Monday, September 23, 2019

Upbeat WWII Novel Funny and Charming

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Although Emmeline "Emmy" Lake does her part for the war effort by penning cheery, uplifting letters to her soldier fianceè and volunteering as a telephone operator at the local fire station, she longs to do more.  What the 22-year-old really yearns to be is one of the smart war correspondents who are always dashing about importantly.  When she spots a Help Wanted ad for a job at the newspaper, Emmy seizes the opportunity.  It's only belatedly that she realizes the position she has secured is not exactly what she had in mind.

As the new assistant to Henrietta Bird—a seasoned and formidable advice columnist—Emmy is tasked with screening the letters sent to her boss.  Mrs. Bird refuses to answer any that deal with Unpleasantness of any kind.  Although Emmy's supposed to dispose of such notes, her heart breaks over letters from desperate women asking for help with everything from unexpected pregnancy to worries about the war to relationship woes to menopause.  Knowing Mrs. Bird will never answer such queries, Emmy takes on the task herself, dispensing sage advice using her boss' name.  It doesn't take long for things to get more than a little messy.  In over her head, Emmy doesn't know what to do—confess what she's doing and lose her job or do only what she's being paid to do and let down panicked people in need of real help.  As her life slowly falls apart around her, Emmy must make some tough decisions, decisions that could cost her everything that's important to her.

Dear Mrs. Bird, a debut novel by A.J. Pearce, tells a funny, upbeat tale about the complications of ordinary life, especially during extraordinary times.  The cast features colorful, relatable characters who are easy to love and root for.  Although the plotline is lively and entertaining, Dear Mrs. Bird also features some poignant, heartbreaking scenes that remind the reader of its sobering WWII backdrop.  Overall, though, this is a delightful, uplifting story, one that makes for light-but-with-substance reading.  I loved it.

(Readalikes:  Reminds me a little of The Downstairs Girl by Stacey Lee, The Spies of Shilling Lane by Jennifer Ryan, and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows)

Grade:


If this were a movie, it would be rated:  


for brief, mild language (no F-bombs), violence, blood/gore, and vague references to sex

To the FTC, with love:  I bought a copy of Dear Mrs. Bird from Amazon with a portion of the millions I make from my lucrative career as a book blogger.  Ha ha.

7 comments:

  1. Ha. I see you've now read a book with one of "those" covers.

    Seriously, though, this one sounds like fun. It's not often that you run across a funny WWII novel.

    Oh...I found one of "those" covers on Amazon today for $2.99. "Resistance Women" is still going for about $20 in hardcover but the ebook is on sale right now. That one looks pretty good but it will be a while before I can get around to it.

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    1. Ha ha. I actually read the book in hardback, which has a different cover. I posted the paperback version because I like it better! LOL.

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  2. I loved this book when I read it a while back. It just hit the right spot at the time and I've recommended it to others. It worked for some and not for others - as books will do. I pointed out to people that it wasn't a crime novel - ha!

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    1. Nope, not a crime novel! That's another reason I enjoyed it so much - it was a change of pace for me. Even when I read historical fiction, it's usually heavier, more provocative novels. I liked that this one had substance, but could also be classified as a light read.







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  3. I like the sound of this one and will definitely find a copy to read.

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  4. I haven't heard of this book, but it sounds really interesting. I'm going to go in search of it! Good review!

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