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Publisher's Summary

A riveting glimpse of life and love during and after World War II - a heartwarming, touching, and thoroughly absorbing true story of a world gone by.

In the spring of 1939, with the Second World War looming, two determined 24-year-olds, Heather Jenner and Mary Oliver, decided to open a marriage bureau. They found a tiny office on London's Bond Street and set about the delicate business of matchmaking. Drawing on the bureau's extensive archives, Penrose Halson - who many years later found herself the proprietor of the bureau - tells their story and the stories of their clients.

From shopgirls to debutantes, widowers to war veterans, clients came in search of security, social acceptance, or simply love. And thanks to the meticulous organization and astute intuition of the bureau's matchmakers, most found what they were looking for.

Penrose Halson draws from newspaper and magazine articles, advertisements, and interviews with the proprietors themselves to bring the romance and heartbreak of matchmaking during wartime to vivid, often hilarious life in this unforgettable story of a most unusual business.

©2017 Penrose Halson (P)2017 HarperCollins Publishers

Critic Reviews

"A book full of charm and hilarity." ( Country Life)

What listeners say about The Marriage Bureau

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Splendid!

Love this book! Can’t get enough of this story. Wish it were longer. It would make a wonderful tv series!

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A TV series?

I foresee a British TV series in this book’s future. I certainly hope so. It is an endearing cross between Call the Midwife and Home Fires. I look forward to it!

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Delightful

A good story and a lovely read. I read a lot of nonfiction World War II books, and this was a nice change. The narrator did an excellent job as well.

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Very sweet and not well known history of London.

I was reading it for a book club and enjoyed it very much. good read

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Mesmerizing true wartime vignettes

The Marriage Bureau captures a true series of wartime courtships with winsome accuracy. WWII London is under siege which intensifies personal quests for authentic relationships. The narrator is engaging. Well done. I want a sequel!