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The Postmistress [Paperback]

Sarah Blake
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (88 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.99
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Book Description

7 Jan 2011

The Sunday Times bestseller The Postmistress by Sarah Blake is a heart-rending and profoundly moving story of love and loss in World War II.

It is 1940, and bombs fall nightly on London.

In the thick of the chaos is young American radio reporter Frankie Bard. She huddles close to terrified strangers in underground shelters, and later broadcasts stories about survivors in rubble-strewn streets. But for her listeners, the war is far from home.

Listening to Frankie are Iris James, a Cape Cod postmistress, and Emma Fitch, a doctor's wife. Iris hears the winds stirring and knows that soon the letters she delivers will bear messages of hope or tragedy. Emma is desperate for news of London, where her husband is working - she counts the days until his return.

But one night in London the fates of all three women entwine when Frankie finds a letter - a letter she vows to deliver . . .

The Postmistress is an unforgettable story of three women: their loves, their partings and the secrets they must bear, or bury . . .

'A beautifully written, though-provoking novel that I'm telling everyone to read' Kathryn Stockett, author of The Help

'A brilliant story, beautifully crafted, that touches the heart and captures the imagination' Sunday Express

'Unforgettable, heart-wrenching, captivating. A profoundly moving story of love, loss and life in war time' Sunday Independent

'Heartbreaking' Daily Express

'A World War Two blockbuster with echoes of Atonement' Red

'A moving tale that will stay with you long after the final page' Good Housekeeping

Sarah Blake lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband, the poet Josh Weiner, and their two sons.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 326 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; 1st edition (7 Jan 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141046619
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141046617
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (88 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 186,997 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


A beautifully written, thought provoking novel that I'm telling everyone I know to read (Kathryn Stockett, Author Of The Help )

I loved it. It’s exquisite and I wish I’d written it. It’s truly a lovely, moving and beautifully evocative book. (Cathy Kelly )

Unforgettable, insightful and compelling... Perfectly recreates the cadences of passion while also conjuring up the wrenching, nightmare suspense of history in the making (Sena Jeter Naslund, Author Of Ahab's Wife ) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Sarah Blake lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband, the poet Josh Weiner, and their two sons.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Could have been so much better 23 Feb 2011
The quote from Kathryn Stockett on the front cover swung the purchase for me having thoroughly enjoyed her own book The Help.
I was really looking forward to an unusual tilt on a well worn road. But the descriptions are overly "wordy" and frustratingly inaccurate, since when did London have "blocks" ?
The characters and the plot were boring and one dimentional. Things that should have been explained were not and things that didn't need an explanation were hammered home ad nauseum.
I felt some empathy for Harry Vale and his untimely demise but it was just scanned over and as for poor Maggie well.....
The lost potential here was huge, Buy it if theres nothing else you fancy but really ? don't bother.
Buy The Help instead.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars beautiful & harrowing: a must read 27 May 2010
My initial impression (from the cover and back page blurb) was "eugh, romance, not in the mood". Then one day I picked it up, read the prologue, and just didn't stop. This is beautifully written, intimate, heart-breaking, and so very human. Reading it creates an almost painful happiness; there is an honesty to the story that carries you through even the most painful tragedies, and makes you want to reread each line so that you too can bear witness to the bravery, keep those characters alive one moment longer.

PLOT: The story is set during World War II. It follows three women whose paths cross due to unexpected circumstances: Iris, a postmistress in Franklin MA; Emma, wife of Franklin's sole doctor; and Frankie, a radio gal reporting from war-torn London. The war touches all of their lives in very distinct ways, but just as it is not a romance, this is not a war novel, either. What matters is the people: their stories, their choices, and their mistakes.

Where to begin with my no doubt senseless gushing?

Sometimes when you read a book you become one with the main character, and you feel like you can stand between them and their destiny, or at least help them in their plight. Not so with The Postmistress. Here you stand alongside the story, and as much as you ache for the characters all you can do is watch and bear witness to their struggles.

