I had heard many great things about “The Postmistress”, so I pre-ordered it from Amazon. When it arrived I just knew I would love this book, so I took my time reading it. I actually tried stretching it out over a few weeks so that I could savor it (where normally I plow through a book I love as quickly as possible). This was such an interesting and thought-provoking book, and I have to say – I loved it!
“The Postmistress” starts with a question at a dinner party: what if someone chose not to deliver a letter? And what if it was during WWII where letters were the primary form of communication for many people? What effect can it have on those people’s lives?
The story follows the WWII experiences of three women: Emma, a young newlywed living on the Cape in Massachusetts, whose husband has gone to London to be a medic; Iris, the town’s postmaster, who is in love with Harry, the town watchdog; and Frankie, a female radio reporter, covering the war for America in Europe. But this is just the surface. Each of these characters are deep and well-developed, and their stories intertwine and overlap in a surprising way when Frankie encounters Emma’s husband in London and is given a letter for Emma (no more than that or I’ll spoil it for you!).
Now I love historical fiction, and I particularly like stories of WWII. I thought this novel was so well-written. I particularly loved the descriptions of the town of Franklin (the fictional Cape Cod town — though there really is a Franklin, Mass., but it’s not on the Cape). You could hear and feel it. I also thought that the inner selves of each of these women, particularly of Frankie, were written so beautifully and believably. In sum, I loved this book (but next time, I’m plowing through – I hated saving it over 3 weeks!!).
I think this novel would be an excellent choice for a book group. There are lots of questions here about why characters acted the way they did – and of course the whole question about the letters. What would YOU think if someone chose not to deliver a letter??
I give this book my rare but lofty “5 Star” award!