Friday, August 18, 2023

Mrs. Porter Calling (Book 3, The Emmy Lake Chronicles)

Emmy's husband is fighting in WWII and while he's gone, she shares a home with her friend Bunty (owned by Bunty's grandmother). When their mutual friend bemoans the conditions at her flat, Emmy and Bunty invite her and her three children to join them. This small community of friends forms a wonderful support system offering a division of labor and the pooling of rations (which offered more options for cooking!). 

Alas, all is not quite so cozy for Emmy at work. She has loved writing the "Yours Cheerfully" [advice] column for Woman's Friend magazine. Helping other women with their problems has helped Emmy keep her mind off missing her husband. She feels like the magazine offers hope and wisdom for women in some pretty dire circumstances. When the magazine changes ownership, it quickly becomes evident that the new owner, Mrs. Porter, wants to change nearly everything about the publication. She starts by slashing the best features and turning a deaf ear to the concerns voiced by the faithful employees who revived readership when the magazine had floundered. The staff decide to band together to keep the magazine from utter ruin.  But when a personal tragedy strikes close to home, Emmy struggles to see much hope for the future.

I loved the variety of characters working at the newspaper. AJ Pearce has created a world I'd love to step into. Readers will be rooting for Emmy, Bunty, and Thelma as they face the challenges of war, doing their part, and trying not to let discouragement take over their lives. While not everything turns out sunny, the reality of life during WWII is portrayed in a realistic and sensitive way that gives readers a glimpse into the struggles that women faced not that long ago. I highly recommend all three books in this series by AJ Pearce.

Disclaimer: I received a digital copy of Mrs. Porter Calling through NetGalley for the purpose of review. No other compensation was received.

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