Tuesday, March 16, 2010

"The Postmistress" by Sarah Blake [3]

It is 1940 and half the world is living through the horror of the Second World War,
but America still believes it is safe from the bloodshed.
In Franklin, a small town on Cape Cod, Iris James is the postmistress and she firmly believes
her job is to keep and deliver people's secrets, to pass along the news of love and sorrow that letters carry. But one day she does the unthinkable: she doesn't deliver a letter and instead slips
it into her pocket.
Every night Iris and Emma Fitch, the young doctor's wife, tune in to Frankie Bard;s radio
dispatches; anguished bulletins sent from the air-raid shelters and
Underground stations of London during the Blitz.
One night in a bomb shelter, Frankie meets a doctor from Cape Cod with a letter in his
pocket, a letter Frankie vows to deliver.
In the last desperate days of the summer of 1941 Frankie leaves a traumatized London,
rides the trains out of Germany and records the stories of refugees
desperately trying to escape . The townspeople of Franklin listen and the war seems a life-time away, but Iris and Emma, unable to tear themselves away from Frankie's voice,
know better.
A truly beautiful front cover and an interesting read for the back cover is what appealed to me.
Sadly I was a little disappointed with the novel.
[First of all, let me just warn you there is bad language in the story.]
The novel is about the secrets we must bear or bury. It is about what happens to love during wartime, when those we cherish leave.
While the novel tells the story through the eyes of three women, most of the content centres around
Frankie Bard and her reporting of the war in England and Europe. Frankie's reporting will touch you and leave you thinking about the horror that comes with war, and the sadness that those left behind face.
The novel is entitled The Postmistress...
which you would think would be about Iris James and her life as the postmistress. It is only
to a small degree, which is why I'm a little disappointed. I don't think the title matches the story
to well. I guess I was hoping to find out a lot more about Miss James and what her story was.
I did find the story a little confusing at first, maybe due to the writing style, a little difficult to follow sometimes. Once you got into the part where Frankie starts to travel it did get interesting.
I stopped and started with this book so many times because I did seem to loose interest in it.
It's not a long book, with just over 300 pages.
For me it was a once read, I'll not pick it up again.
I have read better wartime love stories.
I rate this book 3 stars...just!

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