Wednesday, October 14, 2009

[ARC Review]-- "The Postmistress"

Title: The Postmistress

Author: Sarah Blake
Genre: Fiction
Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
Publication Date: February 09, 2010
Pages: 336 (Hardcover)
Summary (B&N):
Filled with stunning parallels to today's world, The Postmistress is a sweeping novel about the loss of innocence of two extraordinary women-and of two countries torn apart by war.
On the eve of the United States's entrance into World War II in 1940, Iris James, the postmistress of Franklin, a small town on Cape Cod, does the unthinkable: She doesn't deliver a letter.
In London, American radio gal Frankie Bard is working with Edward R. Murrow, reporting on the Blitz. One night in a bomb shelter, she meets a doctor from Cape Cod with a letter in his pocket, a letter Frankie vows to deliver when she returns from Germany and France, where she is to record the stories of war refugees desperately trying to escape.The residents of Franklin think the war can't touch them- but as Frankie's radio broadcasts air, some know that the war is indeed coming.
And when Frankie arrives at their doorstep, the two stories collide in a way no one could have foreseen. The Postmistress is an unforgettable tale of the secrets we must bear, or bury. It is about what happens to love during wartime, when those we cherish leave. And how every story-of love or war-is about looking left when we should have been looking right.

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My Review:
Considering the fact that this is not my usual genre of choice (fiction, yes, but usually more along the fantasy, romantic, or YA categories), The Postmistress was an enjoyable novel, and one that I would probably have picked up myself, had I seen in on the shelf.
Sarah Blake is truly a gifted author, writing with a clean, fresh voice. Original and touching are two very good words to describe her work-- and this novel. It wasn't one of those books where you're constantly reminded of another book while reading it.
I've not read many novels set in this time period (World War II era), and although I know my history, this story still opened my eyes even more to war, and everything it contributes to in our daily lives. The way Blake wrote the novel, described the settings and actions, you're almost prepared to look up from the book and find yourself transported back to 1941, running for the bomb shelters.
However, my one complaint about her writing was that, at times, it was almost too much. Details upon details, piled up and slowing the story down. Description is great, and very much needed for the story, but too much of a good thing can also hinder a novel.
Also, there were a few spots where I had to flip back a few pages, trying to figure out which character's POV the story was being told from. For the most part, the changes in perspectives flowed smoothly, but there were a few that didn't. Then again, this could easily be due to the fact that this was an ARC, and in the final version it's fixed.
Blake also created wonderful characters, all of whom left an impression even after the final page was turned. They were real, and although it was hard to watch them struggle through this period of history, it was needed, and added to the enjoyment of the story being told. Depth of character is always a plus, and being able to accomplish that with more than just the hero/heroine of a story is remarkable. Well done Ms. Blake!
4 STARS! Despite these few flaws, the book was still very good. A "curl-up-in-front-of-a-fire-with-it-on-a-cool-fall-evening" kind of novel! Although it's not a short novel, the pages flew by, carrying the reader through an eye-opening journey set during a war that changed our world's history--forever.
Thanks to B&N First Look (October '09) for this book!



Until Next Time,
The Book Queen

1 comment :

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