Thursday, July 26, 2018

Friday Focus: The Friday 56 & Book Beginnings

It's Friday . . . time to share book excerpts with:
  • Book Beginnings on Fridays hosted by Rose City Reader, where bloggers share the first sentence or more of a current read, as well as initial thoughts about the sentence(s), impressions of the book, or anything else that the opening inspires.  
  • The Friday 56 hosted by Freda's Voice, where you grab a book and turn to page 56 (or 56% of an ebook), find one or more interesting sentences (no spoilers), and post them.
Today I'm featuring an upcoming read,  Dear Mrs. Bird by AJ Pearce.  The excerpts shared are from the hardcover version I borrowed from the library.

Beginning:  London  
December 1940
Chapter 1

When I first saw the advertisement in the newspaper I thought I might actually burst.  I'd had rather a cheerful day so far despite the Luftwaffe annoying everyone by making us all late for work, and then I'd managed to get hold of an onion, which was very good news for a stew.  But when I saw the announcement, I could not have been more cock-a-hoop.

Page 56: "Then I hurtled out of the office with my hat and coat in my hand before she could see I had gone crimson with guilt."
My thoughts:  My favorite historical fiction is set in the UK during World War II.  The opening paragraph rings true for me, because it sounds very similar to stories I've heard from family members who lived just outside of London during the war.  These people are no longer alive, so I'm feeling very nostalgic after reading a passage that makes me think of them.

From Goodreads:  A charming, irresistible debut novel set in London during World War II about an adventurous young woman who becomes a secret advice columnist—a warm, funny, and enormously moving story for fans of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and Lilac Girls.

London 1940, bombs are falling. Emmy Lake is Doing Her Bit for the war effort, volunteering as a telephone operator with the Auxiliary Fire Services. When Emmy sees an advertisement for a job at the London Evening Chronicle, her dreams of becoming a Lady War Correspondent seem suddenly achievable. But the job turns out to be typist to the fierce and renowned advice columnist, Henrietta Bird. Emmy is disappointed, but gamely bucks up and buckles down.

Mrs Bird is very clear: Any letters containing Unpleasantness—must go straight in the bin. But when Emmy reads poignant letters from women who are lonely, may have Gone Too Far with the wrong men and found themselves in trouble, or who can’t bear to let their children be evacuated, she is unable to resist responding. As the German planes make their nightly raids, and London picks up the smoldering pieces each morning, Emmy secretly begins to write letters back to the women of all ages who have spilled out their troubles.

Prepare to fall head over heels with Emmy and her best friend, Bunty, who are spirited and gutsy, even in the face of events that bring a terrible blow. As the bombs continue to fall, the irrepressible Emmy keeps writing, and readers are transformed by AJ Pearce’s hilarious, heartwarming, and enormously moving tale of friendship, the kindness of strangers, and ordinary people in extraordinary times.


This Friday Focus: The Friday 56 & Book Beginnings on Fridays post was originally composed and/or compiled and published by Catherine for the blog,  It cannot be republished without attribution. Sharing this original post on Twitter, Google+ and/or other blogs with appropriate recognition is appreciated.


Lauren Stoolfire said...

Seems like I've been seeing this one all over the place... Hope you enjoy it! :)

Bev Bouwer said...

This looks great, I'm sure you'll enjoy it. Happy reading. I'm featuring Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow today.

Kay said...

Oh, I do hope you enjoy this one as much as I did. It was such a charming read. Some sad things, but many happy ones as well.

Kayleigh said...

This sounds great! I hope you enjoy it :) Here's my Friday 56:

fredamans said...

Cock-a-hoop? LOL Sounds different. Happy weekend!

Kathy Martin said...

This does sound wonderful. I hope you are loving it. This week I am featuring The Butterfly Conspiracy by Vivian Conroy. Happy reading!

Sab Reads Books said...

I haven't heard of this one so far but the synopsis sounds great! I have NO IDEA what a cock-a-hoop is though...haha!

Anne@HeadFullofBooks said...

"Cock-a-hop" now there is a turn of phrase. It sounds like she is happy even though the war is on. My Friday Quotes

Laurel-Rain Snow said...

I enjoy books set in this era, and I love the idea of a character writing an advice column. When she separates out the "unpleasantness" to tackle on her own, I admired her. This one sounds like a book I will enjoy. Thanks for sharing...and for visiting my blog.

Lisa Ks Book Reviews said...

I've hurtled out of a few rooms in my time. Love the cover. I'd love for you and your readers to check out mine.

Laura said...

That phrase, cock-a-hoop. Makes me think of some others my mom uses. Hope you enjoy this book.

My Friday 56 from A Proper Hellhound

Post a Comment