Yours Cheerfully by A.J. Pearce

Yours Cheerfully by A.J. Pearce which was published in 2002 is a sequel to Dear Mrs Bird, you can read my thoughts on that one here.

With the departure of the ghastly Mrs Bird at the end of the last book things at work in the offices of the magazine Woman’s Friend are improving hugely for Emmeline Lake. She can now reply to the problems page letters as she would like to instead of going behind Mrs Bird’s back.

The bombing of London has eased up somewhat, but Emmy’s best friend Bunty is still carrying the scars both physically and mentally from her experiences.

The government is starting a campaign to get women into the wartime factories to do their bit, the Ministry of Information want the women’s magazines to promote the idea, but those women who are already working in factories are having a tough time of it. Although the government realises that nurseries are needed to let the mothers of young children get back to work, the men who run the factories have no intention of changing anything, in fact they’re sacking women if they have childcare problems. Of course the women aren’t even being paid the same as men for doing the same jobs! Emmy gets involved.

This is a really enjoyable read with the relationships between the women of varied classes being to the fore, with no snobbery involved. The author did plenty of research to get the nitty gritty details of wartime Britain, including the fact that wives first realised that their husbands were either dead or missing when his army pay was stopped and they got no money! This happened several times to my father when the merchant ships he was on were torpedoed. No ship, no pay, but I suppose he was just glad to be picked up by another ship. I used to work with a woman who got a telegram saying her husband was missing and after six months they would begin to pay her her war widow’s pension, but what was she supposed to do for money for those six months?! The day before those six months were up she got a postcard from Italy from her husband who was a prisoner of war there!

My mother was of that WW2  generation and she worked in a factory sewing military uniforms, but that was before she was married with children. It was the most memorable time of her life though and every conversation came back to her wartime experiences. This book feels very authentic and true to the times. I’m looking forward to reading the next one in the series which is called Mrs Porter Calling.

2 thoughts on “Yours Cheerfully by A.J. Pearce

    • Helen,
      I’m on to the third one now, Mrs Porter Calling and it’s really good too. I had no idea that there was a third one!

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