Dear Mrs Bird |Book Review

|Books I read in 2018 but never wrote a review|

This book is written by debut author AJ Pearce and was published by Picador books in April 2018.

All Emmeline Lake wants to do during this wretched World War, is to contribute in some way to helping the people survive it. Men have left homes to fight in the War and the women of the household are miserable, anxious and afraid. Emmeline wants to be a war correspondent working for the Government and bringing people news of the War. She doesn’t get selected while her friend Bunty is working in the War Office. So she does her part by volunteering at the Fire station where Bunty’s boyfriend works and every time the phone rings informing about yet another Nazi bombing, she makes sure the fire fighters on their way to help the victims.

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When Emmeline applies for a job, which she considers will be a journalist for a famous newspaper, little does she know, she will be working for it’s sister concern Women’s Friend, a magazine that has a failing subscription rate. She is to work directly for Mrs Henrietta Bird, who replies to letters from readers (agony aunt) in her column Dear Mrs Bird. She is downright ‘Miranda Priestly of the 1940’s’ and everyone fears her. Ofcourse she has her own set of conditions and terms “actual” issues from readers as unpleasant and never replies back.

With her gnawing need to help people coping up with the war, Emmeline starts responding to these messages/letters under Henrietta’s name. She even sneaks one or two into the final copy for publishing them. Until she gets caught.

You can see what war does to the people who are left back, the women folk and children managing to survive amidst all the Nazi bombings. The toll it takes on their mental, physical and social lives. This is a really sweet book about the lives of people who suffered the aftermath of the War and dealing with loss of loved ones. It has the right amount of humour, the right amount of “unpleasantness” and appreciates women and men equally for their contribution towards Surviving the War.

Two most important aspects of the book I loved are – friendship and letter writing . I’ve always loved writing letters and though it seems to be forgotten these days, reading all the correspondence in this book was heartwarming.

If you love reading about books centred around World War II, then this is for you. If you loved The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society this is for you. A debut that is wonderfully written!

I rated it a 4 stars.

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My Lady Jane – Book Review

Authors: Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton and Jodi Meadows

Publisher: HarperTeen

Get your copy from Amazon

Book Blurb

The comical, fantastical, romantical, (not) entirely true story of Lady Jane Grey. In My Lady Jane, co-authors Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows have created a one-of-a-kind fantasy in the tradition of The Princess Bride, featuring a reluctant king, an even more reluctant queen, a noble steed, and only a passing resemblance to actual history—because sometimes history needs a little help.
At sixteen, Lady Jane Grey is about to be married off to a stranger and caught up in a conspiracy to rob her cousin, King Edward, of his throne. But those trifling problems aren’t for Jane to worry about. Jane is about to become the Queen of England.

My Thoughts

I lovedddddd this book. It was freaking hilarious and soooo much fun to read. The right amount of  humor, magic, twisted history, love and what-not!!

The authors have very humbly (!!!?!!) apologized in the beginning for changing Britain’s history in this book. I mean look at this Dedication note in the beginning. I fell in love from here, precisely.

“Dedication:

For everyone who knows there was enough room for Leonardo DiCaprio on that door.

And for England. We’re really sorry for what we’re about to do to your history.”

This is about King Edward VI and his cousin Lady Jane. For those of you who don’t know the real history, young King Edward died at the age of 15. He named his first cousin once-removed Lady Jane as his successor much to the hatred of his elder sister Mary, who is actual the first-born of King Henry VIII. Lady Jane reigned as Queen for exactly 9 days after which Mary took over the kingdom with the help of an army and beheaded Jane. King Edward chose Jane because he wanted a protestant ruler and Mary wasn’t.

So how have they twisted it here in this book… Instead of bringing the religious wars in here, the three authors have invented something called Edians (pronounced Eth-ee-uhn) – people who can switch between animal form and human form.  So Edward, Jane all belong to the Edian bloodline and Mary hates Edians, so get it? The people who oppose this kind of transformation are called the Verities. Not necessarily all Edians have the ability to transform into their animal forms.

Jane is being married off hurriedly to Lord Gifford Dudley, son of Lord Dudley who is the member of the Privy Council that assists the King. Jane is against the wedding, but agrees as it is Edward’s dying wish though she isn’t aware of the will that makes her his successor. Nor is she aware of her fiance who is half-man, half-horse, horse by day and man by dusk. The twist in the story here is …. well, i don’t wanna reveal it, but I assure you it’s so so funny and amusing.

Jane is the main character of this book but Gifford is my favourite!

I liked the writing style of the authors, so much comical and sarcastic.  See for example, when Jane is made Queen, G (Gifford prefers to be called G) thinks he will be made King but Jane doesn’t want a horse as a King.

“Otherwise, how would the introductions of the royal couple go?” – “Ladies and gentlemen, presenting Her Majesty, The Queen of England! Escorted by …. this fellow”

Jane is so bookish and the book titles of that century that the authors have invented for her are downright funny. When G contemplates the fact that Jane would make a better Queen,

He was sure somewhere along the way, Jane had read a book with the title like, How to rule a Kingdom, Even if You’re thirty-second in the Line of Succession and Chances are you’ll never actually rule: Volume One of Three.

Can i say one more time that i absolutely loved this book!! 😀 This book is not something which you read, analyse deeply and get caught up with. It’s a fun laugh-out-loud book, with nothing to be serious about. I loved Jane and G’s fights and all the references the authors give. Whatcha doing, go get this one already now. If you have read this book, comment your favorite part in the book

My rating is 5/5 undoubtedly !!