Dear Mrs Bird (Picador, 2018)
London, 1941. Emmeline Lake and her best friend Bunty are trying to stay cheerful despite the Luftwaffe making life thoroughly annoying for everyone. 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, the renowned agony aunt of Woman’s Friend magazine.
Mrs Bird is very clear: letters containing any form of Unpleasantness must go straight into the bin. But as Emmy reads the desperate pleas from women who may have Gone Too Far with the wrong man, or can’t bear to let their children be evacuated, she decides the only thing for it is to secretly write back . . .
Irresistibly funny and enormously moving, Dear Mrs Bird by AJ Pearce is a love letter to the enduring power of friendship, the kindness of strangers and the courage of ordinary people in extraordinary times.
- Sunday Times Top Ten Bestseller
- Richard & Judy Book Club Pick
- Shortlisted for the Books Are My Bag Breakthrough Author award 2019
- Shortlisted for the British Book Awards’ Debut of the Year 2019
- Shortlisted for the Royal Society of Literature Sir Christopher Bland Prize 2019
- Longlisted for the Comedy Women in Print Award 2019
- Longlisted for the Goldsborough Glass Bell Award 2019
- Longlisted for the Historical Writers’ Association’s Best Historical Debut of the Year 2019
‘If I had only known how much I was going to adore Dear Mrs Bird, I wouldn’t have gobbled it down all at once. Funny, fresh, and touching, Dear Mrs Bird is a treat of a read. It has ruined me for all the books I’m supposed to be reading. Where will I find another novel so fresh and delightful?’ Annie Barrows, author of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
‘The sweetest, most uplifting, lovely book about courage, friendship, love . . . It’ll be huge; it deserves to be’ Marian Keyes, author of The Break
‘A joy from start to finish. Dear Mrs Bird is as funny as it is heart-warming’ John Boyne, author of The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas
‘A marvellous treat. Charming and delightful’ Nina Stibbe, author of Love, Nina
‘Joyfully uplifting . . . the literary tonic of the year’ The Observer
‘Dear Mrs Bird is an adorable novel, charming, funny, and uplifting . . . Catch a cold immediately and retire to bed with it’ Louisa Young, author of My Dear I Wanted To Tell You
‘Irresistibly charming and delightful’ Kate Eberlen, author of Miss You
‘I’ve never read a novel that has grabbed me by the heart quite so much as this one’ Shelley Harris, author of Jubilee
‘I fell in love with Dear Mrs Bird on page one and completely adored every single word . . . a wonderfully heartwarming book, which I will recommend to everyone I know’ Jill Mansell, author of It Started With a Secret
‘An utterly charming story of friendship, heartbreak and heroism… You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll love it’ Lucy Diamond, author of Summer at Shell Cottage
‘Imagine Bridget Jones running amok in the wartime world of Mrs Miniver. AJ Pearce’s hoot of a debut is a story of tragedy borne with a blithe Blitz spirit… A comic confection that is sweetly uplifting’ The Sunday Times
‘A comic novel about an agony aunt in wartime London proves as hilarious as it is moving’ The Guardian
‘This story of female friendship is just the tonic for that jaded feeling that the world is ugly and mad’ The Times
‘A delight: witty, tear-jerking and a vivid depiction of the time. I absolutely loved it’ Woman & Home, ‘Pick of the Month’
‘Thoroughly charming… A joyous tale about female friendship’ The Bookseller, ‘Book of the Month’
‘Books that make you shake with laughter and sob with tears are rare. I gulped this one down but didn’t stop thinking about it for a long time’ Katie Fforde
‘My most eagerly anticipated debut novel of 2018 . . . . ticks boxes I didn’t even know I had’ Sarra Manning, RedAbout AJ Pearce
Yours Cheerfully (Picador, 2021)
The Times Top Ten Bestseller
From the Sunday Times bestselling author of Dear Mrs Bird comes Yours Cheerfully, the charming and hilarious tonic we’ve all been waiting for!
‘Sweet, heart-warming and uplifting . . . Absolutely lovely!’ – Marian Keyes, author of Grown Ups
‘Full of wit, friendship and the uplifting knowledge that when people come together, great changes can be made’ – Katie Fforde, author of Wedding Season
London, September, 1941.
Following the departure of the formidable Editor, Henrietta Bird, from Woman’s Friend magazine, things are looking up for Emmeline Lake as she takes on the challenge of becoming a young wartime advice columnist. Her relationship with boyfriend Charles is blossoming, while Emmy’s best friend Bunty, is still reeling from the very worst of the Blitz, but bravely looking to the future. Together, the friends are determined to Make a Go of It.
When the Ministry of Information calls on Britain’s women’s magazines to help recruit desperately needed female workers to the war effort, Emmy is thrilled to be asked to step up and help. But when she and Bunty meet a young woman who shows them the very real challenges that women war workers face, Emmy must tackle a life-changing dilemma between doing her duty, and standing by her friends.
Every bit as funny, touching and cheering as AJ Pearce’s debut, Dear Mrs Bird, Yours Cheerfully is a celebration of friendship, a testament to the strength of women and the importance of lifting each other up, even in the most challenging times.