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and life along the winding road

Friday, March 11, 2016

The Postmistress by Sarah Blake

The Postmistress by Sarah Blake was a little difficult to follow at the beginning as the point of view shifted quickly from one character to another, but after a while the story became a little more stable. Although written in the WWII era, there are many similarities to our fears of refugees today. One paragraph that resonated was the reference to Jewish refugees fleeing from Germany and Europe and fear from the U.S. to take them in because they might be German spies, like our current day fear of terrorists travelling with the large groups leaving Syria.
Carrying a portable disk recorder, a reporter recorded many of the refugees, but according to the author, the time the book was set in was before the recorder was introduced. I didn't find it believable that a young woman could carry a 35lb bulky instrument through such crowds and sometimes she held the hand of someone and her overnight case in the other! But the voices recorded were needed for part of the story.
Although Henry seemed a little crazy in his scanning the bay and open water for possible U-Boat attacks, he wasn't far off the mark. Many Americans were unaware that German U-Boats were trawling the East Coast and one rose briefly in New York harbor.
From the cover:
Alternating between an America still cocooned in its inability to grasp the danger at hand and a Europe being torn apart by war, The Postmistress gives us two women who find themselves unable to deliver the news, and a third woman desperately waiting for news yet afraid to bear it.

Book discussion here.

Kirkus review 


Nan said...

I've wondered about this book. The recorder would jar me so much I wouldn't enjoy the book - if I understood correctly that it was not invented then but the author added it anyway. I'm not a big fan of historical fiction for that very reason. I would rather read a book written during the actual time, even with dated stereotypes, etc. Thanks for the review.

K9friend said...

I must say I like the cover of this book.

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