As the German planes make their nightly raids, and London picks up the smoldering pieces each morning, Emmy secretly begins to write back to the readers who have poured out their troubles.
Prepare to fall head over heels for Emmy and her best friend, Bunty, who are gutsy and spirited, even in the face of a terrible blow. The irrepressible Emmy keeps writing letters in this hilarious and enormously moving tale of friendship, the kindness of strangers, and ordinary people in extraordinary times.
Synopsis from Amazon
After reading the synopsis online, I was THRILLED when Simon & Schuster sent me a copy to read and review. I love historical fiction (I actually love anything involving history) but I haven't read any historical fic novels in the last little bit because they tend to be very heavy reads and I've just been too busy with work. But Dear Mrs. Bird was a historical novel that was right up my alley -- a fun story of two best friends adapting and surviving life in London during the Blitz in WWII. I loved reading Emmy and Bunty's story and the was that Pearce brought this part of history to life.
Fun Piece Historical Fiction
Pearce was inspired to write this book after finding some old newspapers from 1941 and reading the advice column in it. I really love that she took such a genuine part of history and had fun with it! This is a tough time to be living in London, but Emmy and Bunty accept this challenge and refuse to stop living their lives simply because Hitler was trying to break the British spirit. This book was fun to read (which is odd to say about a novel that is continuously dealing with nightly bombings) because its characters seem contemporary, even though it's taking place in the 1940s. Emmy and Bunty are not passive women; instead, they have jobs, they are living alone in the city, they date, and they are as independent as two young women in the 1940s could be. I'd like to think that women similar to them truly did exist, but they are pretty wonderful.
A Look at Life During the Blitz
The Blitz was an almost 3 month nightly bombing attack on London by the Luftwaffe (Hitler’s Air Force) and is remembered in history as an example of the unbreakable British spirit. It was a time of young men fighting across the continent, of rationing, of fear, of nightly light curfews (so the planes couldn't easily see where people were below), and of trying to go every day not knowing if this was the night that a bomb might find your home or the home of someone you love. And yet, Pearce brings a lightness to these dark days in the form of Emmy, a would-be War Correspondent Reporter who thinks in Headlines And Capital Letters and brings a new passion to the very uptight "Ask Mrs. Bird" column in a dying newspaper. I loved that Emmy had the courage to break the rules and start responding to young women who had fallen into Unfortunate Circumstances or simply were asking for help. As a history teacher, I appreciated that Pearce humanized the Blitz, including what it felt like for the firemen in London and the women answering the nightly phone calls from desperate citizens.
Dear Mrs. Bird is a great book to pick up this summer! While it deals with some heavy moments, it's a light and fun read that is perfect for those wanting a bit of history but also a lot of fun. I love the things that Emmy gets up to and think that this was a really great way to view a moment in history. Have you read Dear Mrs. Bird yet? Let me know if you do and what you think of it!
FINAL RATING: 4/5
Hi, I'm Alexandra! I love reading (largely YA fiction, but sometimes I'll read "adult" books), playing board games, Nutella, and binge-watching TV shows on Netflix with my husband.
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