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Publisher's Summary

"A marvelous treat. Charming and delightful." (Nina Stibbe, author of Love, Nina)

An irresistible debut set in London during World War II about an adventurous young woman who becomes a secret advice columnist - a warm, funny, and enormously moving story for fans of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and Lilac Girls.

London, 1940. Emmeline Lake is Doing Her Bit for the war effort, volunteering as a telephone operator with the Auxiliary Fire Services. When Emmy sees an advertisement for a job at the London Evening Chronicle, her dreams of becoming a Lady War Correspondent suddenly seem achievable. But the job turns out to be working as a typist for the fierce and renowned advice columnist Henrietta Bird. Emmy is disappointed but gamely bucks up and buckles down.

Mrs. Bird is very clear: Letters containing any Unpleasantness must go straight in the bin. But when Emmy reads poignant notes from women who may have Gone Too Far with the wrong men, or who can't bear to let their children be evacuated, she is unable to resist responding. As the German planes make their nightly raids and London picks up the smoldering pieces each morning, Emmy secretly begins to write back to the readers who have poured out their troubles.

Prepare to fall head over heels for Emmy and her best friend, Bunty, who are gutsy and spirited, even in the face of a terrible blow. The irrepressible Emmy keeps writing letters in this hilarious and enormously moving tale of friendship, the kindness of strangers, and ordinary people in extraordinary times.

©2018 AJ Pearce (P)2018 Simon & Schuster

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What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Felt more like a children's book...

...that was quickly tweeked and filled out to remarket as an adult novel..And failed miserably.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

A Happy Romp Through The Blitz

I absolutely hated every aspect of this inane representation of life in London during WWII. The narration was so false and forced I was sure it was an American doing a phony over the top British accent. After some research I found that Popplewell was indeed an English actress and had played the role of Susan in The Chronicles of Narnia. Go figure. Not sure what happened here but the narration, in my opinion, was overblown.

Further research produced quotes such as the one used in the title of this review. This picture of WWII London as "delightful" and "charming", to me, felt fake and stylized. It just rang completely untrue. My beloved great-aunt, survivor of the London Blitz, is without question rolling in her grave. Hogwash.

11 of 18 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good story but sometimes lost

I enjoyed the story of wartime London. However, the central character’s voice gets a little lost in her own “preachiness” too often. Those moments remind me of the old wartime films that were made as propaganda to bolster morale and support for the war effort. Still, it gave a little insight into those long-ago lives and times.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Anne
  • Durham, NC
  • 08-13-18

Unbearably tedious

Dear Mrs. Bird is ludicrously predictable in plot and unbearably juvenile in tone, rather like a Girl Guide story of a plucky young woman. I suppose the narrator is trying to do justice to the cliched material, but I found I could not stand listening to it.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Young adult, but engaging

I’m ambivalent about this book. I nearly dropped it early on, as its main characters seem silly and the plot generally lacks depth. But as I persevered, I was drawn into the wartime world and the portrayal of young women struggling to cope with its challenges. The British cult of propriety was also something I came to contemplate. Some characters grew more interesting over the course of the book, while others stayed maddeningly one-dimensional. This is by no means deep literature, but by the end, I found it hard to put down. A beach read type of book, best enjoyed as I did, in Audible, for the excellent performances of the narrator.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

An easy listen if you don’t want to get too attached to a novel.

I liked the book but the lady’s voice reading it sometimes got on my nerves. It’s distracting from the storyline. I think I focused more on that then what the book was about. The ending was abrupt. If you need a book you don’t have to follow closely, this is it.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kathy
  • NEW YORK, NY, United States
  • 07-07-18

I felt I was in England

during the bombing of London in WWII. The story, many moments amusing and many moments poignant, will be with me as I consider my easy life and deal with my minor daily challenges. Thanks fir the loving care in the writing, the outstanding narration and the thoughtful production!

3 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A Charmer

Well written, engaging. I wish there were more of these to listen to. Loved it!

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Thought provoking!

The author weaves a wonderful story about two girlfriends during WWII and the bombings of London. AJ Pearce explains that her inspiration for the book was from women’s magazines during wartime London.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Such an entertaining read!

Dear Mrs. Bird was a lovely read. Set in London during the World War II, we follow Emmy Lake, a young woman who is eager to be a writer and be relevant to her country's situation. She fins a job in a magazine thinking it will be about one thing but is another description altogether. It was interesting to see Emmy finding compassion towards women who weren't participating in combat and learning to understand their struggle being at home where there bombings. There was also humor in this book and the characters were lively and well written. I think this novel has something for everyone: humor, history, friendship, a little bit of romance and professional struggles. I am giving it 3,5 stars. Also, the audiobook narrator did a fantastic job and made the story that much richer!

1 of 3 people found this review helpful