Wednesday, November 15, 2023

AUDIOBOOK REVIEW: Mrs. Porter Calling by A.J. Pearce

I’ve been slow getting to book three in the The Emmy Lake Chronicles, Mrs. Porter Calling, by A.J. Pearce. (Book One - Dear Mrs. Bird and Book Two - Yours Cheerfully are both delightful, and I recommend reading the series in order.) I’m experimenting more with audiobooks, so I listened to Mrs. Porter Calling, read by Anna Popplewell, and it is just wonderful.

Emmy has settled into her role as the advice column editor at the now thriving women’s magazine, Women’s Friend. She works with people she loves and respects, particularly her brother-in-law, Guy Collins. (Emmy’s husband is a soldier, away at war throughout the book.) She lives with her best friend Bunty in Bunty’s grandmother’s large house. When her second-best friend, Thelma, needs a place to live with her three children, they are invited to take the top floor. Everything is chugging along as well as can be during wartime. Even the Blitz has slowed to a trickle of bombs and the news reassures them all that Hitler is on the run.

Then things fall apart. The owner of Women’s Friend has passed and left the magazine to his niece, the Honorable Cressida Porter. Mrs. Porter is a selfish, self-centered socialite who views the magazine as a way to show off. Instead of articles that serve women in wartime, she takes up the pages with photos of her dog and her society friends, as well as fashion that no one but her high society friends could ever afford. She cuts Emmy’s column down, claiming it is too dreary, and refuses to let her answer the hard questions that readers are desperate to hear about. Predictably, the magazine loses readers and advertisers. And the plucky staff, Emmy’s friends, begin to lose hope.

Just when I’m anticipating a cheery, if somewhat pat, resolution, the floor drops out from under Emmy, reminding me that there is a war on, and there are no pat answers.

Once again, A.J. Pearce delivers a heartwarming story of Brits on the homefront during WWII, doing their best to muddle through in the worst of circumstances. This is a wonderful series. I don’t know if there will be a book four, but if there is, I’ll read it!

No comments:

Post a Comment