Saturday, February 13, 2010

Show Me 5 Saturday: The Postmistress by Sarah Blake

Alipet at That's a novel idea started a new MEME called Show Me Five Saturday. Unfortunately, our host has been missing in action but Jenners puts up a Mr. Linky if you would like to play along. This meme will give each blogger an opportunity to give a brief description of a book they have read or reviewed during the week. It will work like this: Each Saturday you will post the answer to these questions.

  1. Title of the book you read: The Postmistress by Sarah Blake
  2. Words that descibe the book: Literary Fiction
  3. Characters you met or location:
  • Frankie Bard, radio reporter for the Columbia Broadcasting System who reports on the war conditions in London during the Blitz along with Edward R. Murrow. During an air raid alert in the underground she meets Dr. Will Fitch from Cape Cod. Their meeting has a profound effect on Frankie. After Frankie's roommate, Harriet, is one of the victims of the Blitz, Frankie begs Murrow to let her continue the story of what is happening to the Jews in Europe and their plight as refugees.
  • Iris James: Single, dedicated and very orderly Postmaster in Franklin, MA. Even though War is raging in Europe, the business of the Post Office must continue. Iris has a bird's eye view of how the daily mail affects the residents of Franklin, particularly the young bride of Dr. Will Fitch. As she watches Mrs. Fitch look so anxious before she gets her mail, Iris wonders what would happen if certain news did not reach it's destination. How would lives be changed?
  • Emma Fitch: Dr. Fitch's new bride whose life in thrown into chaos when her husband announces he will go to London to help out in the hospitals. Emma haunts the post office daily for his letters and when they stop coming, Emma continues to visit the post office in hopes of word from Will. Even though in her heart of hearts, she feels something must have happened to him, not knowing definitely lets her keep her hopes up.

4. Things you liked/disliked about the story:

  • I did love the setting in London and on Cape Cod but I would have liked the author to either use the real name of the town, ( sounds like Provincetown) or make up a fictional town, not use the name of a real town (Franklin) that is no where on the Cape. I know this sounds nit-picky but this irked me.
  • The background of reporting the news by women during wartime was very interesting to me as told through Frankie's perspective. Actually, I felt she was a bigger part of the story than Iris, the Postmaster.
  • Descriptions of the conditions in the air raid shelters really put me in the scene. I could feel the closeness of other people, the dank air of the underground and the fear emanating from family members. Descriptions of the devastations of bombing during the Blitz and the effect it had on people was extremely well done.
  • I would have liked to have seen more about Iris. After all, the book is named The Postmistress. She wasn't fleshed out enough for me and I would have liked more "story" about her throughout the book .

5. Stars/Rating: 3.5 *** Although I did enjoy the book seeing how these three womens' lives were connected and would definitely read another novel by Ms. Blake, I did have issues with this one. I don't think the prologue helped at all as it lead me to believe there would be more than what really happened. (Trying to avoid spoilers here). Would I still recommend the book? Yes!

Disclosure: A review copy of the book was provided by the county library system. Thanks to my tax dollars!


  1. Love it! I've really wanted to read "The Postmistress." This is the part that has me so excited. "Iris has a bird's eye view of how the daily mail affects the residents of Franklin..."

  2. I have some buzz about this book, but never really knew what it was about. This was a GREAT review - and I love the Take 5 format. I will have to try it myself sometime.

  3. I wasn't too thrilled with this book either, but some bloggers definitely have loved it. I really liked Henry but that was about it!

  4. I'll be reading this for my book club soon, so I'm glad to see you enjoyed it.

  5. I've read many similar reviews, Kaye. I may read it someday but not soon (so many other books ahead of it). Thanks for your thoughts. My review is of an older book today (that I finished reading just this morning - loved it!)

  6. I loved this book, glad you mostly enjoyed it!

  7. Thanks for the review - this one sounds good to me!

  8. I really want to read this one! I loved its synopsis. Thanks for your honest thoughts! Really enjoyed them!

  9. I have this one but have been putting off reading for pretty much the reasons you stated that bothered you. I'll read it sometime I'm sure!

  10. Interesting the different opinions that are coming forth about The Postmistress. I guess it's one I'll to read it for myself at some point.

  11. I would expect more about Iris if the book was named "The Postmistress." I love how you get your tax money's worth.

  12. Great review. It was good to see another side to the book. Thanks.

  13. I'm glad you liked it Kaye. I've been hearing that people have mixed feelings on it like you. I'll be reading it soon so I hope I enjoy it.

  14. I've noticed a lot of bloggers feel the same way about this one. Good, but not great. Of course, given the WWII angle, this one is on my to-read list!

    I've linked to your review on the Book Reviews: WWII page on War Through the Generations.

    Diary of an Eccentric


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