Bkwormmegs's Reviews > The Postmistress

The Postmistress by Sarah Blake
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's review
Jul 15, 2012

liked it
Read in July, 2012

I enjoyed the novel, in particular the skillful writing. Blake describes the Blitz from above ground and below. "There was heaven, there were the shelters underground, and then here on the street - between the gunners and the gunned - was Middle Earth. In Middle Earth at night, everything was turned upside down in a brilliant kaleidoscope of dizzy bright death set against the black silhouette of London." She describes in vivid detail the sounds of the bombs, the sucker punch of being in a blast, and the atmosphere below ground.
Likewise her characters are well drawn and you take a vested interest in their lives.
As well researched and written as it is, I haven't rated it any higher as I felt like the plot lost momentum along the way. There are no consequences to the plot device at the core of the novel - the story not reported and the letter not delivered. It seems to peter out at the end, though perhaps that was the point she was making about life around the edges of the war.

Other quotes:
Frankie describing her job as an American reporter in London: "In that moment, through the air, the Germans plowed straight into an American living room and Frankie was holding the curtain back so they could hear it better, and it was a dare. I dare you, she thought now, to look away."

Frankie on radio, her medium of reporting: "In radio, the story flew into the air, from lips to ear - like a secret finding its immediate spot in the dark lodges of the brain - the dome of the sky collapsing space, and the world became a great whispering gallery for us all."

On the tide of war refugees: "Surely God ought to look down and see that one part of the story had been seperated from the other, and find a way, somehow, to put them side by side. How could He stand these gaps, these enormous valleys of silence? And Europe was full of people vanishing into this quiet."

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