Yours Cheerfully

Scribner. (The Emmy Lake Chronicles, Bk. 2). Aug. 2021. 304p. ISBN 9781501170096. $26. F
Aspiring wartime advice columnist Emmeline Lake returns in Pearce’s follow-up to Dear Mrs. Bird. In 1941 London, Emmy adjusts to life after the departure of Henrietta Bird from Woman’s Friend magazine. When the Ministry of Information calls for help to attract more women factory workers, Emmy is thrust into championing their work in the magazine while discovering the harsh obstacles they face as wartime workers, wives, and mothers. Supported by her spunky best friend Bunty (recovering from physical and emotional wounds sustained in the Blitz), and boyfriend Charles (now stationed back in the UK), Emmy fearlessly pursues the bigger story—the need for government-sponsored nurseries—no matter the consequences. Pearce weds plucky prose and dialogue to an authentic moment in history with humor and heart, effectively underscoring the main theme of the novel: the power of female friendship to weather any storm.
VERDICT Fans of the first novel in the series will appreciate the crisp narrative that deftly deals with vexing topics women face in wartime; they’ll also enjoy meeting several charming new characters who are bound to return. Yours Cheerfully lives up to its name, with a welcome dose of British “Carry on” spirit on every page.
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