Sunday, May 30, 2010

69 - The Postmistress; Sarah Blake

Set in 1940-41, The Postmistress is a story that follows the lives of three very different women: Frankie, Emma and Iris. The story is narrated by Frankie Bard, a radio reporter and journalist, working in Europe covering the Blitz. She feels that Americans are not aware of the what is really going on in Europe, so she is determined to see that the truth be told. Her reports are being followed, back in the US, in the town of Franklin, MA.

(BTW~~~~this is bugging me, so here is my rant.  Franklin, MA is a real town located in Norfolk County in Eastern, Massachusetts. It IS NOT part of Cape Cod). I know this book is a work of fiction, but if you choose to use an actual town, I think you should get the details correct). Whew...I feel better.

Emma Fitch is newly married to the town doctor. He leaves for Europe to care for the war injured and dying, but promises Emma that he will return in six months. While Will Fitch is away, he meets Frankie Bard. Back at home, Emma anxiously awaits for the daily radio reports about the war.

Iris James is the spinster, "Postmistress" in the town of Franklin.  When a letter arrives with foreboding news, Iris makes a decision about whether to deliver the letter or not. Without giving any spoilers, I'll just say that the lives of the three women become entwined, as the women search for understanding, and try to make sense of all that has transpired.

MY THOUGHTS - I was so anxious to listen to this audio book; the reader, Orlagh Cassidy, did an excellent job.  However, this book took me almost four weeks to finish. The story, to me seemed somewhat disjointed, and the characters were not well developed ~~ I wanted to know a lot more about these women. Ultimately, I thought that this story had the potential to be memorable, however, it left me feeling dissatisfied.

Did you read this book? What did you think?

RATING - 2.5/5 Stars - Library audio book


  1. Diane, this is a book I have seen around everywhere and I have wavered between wanting to read it and wondering if it would be a waste of my time. Your review settled it for me. Thanks for helping me make up my mind to forgo it.

  2. Diane, I "feel" your rant and agree about facts needing to be "right" even if a book is fiction. I hear people defend this all the time and wonder what they are thinking? A fact is a fact, whether the book within which it is contained is a novel or not! I rant about this all the time concerning Jodi Picoult, the worst offender IMO. I stopped reading her books years ago for just this reason.

    I had no desire to read "The Postmistress", but a friend of mine who loves to read anything to do with WW II read it — and did not like it at all.

  3. I have this on my iPod, but am not so sure I'll ever listen to it. I have seen more "thumbs down" than thumbs up. :( It sounded so good.

  4. I'm sorry this one didn't work for you, Diane.

    It would be easy for me to overlook a location fudge like the one in this book because I'm not familiar with the area, but I can see how it'd be a real annoyance if I was aware of it.

  5. I read this and really enjoyed it. I felt like I did get a good feel for the female characters but I wonder if reading it versus listening to it made a difference.

  6. I have this one in waiting and had been looking forward to getting around to it. Hmm, maybe it should wait a little longer. I usually enjoy WWII fiction, hope it works a little better for me.

  7. Sorry this didn't work for you. I liked the book when I finished it, but liked it less after I discussed it with my book club.

  8. I enjoyed THE POSTMISTRESS, but, yes, using Franklin as the name of the town threw me (and I mentioned it in my review). It was clearly Provincetown, and I know authors sometimes disguise the place names, but, using the name of a town that exists in Massachusetts was a bad call.

    I really liked the Frankie character. Well, I'm not sure I liked HER, but I thought she was most interesting.


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