Dear Mrs. Bird [AJ Pierce]

Start Date: 29 May, 2020

Finish Date: 30 May, 2020

Source: National Library Board, Singapore ebook

Goodreads link.

Goodreads summary:

London, 1941. Amid the falling bombs Emmeline Lake dreams of becoming a fearless Lady War Correspondent. Unfortunately, Emmy instead finds herself employed as a typist for the formidable Henrietta Bird, the renowned agony aunt at Woman’s Friend magazine. Mrs Bird refuses to read, let alone answer, letters containing any form of Unpleasantness, and definitely not those from the lovelorn, grief-stricken or morally conflicted.

But the thought of these desperate women waiting for an answer at this most desperate of times becomes impossible for Emmy to ignore. She decides she simply must help and secretly starts to write back – after all, what harm could that possibly do?

Notes:

  • This was a competent, enjoyable, light hearted – but not outstanding – novel. Did I enjoy it? Absolutely. Would I recommend it? Eh, not with any enthusiasm, unless somebody was asking me specifically for something to lighten their mind or heart. It was wonderful at that.
  • This follows in the tradition of Eleanor Oliphant and Today Will Be Different of elevating largely accepted wisdom about psychology, mental health, and relationships into a novel. And it does it well, but… there’s no startlingly new insight. It was like a middling-to-good romcom movie, especially the climax with the slightly exasperated but more amused big boss.
  • I suppose I shouldn’t hate on it so much considering I enjoyed it. But I am a little annoyed about the opportunity loss of having read something better. But then I’ve hardly been able to find anything very much better either.
  • Current day bromides about self care (even if they don’t use the phrase) seem a bit anachronistic in World War 2 England, but maybe that’s me being curmudgeonly.
  • And where words are concerned, shouldn’t “going into orbit” be anachronistic too?

 

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