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Secrets of a bestseller

You can see AJ Pearce, author of the hit Dear Mrs Bird, at Hungerford

Trish Lee

Trish Lee


01635 886663

Secrets of a bestseller

AJ 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 hit novel Dear Mrs Bird. At 53, this is her first novel and it is already receiving acclaim. It was won by Picador in a seven-way auction and is now set for television adaptation.

Hungerford Bookshop’s Emma Milne-White talks to her about the book on Tuesday, June 26, at 7.30pm, in Hungerford Town Hall.

Irresistibly funny and enormously moving, Dear Mrs Bird is a love letter to the enduring power of friendship, the kindness of strangers and the courage of ordinary people in extraordinary times.

“Almost as soon as I had finished the last page of this wonderful book I wrote immediately to the publisher to declare how much I loved it and wanted to meet the author,” said Emma. “And I was not surprised at all when it went straight in to the Sunday Times bestseller charts on release. Since then I have been recommending this book for anyone who is in need of a literary ‘pick-me-up’.”

London, 1941. 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. But as Emmy reads the desperate pleas from women who may have Gone Too Far with the wrong man, or can't bear to let their children be evacuated, she decides the only thing for it is to secretly write back...

Dear Mrs Bird is published by Pan Macmillan at £12.99.

AJ Pearce will be interviewed about Dear Mrs Bird, before answering questions and signing copies. Tickets cost £6 (includes a glass of wine or soft.drink) and are available here.

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