Dear Mrs Bird is a war novel, focused on a character called Emmeline Lake that wants to become a war correspondent during WW2. While working night shifts at the fire station to answer distress calls, she sees an ad in a newspaper for the London Evening Chronicle, believing that her dream job is about to become a reality. But instead she finds herself being a typist for the very proper Mrs Bird. She is very clear in the letters that she will accept and respond to, and they must never possess any sort of ‘unpleasantness’.
Emmeline notices that a lot of poignant letters are being refused that could really help somebody, so decides to take matters into her own hands. She begins to send out responses acting as though she is Mrs Bird, tackling the more ‘difficult’ posts: ladies falling in love with other men while their husband is out fighting, feeling scared after the bombings and even girls who have fallen in love with soldiers they have met and their parents don’t approve.
AJ Pearce manages to make you feel as though you are transported to 1940, clearly a well-researched book and based on some real tragedies that really happened during the war like the Cafe de Paris bombing. It involves two of the main characters both of whom are heavily injured and make the characters have so much more depth to them that you cannot stop reading.
You don’t have to be someone who is heavily interested in WW2, as this book focuses on so many different aspects of life that anyone would be able to relate to in their own way.
All in all it is a light-hearted book considering it is about the Blitz, but with themes of romance, humour and heartache it really is a book that you will finish in a matter of days.
Let me know if you’ve read it, and what you thought!