Roz's Reviews > The Postmistress

The Postmistress by Sarah Blake
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's review
Nov 28, 11

bookshelves: historical-fiction, holocaust, wwii
Read in November, 2011

I read this book on the recommendation of a friend. I wish I could give it more stars but three is about all it deserves. Maybe three and a half. It was beautifully written and I truly enjoyed reading the descriptions, but I found the characters underdeveloped and the story thin. We got teases about the three women, Emma, Iris and Frankie. I know they had pasts that would have helped to explain who they were and why they acted and thought the way they did, but Blake never quite got around to letting us in on their secrets. Wish she had. I would have cared more about these three. But this isn't a novel built on character development. It isn't even really built around a strong plot. Blake had a point to make. In the 1940s news came slowly. Letters were written, sent, received (hopefully) and waited for. It took time to find out what was happening. One needed patience. People gathered around the radio to hear what was happening across the ocean. They depended on commentators like Frankie to tell them what was going on. And while they listened to the reports, they continued to lead their ordinary lives as though what they heard would never touch them.
Today we live in an instant world. We text, email, chat, spend hours on the phone. The world is a small place, made closer through 24-hour news streams and the internet. You want to know what's happening in a war half way around the world? No problem. There are cameras everywhere, whether we want it or not. But some things never change. The point is even when horrible things are going on and we know about them we still don't pay attention. We still go on with our lives and think what's happening 'over there' won't touch us. It's sometimes just as easy to believe a lie as it is to believe the truth. Maybe easier if the truth is, well, unbelievable.
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Kerry Kenney I think you make a great point about the way news came out, this is a great part of the story.

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