AJ Pearce is an English author who grew up in Hampshire, UK. She studied American History at the University of Sussex. Pearce says growing up, she always loved writing. It was after taking a weeklong writing course that she considered becoming a writer.
Her debut novel “Dear Mrs Bird” (The Emmy Lake Chronicles) was a Sunday Times Bestseller. The novel has been translated into fifteen languages. Pearce reveals that her inspiration for writing a war novel came from her discovery of a British weekly women’s magazine from 1939.
Thereupon, she began to collect more wartime vintage magazines for crafting the background of her novel. The sequel to Dear Mrs Bird is titled, Yours Cheerfully!
Read more about AJ Pearce in this interview with the Guardian!
Complete List of AJ Pearce books
Dear Mrs Bird ( The Emmy Lake Chronicles #1)
Set in 1940s London, Dear Mrs Bird follows 23-year old Emmy Lake who dreams of becoming a war correspondent. Currently, along with working at her day job, she is volunteering as a telephone operator with the Auxiliary Fire Services.
One day an advertisement from London Evening Chronicle about an open position catches her attention. Overexcited, she is certain that her dream is almost coming true. However, soon she finds out that her new job is nothing more than typing letters. She has been appointed as a junior typist to write responses in a column of Woman’s Friend Magazine on behalf of Mrs Bird.
However, Mrs Bird doesn’t accept the questions from unacceptable topics such as divorce, sexuality and war. Yet Emmy plucks up the courage to send responses to women who mostly want answers in the above those subjects.
Dear Mrs Bird combines the wartime realities with strong female friendships.
Yours Cheerfully ( The Emmy Lake Chronicles #2)
The second book from the Emmy Lake Chronicles titled, “Yours Cheerfully” follows Emmy’s life in June 1941. Henrietta Bird has left the position at Women’s Friend magazine, and Emmy is the wartime advice columnist. The Column is named Yours Cheerfully and it encourages women to speak up about their problems.
When the Ministry of Information invites Mr Collins, the new editor of the Women’s Friend magazine, he asks Emmy to come along. They discuss the rallying of female workers to the war front. Shortly after, Emmy is appointed as the reporter to carry out the task.
Within a few days, Emmy interviews young women and learns about the harsh realities and the real challenges most women face during wartime. Now Emmy is forced to choose between her duty and friendship.
More authors like AJ Pearce
If you love reading novels set in wartime or read about the life and hardships of women, grab the works of these authors immediately.
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What are some of your favourite wartime? Let me know in the comments!