Friday 27 April 2018

Dear Mrs Bird by AJ Pearce @ajpearcewrites @picadorbooks @CamillaElworthy #DearMrsBird #Giveaway #Win

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 . . .
Irresistibly funny and enormously moving, Dear Mrs Bird by AJ Pearce is a love letter to the enduring power of friendship, the kindness of strangers and the courage of ordinary people in extraordinary times.

Dear Mrs Bird by AJ Pearce was published in hardback by Picador on 5 April 2018. The paperback will be released in July. This is the author's debut novel. My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review.

I have a gorgeous hardback copy of Dear Mrs Bird to giveaway to one blog reader. Entry is simple, just fill out the competition widget at the end of this post. The competition will stay open for seven days. UK ENTRIES ONLY.  Good luck! 

I was lucky enough to hear  AJ Pearce read from Dear Mrs Bird at a Picador event and I've been so looking forward to this book. It really did not disappoint. This review was published in the Daily Express on Friday 20th April

It is 1941 and London is under relentless fire from German bombs. Emmeline Lake and her childhood friend Bunty have left their small hometown to live and work in the capital where they are doing their bit for the war effort.

Emmeline already volunteers for the Auxiliary Fire Service, answering their phones during bombing raids, but her dream is to become a Lady War Correspondent and report from the front-line.
She feels that would be an Incredibly Brave thing to do (Emmeline talks in Capital Letters a lot). Her dreams appear to come true when she lands a job at the London Evening Chronicle.
She is to be a war correspondent at last! But Emmeline is in for a Nasty Shock when she realises that she is in fact in charge of typing up the problem page letters for Woman’s Friend magazine.
The closest she gets to the London Evening Chronicle is working in the same building. To make matters worse the Woman’s Friend agony aunt is the intimidating and defiantly old-fashioned Mrs Henrietta Bird. 
She is thoroughly unsympathetic to almost all of the readers’ concerns and has a strict rule: she will not read or respond to any letter that contains unpleasantness. Among the subjects deemed unpleasant are marital relations, pre-marital relations and extra-marital relations.
But these are all pressing concerns for many British women whose love lives have been turned upside down by the war. Emmeline is a modern, forward-thinking kind of girl and she finds some readers’ letters heartbreaking.
She eventually decides she must answer them herself. After all, everyone knows that Mrs Bird doesn’t even read the finished magazine because she is far too busy dealing with Important War Work.
But Emmeline finds it is harder to keep her secret than she hoped. Dear Mrs Bird is an assured and warm debut novel from an author who is certainly one to watch. Incredibly funny yet very touching, it explores friendship and romance against the bleak backdrop of the Blitz with trademark British humour and a stiff upper lip.
Dear Mrs Bird

AJ Pearce grew up in Hampshire and studied at the University of Sussex. A chance discovery of a 1939 woman’s magazine became the inspiration for her ever-growing collection and her first novel Dear Mrs Bird
She now lives in the south of England.
Find out more at
Follow her on Twitter @ajpearcewrites
Instagram @ajpearcewrites

1 comment:

  1. I loved all the talking in Capital Letters - Such Fun!