The Postmistress by Sarah Blake


This novel, I bought for a dollar on a whim from the library. It’s set in the 1940s during WWII and it focuses on a few characters: Iris James, the postmistress of Franklin, MA, Emma Fitch, the new wife of the town’s doctor, Frankie Bard, an American woman stationed in London and reporting on the war via radio, and Harry Vale, a local expecting the Germans to show up on U-boat and attack the town. The major event is when Iris decides to open, read, and pocket a letter that isn’t hers, simply to protect someone from emotional harm. Through these characters and through other minor characters, we see just how much war can affect anyone, whether or not they are in the midst of the London Blitz or an ocean away waiting for a letter.

I will admit, The Postmistress has a rather slow beginning; it took me a while to get into it and to get used the book’s omniscient voice. It was so confusing I almost gave up reading it. But as I read more, I saw meaning and so much emotion. It was enough that I couldn’t put it down, and I just wanted to know what would happen next. Even though I’m reading this in a country that isn’t war-torn let alone extremely affected by war, The Postmistress made me think about how it would be to have war affecting my life and how I would react. This book will draw you in and make you smile, cry, throw the book against the wall, or just sulk (I actually had to stop reading it for a little while because I was so upset at what was happening). But this is a book that is riveting and will make you think.

There was however, one thing that I did not like about the book. The ending was too abrupt for my liking and it seemed like there wasn’t much closure and a few unnecessary events. But then again, the same is with war. Events aren’t always expected and it hardly ends with much closure. So I can hardly fault the author for ending it in that way.


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