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Review: The Postmistress

April 8, 2010

While war is raging in Europe, Postmaster Iris James is on a train returning to her hometown of Franklin, Massachusetts, and she notices an unfamiliar woman on the train.  She quickly realizes that she’s Emma Fitch,  the town doctor’s new wife.  The two women’s lives become entangled when Dr. Fitch feels the need to go to Europe to see how he can help the war efforts.

In the meantime, Frankie Bard is an American reporter, living and working in Europe.  Her stories have captivated the people of Franklin, so they feel like they know her.  After a harrowing and heartbreaking tour through parts of Europe, she feels the need to return to the US and make a visit Franklin.

The Postmistress by Sarah Blake is the story of three women on the eve of America’s involvement in World War II.  The story is told in the third person, but it alternates between the perspectives of the three women.  I thought this worked very well, because their perspectives were so different – one was witnessing the horrors of war, one was fearing for the safety of her husband and the third didn’t feel an immediate threat at all.

The beginning of The Postmistress was a little slow for me, since there are a lot of characters to keep track of and the shifts in the storyline were abrupt at times.  It didn’t take long for the writing and the story to suck me in, though.  Sarah Blake’s writing is gorgeous and I think she did a great job with the characters in the book because I felt an affinity for each one of them.  I also think she did a wonderful job of capturing the spirit of the times – from the use of cigarettes, to the attitudes of the people.  I enjoyed this book and would recommend it to readers who enjoy historical fiction or women’s fiction.

Challenges: Amy Einhorn ChallengeShop Indie Bookstores

This book was given to me by the publisher at the SIBA Trade Show.   I am an Indiebound Affliate.
49 Comments leave one →
  1. April 8, 2010 5:06 am

    I bought this book recently because I’ve read several good reviews on it! Glad you enjoyed it!

  2. April 8, 2010 6:09 am

    Kathy, ll the reviews that I read mentioned the slow start but that it was a worthwhile read. I am glad u liked it…it is on my TBR list.

  3. April 8, 2010 6:16 am

    I keep seeing this one around and think it definitely sounds like it is worth a read.

  4. April 8, 2010 6:43 am

    I felt the same way! It was very difficult for me in the beginning, but the writing was good so it kept holding me just a little longer and a little longer.

  5. April 8, 2010 6:56 am

    Nice review!

  6. April 8, 2010 7:01 am

    This sounds great. Thanks for the review.

  7. April 8, 2010 7:12 am

    Glad you liked this book – I had heard such wonderful things about it. Its on my list of books to buy ASAP. I loved your review of it, because you mentioned the slow start and how the three different perspectives worked in the novel (I really enjoy when each chapter is a different character’s take on an event)- can’t wait to get my hands on this book! Thanks for a great review! Cheers!

  8. April 8, 2010 7:45 am

    I loved the cover and this was one of my cover attraction posts too. I would love to buy this one, sounds so good. Esp. the 3 different perspective of 3 women who saw the war!

  9. April 8, 2010 8:48 am

    Great review, Kathy! I so love the cover on this book. It is hard for me to really get into a book if there are several characters – I have a hard time keeping everyone straight and really getting to know them. I will have to keep my eyes out for this at the library and check it out further.

  10. April 8, 2010 8:55 am

    I’ve had my eye on this one. I think it would make a good book club read. Thanks for the review.

  11. April 8, 2010 9:19 am

    Sounds like a great book and wonderful addition to the WWII reading list! Thanks for the great review.

  12. April 8, 2010 9:31 am

    I had this one out from the library, and really wanted to read it, but just couldn’t get into it. Maybe it’s the slow beginning? Your review makes me want to give it a second try!

  13. April 8, 2010 9:48 am

    Great review, Kathy! I had such a hard time getting into this book at the beginning, but like you, I stuck with it and I’m glad I did.

  14. April 8, 2010 10:13 am

    I wasn’t so big on this but I’m glad you liked it!

  15. April 8, 2010 10:29 am

    I’d like to read this eventually. I like the cover, too.

  16. April 8, 2010 11:32 am

    I’ve seen several favorable reviews on this one. It is on my TBR list.

  17. April 8, 2010 11:59 am

    This one really appeals to me. Glad to see you liked it.

  18. stacybuckeye permalink
    April 8, 2010 12:37 pm

    Great review. I keep going back and forth on this one.

  19. April 8, 2010 1:44 pm

    great review, but it sounds like it might be a tough one for me to read.

  20. April 8, 2010 1:50 pm

    I gave my ARC to a friend to read and review because I’ve read so many reviews of how this one is slow…thanks for your thoughts!

  21. April 8, 2010 2:02 pm

    I’ve been wanting to read this one for awhile. Sounds right up my alley. I’ll post the link on War Through the Generations.


