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Dear Mrs. Bird
2018
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Summary
This charming, irresistible debut novel set in London during World War II about a young woman who longs to be a war correspondent and inadvertantly becomes a secret advice columnist is "a jaunty, heartbreaking winner" ( People )--for fans of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and Lilac Girls . <br> <br> Emmeline Lake and her best friend Bunty are doing their bit for the war effort and trying to stay cheerful, despite the German planes making their nightly raids. Emmy dreams of becoming a Lady War Correspondent, and when she spots a job advertisement in the newspaper she seizes her chance; but after a rather unfortunate misunderstanding, she finds herself typing letters for the formidable Henrietta Bird, renowned advice columnist of Woman's Friend magazine.<br> <br> Mrs. Bird is very clear: letters containing any Unpleasantness must go straight into the bin. But as Emmy reads the desperate pleas from women who many have Gone Too Far with the wrong man, or can't bear to let their children be evacuated, she begins to secretly write back to the readers who have poured out their troubles.<br> <br> "Fans of Jojo Moyes will enjoy AJ Pearce's debut, with its plucky female characters and fresh portrait of women's lives in wartime Britain" ( Library Journal )--a love letter to the enduring power of friendship, the kindness of strangers, and the courage of ordinary people in extraordinary times. "Headlined by its winning lead character, who always keeps carrying on, Pearce's novel is a delight" ( Publishers Weekly ). Irrepressibly funny and enormously moving, Dear Mrs. Bird is "funny and poignant...about the strength of women and the importance of friendship" ( Star Tribune , Minneapolis).
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  Booklist Review

When Pearce happened upon a 1939 British women's magazine, the idea for her first novel was born. Pearce glimpsed a time when women faced unimaginably difficult situations and often had nowhere to turn besides writing a letter to the Problems Page. From those voices of the past arose heroine Emmeline Lake, a plucky young woman trying to do her part for the war effort. When Emmy hastily takes a job at Woman's Friend, a magazine on its last legs, her journalistic dreams seem dashed. Instead of gathering stories from the front line, she's under the thumb of conservative Mrs. Bird, who refuses to answer letters with any Unpleasantness. Deciding to take matters into her own hands, Emmy secretly replies to readers looking for guidance. But when her life changes forever after a German air raid, Emmy must end the ruse and face reality. Set against a backdrop of war-torn London, this is a charming and heartfelt novel. Pearce brings to life a tale of true friendship, and how love will outlast even the most challenging times.--Norstedt, Melissa Copyright 2010 Booklist
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