When Emmy sees a job posting at the London Evening Chronicle, her dreams of becoming a Lady War Correspondent seem achievable. But the job turns out to be working as a typist for the fierce and renowned advice columnist, Henrietta Bird. Mrs. Bird is very clear: letters containing any Unpleasantness must go straight in the bin. But when Emmy reads these poignant notes, she is unable to resist responding.
A jolly romp through London in the blitz sounds like an unlikely idea for a novel, but Dear Mrs Bird is full of poignant moments that cut through the froth of its narrator’s voice ... And though at times the book seems like an Evelyn Waugh pastiche crossed with a Radio 4 comedy drama, complete with hilarious misunderstandings and some dodgy dialogue, Emmy is truly charming. When her upper lip finally wobbles, the reader’s will, too ... along the way she shows some grown-up insights as well as true grit ... In the end, the novel’s spirit is madly winning.
...a moving, funny homage to women and friendship ... there is more to this very English novel than first meets the eye ... Dear Mrs. Bird is a delightful read — funny and poignant, yet with horrific descriptions of bombed-out London.
London during the Blitz is a well-worn setting, but Pearce successfully brings a fresh perspective by placing Emmy, Bunty, and their concerns centre stage. The women are charming. Their stories weave together episodes of romance, family and friendship set against the pressures and tragedies of German air raids ... Inspired by actual Agony Aunt columns from wartime magazines, she’s given us a fun read ... expect Emmy and her jolly adventure to make some noise.