  22. April 8, 2010 2:39 pm

    Good review, I must read this, love historical fiction.

  23. April 8, 2010 2:55 pm

    I usually like the books you like but I didn’t care for this one. For some reason the characters and I didn’t connect. I’ll agree that the writing was beautiful.

  24. April 8, 2010 3:24 pm

    This is one of my favorite reviews that you have done. Enjoyed hearing your feelings about the book. Great review.

  25. April 8, 2010 3:51 pm

    I’ve heard mixed reviews of this book and I’m glad to hear that you liked it. I’m looking forward to reading this and the author is going to be in my area for a book signing next month.

  26. April 8, 2010 4:03 pm

    I’ve heard nothing but good things about this book! The WW2 setting definitely appeals to me.

  27. April 8, 2010 4:15 pm

    I have heard a lot of good things about this book and am looking forward to reading it. I am glad that even though it started off slow for you, you ended up enjoying it!

  28. April 8, 2010 4:31 pm

    Glad I know about the slow start so I’ll keep at it. The differing points of view are attracting me to this story. Thanks for the wonderful review!

  29. Kathleen permalink
    April 8, 2010 4:52 pm

    This one is already on my list. I haven’t read a negative review yet!

  30. April 8, 2010 5:31 pm

    This one appears on my Amazon recommendations now and then but I don’t enjoy Historical so I will pass.

    I do enjoy hearing the story in multiple voices, so it almost got me.

  31. April 8, 2010 6:01 pm

    I really enjoyed this one an am so glad to see it picking up reviews!

  32. April 8, 2010 6:46 pm

    I have this book already, waiting for me to pick it up. Great review, Kathy!

  33. April 8, 2010 7:17 pm

    I have a request in at my library for it, so I’m glad you liked it. Next week’s library loot maybe. :~)

  34. April 8, 2010 7:53 pm

    This book has so much going for it, that I had to buy it on my Kindle when it first came out. Of course, I’ve yet to read it. But I think this summer while we travel, I’m going to have a Kindle-a-thon!

  35. April 8, 2010 8:17 pm

    first I heard of this book but it sounds very interesting. good review.

  36. April 8, 2010 8:57 pm

    just read a review on this one yesterday! i love how i will be ignorant of a book and then i pop online and visit my blog friends and POOF, the book is everywhere.
    glad you enjoyed it. i haven’t read anything set in that era for a while…

  37. April 8, 2010 10:03 pm

    I was thinking of reading this book. Glad to hear it was a good read for you. =)

  38. April 8, 2010 11:04 pm

    So glad to see you liked this one! I am looking forward to reading it!

  39. glendasikes permalink
    April 9, 2010 12:39 am

    I started this one a couple days ago and have only managed to read 48 pages — it’s just not drawing me in. I’m glad to read you had the same experience and that it’s worth it to stick with it; I’ll stick with it!

  40. April 9, 2010 4:37 am

    I’ve heard so much about this book. Thank you for sharing such a great review. I may just go get this book now 🙂

  41. April 9, 2010 7:44 am

    I haven’t written my review yet but I did finish this book last week. In some ways I really liked it, but I don’t think I ended up loving it like I wanted to.

  42. April 9, 2010 9:05 am

    I have this one on my short stack of books to read. I read Blake’s Grange House years ago and was impressed with her writing then so I have high hopes for this one.

  43. April 9, 2010 9:46 am

    I’ve been wanting to read this one ever since I first saw it a few months ago but have been a bit leary after reading several mixed reviews. I’m glad you enjoyed it Kathy….I definitely plan on reading it now!

  44. April 9, 2010 10:34 am

    Nice to read your review. I have this one on my TBR and should hope to read it soon.

  45. April 9, 2010 11:12 pm

    I really enjoyed this one, I thought it was very well-written. I’m loving all the Amy Einhorn books I’ve read so far. Currently, I’m reading The Marriage Bureau for Rich People

  46. April 12, 2010 9:16 pm

    I really liked Frankie and her role as a correspondent. I think she’s also the most flawed of all the characters (makes the most mistakes and misjudgments). I’ll look forward to discussing THE POSTMISTRESS.

  47. April 13, 2010 11:56 am

    I have heard so many good things about this one, and I think I want to read it. Thanks for your great review!

  48. April 13, 2010 1:36 pm

    I’ve heard such mixed reviews of this book. I’m glad you liked it though. I still have it to read and I’m still looking forward to it.

  49. April 25, 2010 5:59 am

    I almost bought this book a week’s ago but decided to put it back onto the shelves because I was on a book ban. I am definitely going to get it when I visit a bookstore again. Thanks for the review, Kathy!

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