Monday, May 16, 2011

Review: The Postmistress by Sarah Blake

The Postmistress
Filled with stunning parallels to today's world, The Postmistress is a sweeping novel about the loss of innocence of two extraordinary women-and of two countries torn apart by war.
 

On the eve of the United States's entrance into World War II in 1940, Iris James, the postmistress of Franklin, a small town on Cape Cod, does the unthinkable: She doesn't deliver a letter. In London, American radio gal Frankie Bard is working with Edward R. Murrow, reporting on the Blitz. One night in a bomb shelter, she meets a doctor from Cape Cod with a letter in his pocket, a letter Frankie vows to deliver when she returns from Germany and France, where she is to record the stories of war refugees desperately trying to escape.
 

The residents of Franklin think the war can't touch them- but as Frankie's radio broadcasts air, some know that the war is indeed coming. And when Frankie arrives at their doorstep, the two stories collide in a way no one could have foreseen. The Postmistress is an unforgettable tale of the secrets we must bear, or bury. It is about what happens to love during wartime, when those we cherish leave. And how every story-of love or war-is about looking left when we should have been looking right.-Summary taken from Goodreads

This has been a difficult review to write. I just didn't have any strong feelings one way or another after finishing the book. The writing is beautiful and it gives you a good sense of the setting. I could picture everything in my head easily and there was a good pacing and flow to it, making it easy and enjoyable to read.

The story is about 3 women during WWII, before the US entered the war. Iris is the postmistress who thrives on order and stability. She likes everything in it's place and relies on a system she refuses to let fail. Emma is a newly married woman, her husband is the town doctor who, after a tragedy, feels compelled to head to London to contribute to the war effort there. Frankie is a reporter in London struggling with the need to make the people back home sit up and pay attention  to what's really going on. Each woman was unique and strong in her own way.

However, I just never really connected to the characters. There were several tragic deaths throughout the book and I found myself just being ambivalent about each one. I don't know if this is the fault of the book or because I read this at a stressful, chaotic time. Perhaps, I was just too busy and stressed to really invest any emotion in to the story. Other than that, it was a beautifully written, enjoyable, story and I did like it. I just had trouble connecting. 


3 comments:

Alexis @ Reflections of a Bookaholic said...

I read this one. The cover is lovely. However, I don't think it is just you. The storyline is interesting but the characters are just...I don't know how to describe it. I found myself uninvested in them.

Reading Rachel said...

So glad to hear I'm not the only one who felt that way.

Beth(bookaholicmom) said...

I really liked the book but can't say I liked the characters. I really didn't care about them one way or another.

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