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Keep Calm and Carry On

March 22, 2019 GMT

Dear Mrs. Bird by A. J. Pearce

Emmeline Lake dreams of being a Lady War Correspondent, but England in 1940 offers few chances at that career. So she accepts a job as a “Junior” at a London newspaper, hoping it will eventually lead to advancement.

Turns out, Emmy’s job is to type reply letters to readers of a “Dear Mrs. Bird” advice column. Since Mrs. Bird is a stern and stuffy matron who refuses to answer any mail involving “Suggestive” topics, work is extremely boring.

Emmy’s heart is touched by the many “Difficult Situation” letters that are consigned to the dustbin by Mrs. Bird, and she begins secretly responding to them on her own (but signing Mrs. Bird’s name).

Predictably, this deception leads to complications, though the readership of Mrs. Bird’s column begins to increase thanks to Emmy’s ghost writing.

This is a humorous — but also inspiring story — of London during the World War II blitz of bombings and death and the British determination to keep a stiff upper lip and muddle through.

First time author A. J. Pearce has written a delightful book in the style of “The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir” or “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.” I highly recommend it.

Kerry Pettis is a retired elementary school teacher and children’s librarian who has lived in Broomfield since 1975. Reading is her favorite occupation.