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It is 1940 and the United States is on the cusp of entering World War II. London is in the middle of the Blitz, Jews all over Europe are being rounded up and contained, and coastal townsfolk in the U.S. fear invasion. Iris James is the postmistress of a small Massachusetts town performing her duties to her town and country keeping the mail organized and delivered on schedule. Emma Fitch, the young doctor’s bride, is new in town. Frankie Bard is busy blazing a new path as a female war correspondent/radio reporter in Europe. The Postmistress by Sarah Blake is the story of the intersection of these three women’s lives.
Blake’s historical fiction novel makes you feel the edgy uncertainty and fear of that time. The novel is divided into sections with titles of the changing seasons which reminds the reader that the world is about to be devastatingly changed by the seasons of war. It addresses how people react to fear, the fear of war, invasion, loss of family, loneliness, and the fear that you know too much about someone’s life. What do you do with information that you know is going to devastate someone’s life forever, how do you tell them? What will happen if a letter is purposely not delivered? I was drawn in to this novel getting to know each of these women wondering how their lives would touch, and I was not disappointed. It sweeps from the U. S. to London, then Germany, and back to the U.S and takes the reader along into these women’s intertwining lives. This is a great book for readers who like the 1940s or WWII era with some romance and drama elements. It is also a great women’s fiction book as well.
If you find you would like to read more books like The Postmistress I would like to recommend: A Season of Shadows by Paul McCusker; The Night Watch by Sarah Waters; Charlotte Gray: A Novel by Sebastian Faulks; HumanVoices by Penelope Fitzgerald; Touch the Face of God: A WWII Novel by Robert Vaughan; and last but not least La’s Orchestra Saves the World: A Novel by Alexander McCall Smith. Happy Reading!