Fiction Book Reviews

Book Review: The Postmistress

By Sandy Amazeen Feb 3, 2011, 21:19 GMT

Book Review: The Postmistress

The New York Times bestseller- "A beautifully written, thought-provoking novel." -#1 New York Times bestselling author Kathryn Stockett. In 1940, Iris James is the postmistress in coastal Franklin, Massachusetts. Iris knows more about the townspeople than she will ever say, and believes her job is to deliver secrets. Yet one day she does the unthinkable: slips a letter into her pocket, reads it, and doesn\'t deliver it. ...more

The lives of three women; Iris James postmistress of Franklin, Massachusetts, Emma Trask, just married to the town’s doctor Will Fitch and radio reporter Frankie Bard are intertwined in this uneven story set in the early 1940’s. Frankie chaffing at taking direction from Edward R. Murrow, sets off by train into Germany seeking the “truth” of the war, and hopefully, spur American listeners into action. Back on Cape Cod, Will responding to the radio reports decides to do what he can in the war effort, leaving Emma behind to wait anxiously for news of her husband. Hard at work at the small town post office, Iris comes into possession of a letter and makes the fateful decision not to deliver it.

Delving into the personal lives of three “average” women, Blake offers a different telling of the years prior to the United States entering WWII by taking the focus off the battlefront. While Frankie’s part of the story sings, it tends to meander and flounder around Iris and Emma. The characters could have been developed more fully, which would have provided more of a foundation for their actions thus allowing readers to connect better. It is interesting watching Frankie’s evolution from a brash young reporter into a seasoned, thoughtful newscaster. Overall, this is a thoughtful premise that could have been handled better.

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