Scarlet's Reviews > The Postmistress

The Postmistress by Sarah Blake
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's review
Nov 11, 2011

it was ok
bookshelves: audiobooks
Read in November, 2011

Not a particularly interesting book--not much plot, shallowly drawn characters, no theme. The American scenes could basically have all been eliminated to make this a stronger book. Frankie is the only character who does anything, and the scenes involving the Blitz or Jewish refugees are far and away the best in the book--the only ones that I'll remember next week. I think that has more to do with the inherent emotional power of those circumstances than with Blake's skills as a writer, though.

I did like how Blake illustrated the power and immediacy of radio. And there was some interesting, if tangential, discussion of journalism and what its purpose should be. But that didn't seem to be Blake's main point. Actually, I have no idea what she wanted her point to be. War is hell? Random things happen because you looked left instead or right? Well, duh.

I've read some criticisms of Connie Willis's purported tone-deafness regarding the Blitz. This book avoids some of the pitfalls of historical fiction set within living memory by depicting the Blitz through an American's eyes, so that was a good choice.

In all, this was yet another book that aspires to be literary fiction but falls flat. And Orlagh Cassidy didn't do the book any favors. Too bad, I really liked how she read The Piano Teacher, and thought she made it better than it would've been on the page.

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