Kkraemer's Reviews > The Postmistress

The Postmistress by Sarah Blake
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's review
Dec 22, 2011

liked it

On the surface, this is about World War II and the ways in which people avoided thinking about the atrocities. Some tried to comply, unwilling to imagine that governments would be evil enough to want their demise; others focused their worries on castigating a lone German (though he turns out to be Austrian) in a Cape Cod town because he might be a spy. Some gather around the radio to listen to tales of horror (similar to slowing to look at an accident along the freeway); others try to stop the horror.

But the book's value isn't really in these myriad of ways to avoid thinking about or accepting evil; it's about the role and power of story in our lives. There are lots of stories here, and whatever meaning the reader draws from these stories is from the reader's own mind. Stories just are. They don't always lead to a higher meaning, and they don't always connect. The anecdotes of a grim postmistress do, in fact, intersect with those of a young reporter trained to be objective...but whatever meaning one makes from these intersections or even the stories themselves...well, they're the reader's.

Stories are the way we share meaning, and they're the ways that we make meaning of our existence. This book explores both of those ideas.

By turns compelling and slow, this book is one that will stay with me for a long time.

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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Carmen (new)

Carmen Glad to hear you enjoyed this one. I have had it on my shelf to read for a while now with mixed recommendations. I am going to move it up closer to the top of the pile.

Kkraemer I'm now reading The Elephant's Journey. Put it above The Postmistress...

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