June 26: Dear Mrs Bird – AJ Pearce on her bestselling debut novel

AJ Pearce talks about Dear Mrs Bird – the literary tonic of the year!

Almost as soon as I had finished the last page of this wonderful book (having been given a pre-publication copy) I wrote immediately to the publisher to declare how much I loved it and wanted to meet the author; 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’.

Inspired by real-life letters written to an agony aunt column in a wartime magazine, this novel revolves around Emmy who dreams of becoming a Lady War Correspondent. After spotting 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.

This novel is funny and moving – and it was a real wrench to leave the characters behind (luckily I have word that she is writing a sequel this Summer. I am much relieved!).

AJ Pearce will be being interviewed about Dear Mrs Bird, before answering questions and signing copies. You can buy a copy before the event at the bookshop or through or on-line shop here

7:30pm, in the Town Hall. Tickets £6 (includes a glass of wine or soft drink).