This week’s Top Five Wednesday is a Freebie week–choose your own topic, use one you skipped, etc. I happen to love novels and nonfiction that use diaries or letters or emails or texts to tell stories. I’ve done posts with collections of these that you can read, too. They are linked at the bottom of this post.
First, the Brand New Smashing Debut!
Dear Mrs. Byrd: A Novel
World War II is a very frequent topic in my reading life. So, when I found a new novel that uses letters for some of the telling and it was set during the Blitz in London–well, I had to get it. Dear Mrs. Byrd: A Novel by AJ Pearce was was so fun and so spot-on I found it hard to believe this was a debute novel, but it is!
Emmeline Lake answers an add for a “Junior” at what she thinks will be a big London daily newspaper. Instead it is for a woman’s magazine doing the typing for the advice column, Dear Mrs. Byrd. While also doing her “bit” for the war effort manning the phones for the fire brgade, Emmy spends her days reading the letters of depressed, scared, lonely and perplexed women and girls of war-torn Britain. Along the way she and her best friend Bunty have a spot of bother. All of it adds up to a sort of “workplace coming of age” story. Or is it a “wartime coming of age” story? Whatever–it’s simply wonderful.
If you enjoy this one, check out a classic: Girls of Slender Means by Muriel Spark. My review is HERE.
Now the Others
Each of these are epistolary novels or nonfiction I’ve read recently–or at least read since my last post on this sort of book.
Diary of a Provincial Woman
This class commedic dairy tells the story of the wife of an Estate Manager (think Downton Abbey, but more down on it’s luck). I loved it start to finish. You can read my review HERE. Diary of a Provincial Lady by E.M. Delafield.
Sarah: Letters and Diaries of A Courtier’s Wife 1906-1936 (non-fiction)
Sarah: Letters and Diaries of A Courtier’s Wife 1906-1936 is a slim volume telling the story of the wife of one of the primary members of the Royal Household in the days of Edward VIII (the current Queen’s uncle), George VI (her father) and today’s Queen, Elizabeth II. There’s an interesting tie to the 90’s sitcom The Nanny with Fran Drescher! My review is HERE.
Two Steps Forward: A Novel
Rosie Project author Graeme Simesion’s newest novel is a light novel on walking a pligrimage route in France and Spain. It includes texts and emails. You can read my review HERE.
Mrs. Fletcher: A Novel by Tom Perrotta
My Posts Collecting Epistolary Books and Novels
You can join Top 5 Wednesday on Goodreads.com then post about the week’s topic on your blog or in a video on Youtube. It’s fun!