The Postmistress

The Postmistress

by Sarah Blake

Gail Reid (05/16/11): I agree with my fellow readers that The Postmistress was an enjoyable read in spite of the difficult passages that portray the atrocities of war. Through the eyes of three women - an American reporter abroad, a young married American wife whose physician husband volunteers for war, and the postmistress of a small town in Massachusetts - you understand both the horror in Europe and the impact back in the States.

You may have to be of a certain age to understand the power of the mail in communicating wartime news and the civic responsibility of the postmaster or mistress. Now that the internet has made communication instantaneous, it seems unthinkable that a letter from London to Boston took two long weeks.

The Postmistress evoked some of the same feelings as The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society, another novel I really recommend.
Rating: ****

Judy Stanton (08/15/11): I really enjoyed reading The Postmistress. Though it is yet another Holocaust story, through the character of Frankie Bard, the story and the atrocities are very personalized. To me, this female reporter was very real, and her concern as to whether she was really being heard is still an issue today. How do reporters embeded with troops in Iraq and Afghanistan handle such terror? Despite the huge growth of media, they are likely still concerned about what they report being heard, motivating people to action, and, the interesting perspective of not always being there to know how a story they have begun....especially about a person's life....ultimately ends. But Frankie Bards's was not the only story being told in this book, which keeps bringing you back to find out how the lives of Postmistress and the town doctor and his wife touch Frankie's life, beyond just their hearing her on the radio. The inexplicable craziness of life circumstances-- the whimsies of fate -- that sometimes make the difference between life and death, is another theme explored in the book. Interestingly, the supposed "story" introduced at the very first of the book...the postmistress who didn't deliver mail...turned out not to be the most interesting part of the novel to me.

Very well written, a compelling read. If you like historical fiction, you will truly enjoy the Postmistress. 4+
Rating: ****+

Debbie Weiss: I agree with Wanda that this is truly an exceptional book. The time is the 1940's and the war is in full force. The Nazis are bombing London nightly and the Jewish refugees are streaming across Europe, trying to escape to freedom while they can. Frankie Bard is an American radio personality reporting from Europe and wants to speak the truth about the atrocities that are occurring so that Americans will awake from their slumber and inaction. The depictions of the horrors of war are graphic and the human stories are compelling. The book is well-written and the readers become involved in the lives of the characters because they truly care what happens to them.
Rating: ****

Wanda Cohen: Loved it! Even if it did take my breath away a few times, this is a new favorite. The characters are well constructed and memorable. The setting is wonderfully depicted and explored so you actually feel as if you are in the bunker during the bombing of London or watching the horizon for invading subs off the coast of the US. Read it because it tells what we, as a country, were doing when the Jews began to disappear in Europe and more importantly, what we were not doing. The two main characters approach the reality of their lives from very different places yet meet the reality of war with a common strength and determination to protect and hold close all that is dear to them. I can't wait to read another book by Sarah. Buy it and share it with all your friends.
Rating: ****

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