Diane Chamberlain's Reviews > The Postmistress

The Postmistress by Sarah Blake
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Mar 19, 10

Read in March, 2010

Well, what to say about this book.

The good stuff: I loved--no adored--Blake's use of the postmistress as the central character who bound the story together through her involvement in everyone's lives. I loved her descriptions. I loved the peek into the world of the foreign correspondents. I thought Blake did a fabulous job of capturing the time period (note: surely everyone who lived in the 40s must have ended up with lung cancer, no?)

The bad stuff: The head hopping drove me nuts. Changing point of view within a chapter can be done if done carefully and judiciously and very clearly. Changing within a paragraph is confusing, awkward, uneccessary. I felt jerked around by the first chapter in which Iris gets her certificate of virginity. To what end? This reminds me of myself as an author, when I get a very cool idea and put it in a book, only later to realize that, while it may indeed be a very cool idea, it doesn't belong in that particular book and must go. I guess one could argue that it sets up Iris as the somewhat kooky character she is, but it didn't work for me. Finally, even though I tend to like serious books that don't gloss over life's unfairness, this was a bit too much of a downer for me.

I'm giving The Postmistress four stars because the positives outweighed the negatives for me, but it will not be the right book for every reader. And what book is?
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