Set in London in 1943, Emmy Lake is the agony aunt at Woman’s Friend magazine. She loves her job, and although some of the letters are heartbreaking, she finds a great deal of satisfaction in being able to do something to help women struggling with many issues in wartime. She feels she is Doing Her Bit.
But then the Honourable Mrs Cressida Porter inherits the magazine. At first, she seems glamorous and wins the staff over with her charm, but it is not long before she reveals herself to be a spoilt, privileged brat, and her unrealistic self-indulgent ideas soon threaten to destroy the much-loved magazine, as advertisers and readers beginning falling away in dramatic fashion.
But Emmy has more things to worry about than just Woman’s Friend folding. Her husband is away fighting in the war, and then the unbearable, unthinkable happens to one of her dear friends. But with a great deal of fortitude, Emmy and her friends band together to fight to save the magazine they and their readers love. But can they win against such a formidable and self-absorbed owner with so much privilege and money behind her?
I love all the books by AJ Pearce. All three are set in wartime London and in the world of women’s magazines. Mrs Porter Calling is charming, moving and uplifting in equal measure. AJ Pearce perfectly captures the brave attitude of the era, and this is a book about finding courage when all seems lost. Don’t just read this novel; go read all three books featuring the wonderful and unforgettable Emmy Lake!
Reviewer: Karen McMillan