“If there was anything I wanted most in the world (other, of course, than for the war to end and Hitler to die a quite grisly death), it was to be a journalist.”
Hello my lovelies! Today I’m writing up a quick review on A.J. Pearce’s novel, Dear Mrs. Bird which I recently completed.
If you hadn’t already noticed, this year, wartime fiction has had a pretty substantial presence on my reading list. Recently, historical fiction set during WWI or WWII has easily become one of my favourite genres to read. I can’t get enough of it quite honestly!! That’s why I decided to pick up Dear Mrs. Bird, which is yet another story about women during WWII.
Dear Mrs. Bird follows a year in the life of Emmy Lake, a twenty-something living in WWII London, who dreams of becoming a Lady War Correspondent. When a job posting in a newspaper comes up, Emmy is quick to apply to the position before even reading the job description. It’s not until afterwards that she realizes that the job calls for a typist for an advice columnist. Not only that, but her boss is a complete terror who refuses to advise women who have ‘improper’ problems. So Emmy begins secretly responding to women behind her boss’s back.
Quite simply, I found this book to be very cute. I don’t think that it was nearly the hardest-hitting of all the wartime novels I’ve read this year, but I do think it was an important look at women’s efforts in the Second World War. I’ve been studying women’s history this term in uni and the past little while has been about the interwar years and WWII, so it’s definitely been interesting to see the parallels in my recreational reading and my school stuff!
I think that Emmy was a bit immature, considering that she was in her early twenties and involved in war efforts. I would think that war would make people, even young people, mature a lot quicker due to the circumstances. But it felt like Emmy’s primary concern was becoming a big fancy war correspondent, and the rest was just ~whatevs~. I also thought her best friend was immature (and sometimes annoying oops) as well.
(Side note: I also have to mention the fact that some things were capitalized randomly throughout the novel, to draw emphasis, and it absolutely bothered me to not end. If you remember my review on The Alice Network, you probably remember how this sort of thing in writing is my biggest pet peeve!)
Honestly, I saw this more as a lighthearted adult fiction that just so happened to be set during the war, as opposed to a wartime novel. It was a cute, heartwarming story and I loved the focus on women breaking into the paid workforce, but it just didn’t have that certain je ne sais quoi, y’know??
Have you read Dear Mrs. Bird? Do you agree with me?
Goodreads Challenge: 28 out of 50