MyGoodBookshelf's Reviews > The Postmistress

The Postmistress by Sarah Blake
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's review
Apr 13, 12

bookshelves: fiction, historical-fiction
Read in July, 2011

(This review also appears on

For me, this book was merely `ok' which I hate admitting because I'd had really high hopes for it and the premise sounded so interesting- not only that, this book had been incredibly hyped up. Somehow though, although the book was a pleasant enough read it just never really seemed to get going and I found it hard to really get to know any of the characters. You are never fully pulled into the story alongside them and perhaps it is this sense of distance which has made me feel a bit indifferent to the plot as well.

Poor research aside (I won't elaborate on ferries, trains, Americanisms etc as other reviewers have already picked up on that!) I feel that this book had the potential to be something much better than it is. The author's writing style is quite elegant and concise and she is able to create a scene quite well in your mind, so it's a shame that the plot itself is all over the place and reads more like a textbook in places. Some bits work quite well- others just don't seem to fit or aren't elaborated on enough. I also feel certain stronger aspects of the book were too quickly glossed over- for example Frankie travelling by train through occupied Europe- although admittedly a bit far-fetched, that part of the story could have been built on much more strongly than it actually was since the author decided to chuck it in there. There were a lot of bits that were also left unresolved- whether deliberately or not it just felt a bit lazy to be honest and like the author ran out of steam.

In terms of character development, I felt this story fell a bit short and the characters behaved a bit irrationally in parts. You are introduced to three female protagonists and out of all of them, Frankie had the most going for her- she's depicted as a sassy, strong-willed reporter. By contrast, doctors wife Emma seems to have been deliberately written to be weak and a bit bland and the postmistress herself as very standoffish and dull. I have to say though, I didn't like any of the women really- though out of all of them Frankie was the most interesting. Out of the male characters, only Harry had anything about him and he doesn't feature heavily enough.

My favourite bit of this book? When I finished it! To be blunt, I've read much better books set during this era. I wouldn't recommend this one to be honest- its only average and I don't think I'll be reading anything by this author again. Don't be seduced by the pretty cover, don't waste your money and don't waste your time.
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