‘Yours Cheerfully’ by A. J. Pearce – The Title Says It All

 

‘Yours Cheerfully’ by A. J. Pearce    (2021) – 291 pages

 

In this world where there are so many unresolved problems, it is easy to be dismissive of a novel so relentlessly upbeat as ‘Yours Cheerfully’. However during devastating times such as World War II in England, perhaps remaining upbeat is the best strategy.

‘Dear Mrs. Bird’ was great fun, and now, yes, its sequel ‘Cheerfully Yours’ is more of the same.

This novel jauntily steamrolls over any and all difficulties whether they are obnoxious plant managers, wartime fatalities, arriving late for your own wedding, insufferably cute kids, or plot inconsistencies. The title ‘Cheerfully Yours’ is quite appropriate.

We are back with Emmy and Bunty and their friends and family in London during World War II. It is late summer of 1941. The terrible Blitz bombings have finally ended, but the country is fully engaged in defeating Hitler and Nazi Germany. Most of the able-bodied men are off fighting, so the government is trying to recruit women to work in the factories. The magazine where Emmy works as a writer, Woman’s Friend, wants to help with this industrial recruitment of women, so Emmy gets an assignment to interview the women who work in the munitions factory, Chandlers. Of course Emmy and even her friend Bunty become great friends with these women as well as their children including one cute, cute four-year kid named Ruby.

However neither the companies nor the government has made any provisions for childcare for these women. The companies were all gung ho about hiring women to work in the factories since they paid them less than the men doing the same work. Some days when no one was available to take care of a woman’s little children, she would bring them to work. The male managers would see the kids playing in the hallway, get upset, and fire the woman. When one of Emmy’s new-found friends is fired for bringing her children to work, Emmy is of course devastated.

To win the war, we’re asking, please,

Help us get our nurseries.”

Emmy’s boss at the Woman’s Friend magazine where she works as a writer is Mr. Collins who is about the same age as Emmy’s parents. Emmy’s boyfriend Charles Mayhew is Mr. Collins’ brother. Charles Mayhew is either much older than Emmy or there is a 20-year gap in the ages between the two brothers. I suppose back in the 1940s, it may not have been so unusual to have a 20-year gap between brothers’ ages. But then why do the brothers have different last names? A little explanation would have been helpful, but I suppose the explanation could have been in ‘Dear Mrs. Bird’, and I don’t remember it.

Meanwhile Emmy gets engaged to her boyfriend Charles, and she and her friends must plan a wedding quickly before Charles gets sent off to fight. And guess who is to be the littlest bridesmaid? You guessed it, Ruby.

It is all entirely predictable, but still fun as Emmy’s and A. J. Pearce’s cheerful and upbeat spirits carry the day during this devastating time.

 

Grade:     B+

 

 

 

3 responses to this post.

  1. Cheerfulness, as you say, was probably was what was needed.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

    • HI Lisa,
      Even though A.J. Pearce’s ‘Dear Mrs. Bird’ was well and widely reviewed,and the sequel ‘Yours Cheerfully’ has received positive reviews among bloggers, I searched in vain for a Guardian review of this novel. That was quite surprising.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

      • I read something the other day about the demise of the Guardian review. I’m not sure whether it referred to a separate publication (like The Australian’s weekend Review) or to the end of book reviewing altogether…

        Liked by 1 person

        Reply

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