2019 / 9:26 pm

    This would be a good read for my easter break 🙂

  38. , “Dear Mrs Bird” Book Review
    paula cheadle
    February 28, 2019 / 9:54 pm

    it looks like my kind of book

  39. , “Dear Mrs Bird” Book Review
    Lynn Neal
    February 28, 2019 / 10:04 pm

    This book looks an interesting read during summer in the garden!

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