Book Review: The Postmistress
The Postmistress by Sarah Blake is a book that has long been on my to- read shelf. A very long time, possibly four years because I’ve had a ban on buying new books for myself for that long. I’ve picked it up a few times and couldn’t get into it. Part of that is because I seem to have some strange reading block when it comes to non-library books and reading them in a timely fashion. The other reason is because I just didn’t like this novel.
The basic plot surrounds three women in the early days of World War II before the US officially was involved: the postmistress Iris and a young bride Emma in a coastal Massachusetts town and Frankie Bard, a radio reporter working with Edward R. Murrow in London during the Blitz in 1940. It takes awhile for the plot to get going and to figure out how all three stories are going to come together. I didn’t really care all that much for any of the characters and found a lot of the book to be disjointed.
As a lover of historical fiction and someone who has studied World War II, there were a lot of inaccuracies within the historical aspect, a few of which the author makes note of in her personal note at the end of the story. That being said, the author names the coastal town in Massachusetts in the book Franklin, MA, which she also notes in her author’s note is a “fictional amalgam of coastal Massachusetts towns.” Sure, that’s fine EXCEPT THERE IS A REAL FRANKLIN, MASSACHUSETTS. And it’s nowhere near the Cape. This should have been a sign to me in the beginning that this book and I wouldn’t jive well together. I have nothing against made up towns from various real-life ones, but please don’t name it something that actually does exist, especially when it’s so easy to research that.
I did enjoy some of the perspective of Frankie Bard in terms of her being a reporter during the war, especially because women during World War II is a particular research interest of mine.
Overall, I was underwhelmed and a bit perplexed about what all the fuss was about!