Monday, October 19, 2009

"The Postmistress" by Sarah Blake

“The Postmistress” is set in the years 1940-41, both on Cape Cod and in Europe. The reader follows the paths of three women – Emma, Iris, and Frankie – as Europe experiences Hitler’s fury and Americans wonder if they will enter the war. Emma has just married Will, a doctor on Cape Cod. She wants to make a good impression on the people there, and make a good home for her husband. Iris is the Postmaster of the same town Emma moves to, and watches over the people of the town. Frankie is a reporter in London during the Blitzkrieg, experiencing some of the horrors of war while trying to report on them. As the story moves along, the lives of these three women intersect around letters. It is up to the reader to decide if the decisions the characters make are good and wise.

I had the wonderful privilege of reading this book as part of Barnes & Noble’s First Look Book Club, and really enjoyed it. It grabbed, and kept, my attention. Sarah Blake painted vivid pictures of bombings, train rides, ocean views, etc., putting me in each spot, letting me hear the characters as they spoke. Her research brings this period of history alive. I especially enjoyed “traveling” along with Frankie as she told the story of the war and searched for the truth about the Jewish persecution. All three of the main characters in this book have compelling stories and they are people I will not soon forget. This is a book to read again!

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