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Our book of the month pick for April is the debut novel by A.J. Pearce. Irresistibly funny and enormously moving, Dear Mrs Bird is a love letter to female friendship, Blitz spirit, the kindness of strangers and the art of letter-writing itself. We have 50 copies to give away.
London, 1940. 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. Emmy finds herself dismissing problems from lovelorn, grief-stricken and morally conflicted readers in favour of those who fear their ankles are unsightly or have trouble untangling lengths of wool. But soon the thought of desperate women going unanswered becomes too much to bear and Emmy decides the only thing for it is to secretly write back.
"A joy from start to finish. Dear Mrs Bird is as funny as it is heart-warming" John Boyne
"Thoroughly charming… A joyous tale about female friendship" The Bookseller, 'Book of the Month'
"Joyfully uplifting… the literary tonic of the year" Observer
"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
A.J. Pearce grew up in Hampshire and studied at the University of Sussex. A chance discovery of a 1939 woman’s magazine became the inspiration for her ever-growing collection and her first novel. She now lives in the south of England.
Dear Mrs Bird is published by Picador. All our free copies have now been allocated - don't forget that if you do receive one, we'll need you to add your questions and comments for A.J. to the thread (coming soon!) by the end of April.