Dear Mrs. Bird

By: AJ Pearce
Narrated by: Anna Popplewell
Length: 9 hrs and 48 mins
Categories: Fiction, Historical
4.5 out of 5 stars (567 ratings)

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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
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Keep going...it's worth it

I bought this book for its title (I have a friend named Mrs. Bird). The beginning felt a little slow and repetitive, and more lighthearted than I'd expected the book to be. Take heart—it picks up. And once the ball gets rolling, it's captivating. I really loved the book by the end. It's worth the read.

10 people found this 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

Delightfully Serious Historical Fiction

This book is designed to charm you while causing you to gain a deeper understanding of this critical time in England’s History. A time when the phrase “stiff upper lip” really meant something. A little slow at the beginning until at the end you want to run out and buy a copy of “Woman’s Life”.

Candace Loftus

7 people found this helpful

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

It's a little boring

I gave this book over 1.5 hrs of listening time. I found it boring and didn't keep my interest. Good luck!

2 people found this 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
  • SH
  • 07-06-18

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.

16 people found this helpful

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

A good read to focus WWII portion of what the Brits went through

Slow beginning to develop the characters & plot. However, knowing the background of WWII, many situations brought the reader to realities of bombing, separated families, people maimed, killed, etc. altogether a good read!

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

Easy, Fun, and deeper than first expected

This novel really made me feel like I could imagine life during the war. great book!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Delightful Surprise

When this book was recommended for our book club, I turned up my academic nose, as we were accustomed to reading Award-winning, literary tomes. Upon insistence from some, the book ended up on our list, much to my dismay. What a delightful surprise hid among the pages of this little gem which is filled with humor, imagination, pathos, and characters full of courage during wartime London. The narrator is quite the star, acting each part expertly to bring the personalities to life. I highly recommend it, even to book snobs. I think it would make a wonderful movie.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

An easy read

A bit trite, couldn’t get too attached to the characters, predictable. The writing is just OK. But if you want an easy no brainer to take a break from heavier stuff, this might be a good choice. Definitely chick-lit. The narration is good.

  • Overall
    2 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.

2 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

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.

3 people found this helpful