Sunday, April 4

Book Review: The Postmistress

Title: The Postmistress

Author: Sarah Blake

Pages: 326

Summary: It is 1940. France has fallen. Bombs are dropping on London. And President Roosevelt is promising he won’t send our boys to fight in “foreign wars.”
But American radio gal Frankie Bard, the first woman to report from the Blitz in London, wants nothing more than t bring war home. Frankie’s radio dispatches crackle across the Atlantic Ocean, imploring listeners to pay attention - as the Nazi’s bomb London nightly, and Jewish refugees stream across Europe. Frankie is convinced that if she can just get the right story, it will wake Americans to action and they will join the fight.

Meanwhile, in Franklin, Massachusetts, as small town on Cape Cod, Iris James here’s Frankie’s broadcasts and knows it’s just a matter of time before the war arrives on Franklin shores. In Charge of the town’s mail, Iris believes it’s her job to deliver and keep people’s secrets, passing along the news that letters carry. And one secret she keeps are her feelings for Harry Vale, the town mechanic, who inspects the ocean’s daily, searching in vain for German U-Boats he is certain will come. Two single people in midlife, Iris and Harry long ago gave up hope of ever being in love, yet the find themselves unexpectedly drawn toward each other.
Listening to Frankie as well are Will and Emma Fitch, the town’s doctor and his new wife, both trying to escape fragile childhoods and forge a brighter future. When Will follows Frankie’s siren all into war, Emma’s worst fears are realized. Promising to return in six months, Will goes to London to offer his help, and the lives of the three women entwine.

Alternating between America still cocooned in its inability to grasp the danger at hand and a Europe being torn apart by war, The Postmistress gives us two women who find themselves unable to deliver the news, and a third woman desperately waiting for news yet afraid to hear it.

My Rating: 9/10

What I liked/disliked about the book: I’ve wanted to read this book since I first saw it as one of the books on LTER, but I never got a copy, so I anxiously awaited it to be published, and then waited even longer for the copy to be available at the library. And it was worth the wait in fact, it will probably be added to my own personal collection in the very near future.

I have to say I was expecting something a little different than what I got, especially considering the beginning part of the book, but I think the way the book turned out in the end was far better than what I thought it would be.
For the most part though, I found the character of the postmistress, was a bit dull and not very inspirational like I think the author intended her to. Her and Emma were the only issues I had with the book. Iris, the postmistress I found to be not a very likable character. And I found her to be portrayed very differently than what the summary described her to be. I didn’t really like her from the first few minutes she appeared in the book, and it continued throughout the entire book. I was expecting a stronger character in the mans world, than what I got. Emma was a bit to clingy and weak emotionally. She depended on everyone else far to much in order to survive. But even though I didn’t like these two characters that much, it didn’t take away from the book, or ruin the story for me, because there was such powerful message in the end, and a fantastic character who I adore.

Frankie Bard is a strong and powerful woman, reporting in the middle of London, during the Blitz, as she tries to knock the message that there’s a war going on, and America needs to wake up and help. Her experiences were both powerful and sad, and I thought the author did a beautiful job at writing these parts, and conveying an eye-opening look at the experience those who were hit by the war versus those who sat and didn’t really take any of it in. I also found her determination to be inspiring, and even in the last part of the book, I still found her character to be a very intriguing person, until the end.

A well written book, that was hard to put down and very emotional at times. Overall a fantastic read. Also, I think the cover of the book is one of my favourites, it's so simple, but so pretty.

Would I recommend it to read:Yes. If you're a WWII fiction buff or enjoy a book about strong women, trying to get a message across to the public who just won't here it, this is a good book for you. And if you don't like those genres, it's still a worthy book to read.

What to read next: The Cellist of Sarajevo, The Book Thief

Challenges: Read 'n' Review, Pages Read, 10/10 Challenge, 100+ Challenge,
Countdown Challenge, Historical Fiction Challenge, Support Your Library Challenge,
Wish I Read That Challenge, Women Unbound


4 comments:

  1. Frankie made this book for me. Her parts in the book, were what made the book a decent read.

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  2. Zia - Her parts did make for a fantastic read. She is up on my list of some of my all time favourite characters.

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  3. I have heard such good things about this book, and your review just seals it for me. This does sound like a book I would love. Even though some of the characters probably wouldn't be favorites, I still think I would really enjoy it. I am looking forward to reading it and finding out if our opinions are similar.

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  4. I've seen mixed reviews for this one, but I still plan to read it because of the WWII setting. Glad to see you really liked it.

    I've linked to your review on the Book Reviews: WWII page on War Through the Generations.

    --Anna
    Diary of an Eccentric

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