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.

PNG image-F518750A7B04-1

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.

a9d463700f136e8be53125e5f00b940528dde0-bktoschool74