Book Club



Dear Mrs. Bird

Summer is around the corner so, I’m going to ignore the fact that I still need my winter coat here in Newfoundland, and begin my beach read recommendations! 

One of the things I like best about Dear Mrs. Bird is that author AJ Pearce starts the story with a bang. Not literally, although she could have given that it’s set in wartime England. What I mean is that the story starts right away. From chapter one we meet the main character, Emmy, and learn that what she wants most in the world is to become a war correspondent. 

She applies for a position, but in her excitement doesn’t realize that the job is not with a newspaper, but with a ladies magazine owned by the same company as the newspaper. So, rather than writing hard-hitting news stories, Emmy becomes the administrative assistant to the advice columnist, Mrs. Bird. 

If you like Call the Midwife, you’ll like Dear Mrs. Bird. Pan Macmillan advertises this debut novel as a story about friendship, and it is to a point. But in my opinion, it’s really a performance story about a woman who wants to prove herself on the job but to do so, needs to mature.

Mrs. Bird herself is a bit of a caricature (she even wears feathers), but that doesn’t stop the novel from being funny. Given the setting of London during the blitz, working jokes into the story can’t have been easy. There are some lovely, tender moments in this novel; just enough to make the characters endearing without ruining a sunshiny summer day.

As my friend Anne said, Dear Mrs. Bird is a white wine book. It’s a solid, entertaining read that you can enjoy from the patio.

Available in print, digital and audio versions. Visit your local library or click here to buy the ebook. If your library doesn’t carry this book, ask them to order it.

Audiobook Review

The audiobook is read by actress Anna Popplewell (of Narnia fame). Narrating a novel is a tough gig, but I find that stories performed by trained actors are usually excellent. This is no exception.

Share on twitter
Share on facebook
Share on linkedin
Share on google
Valerie Francis


A friend of mine recently recently recommended Fleishman is in Trouble by Taffy Brodesser-Akner. It’s a great book (lots of “content” though so you’ll definitely want earphones if you’re listening to the audio). Brodesser-Akner used to work for GQ, so it’s like reading a really long GQ article. Her authorial

Read More »
Valerie Francis

The Hunting Party

I don’t know about you, but I could use a literary escape these days, and for me, that means mysteries! If you like Agatha Christie, you’ll like The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley. Alfred Hitchcock said that mysteries are intellectual puzzles, and I agree. (I’m not likely to disagree with

Read More »
Valerie Francis

The Night Circus

This month I’m recommending a book that was recommended to me by my friend and colleague, Leslie Watts. Leslie is also my editor. (Yes, even editors have editors!) Like the novel I’m currently writing, The Night Circus is a non-linear narrative that has multiple, interweaving storylines. So, Leslie suggested we

Read More »

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Join Valerie's
Book Club

books by women,
for women, about women