This may explain why something that would generally annoy me -- the point of view sliding between characters -- did not bother me at all. Not only was it smoothly done, but it felt right to be able to know each character intimately. After all, this is not some murder-mystery with plot twists to conceal; this is real. Every person counts. Pay attention.

I'll admit, it's not an easy read.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't waste your time ! 19 Jun 2011
Despite the previous reviews, I decided to go ahead and purchase this book as to be honest I was drawn by the cover and the blurb and reviews on the back of the book. However, I struggled through to page 126 and the end of chapter ten(200 pages short of the end) when I finally decided that life really was too short to continue with a book I wasn't even enjoying ! I didn't like the style of writing, I didn't warm to any of the characters and to be honest I just didn't get the story (probably because there isn't one !) This may sound a bit harsh but you come to realise that sometimes you have to accept certain books are not for you.9( and this one certainly wasn't for me.)
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed... 24 Mar 2011
With such a great front cover and all the hype around it, I too wanted to love this book. I even found myself quite excited when I started reading the first pages. I was looking forward to a great read...

Alas, I nearly gave up halfway through the book.

I was indeed expecting a story where the postmistress is the main character, which she is not. I consider that Frankie Bard, the American reporter, is that central character. So, why call the book the postmistress when she does not actually play such an important role in the story?

I was also looking forward to that bit mentioned on the back cover "But one night in London the fates of all three women entwine when Frankei finds a letter - a letter she vows to deliver".

First, I would not say that the fates of the three women really entwined, if anything, they all met within the very last chapters and were either ignoring/avoid each other or bickering (Frankie and Iris).

Second, that letter... the one that seems to be so important according to the back cover. Well, it never gets deliver, we are never told what it contained. For chapters and chapters, we were reminded of that letter travelling through the continents in Frankie's pockets, the suspense nearly became intolerable... Until you realise that Frankie will not give it to Emma and that you can forget all about it! What a let down.

Harry Vale: when I was reading the last moments of hid life, I was thinking to myself "Ah come on! This is so far fetched it gets ridiculous". Yes, he was right all along, the U-boats were coming and he has a stroke at that very moment... No, way too much for me I'm afraid...
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Unusual war story 22 July 2010
I loved this book. It was bought on a whim but proved to be an enlightening read. I knew nothing about the America journalists who were reporting the war and I like every book to give me an insight into something new to me. The story is simply written but the author has the ability to take you into situations and allow you to have a clear picture in your head. She also left some situations unresolved so you could try to put your own ending to the individual stories.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Really good story keeps you turning the pages
Published 16 days ago by globug
4.0 out of 5 stars WW2 drama
A very good read , clever interweaving of the characters across two countries England and the USA. A story of love and loss during world war 2.
Published 1 month ago by Fingers
1.0 out of 5 stars Boring!
It promises so much and then disappoints so terribly.

The concept sounds great: three women touched by WWII in their own ways. Read more
Published 2 months ago by E. Meert
5.0 out of 5 stars Our book club thoughts
We all agreed that this was a powerful story, based on some hint of fact but well linked to the actual period by some clever writing.
Published 3 months ago by MRS S WEBSTER
2.0 out of 5 stars Potentially Interesting War Story Marred By Constant Inaccuracies
Sarah Blake's first novel to be published in England is on a potentially interesting topic: what war is like for civilians, and for those hearing about it at a distance. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Kate Hopkins
5.0 out of 5 stars What a good read.
An indepth look at life.
Interesting and compelling .
I could not put the book down so much was there within its pages.
The reader is taken on a journey. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Vera Waters author
5.0 out of 5 stars Unusual
This was a different story, interesting writing,not a fast paced thriller, but very enjoyable. Thoroughly enjoyed it and would recommend it.
Published 8 months ago by M G Wischhusen
5.0 out of 5 stars a lovely thought provoking read
this is one the best books ive read in a long while .it brings home the feelings that the women must have felt during the war. Read more
Published 9 months ago by yorkie girl
3.0 out of 5 stars Book club
Found this a little hard to get through, it chopped and changed too much for me but I did finish it!
Published 10 months ago by Mas
5.0 out of 5 stars Gets behind the headlines of war, the personal stories of loss and...
Well written and reader drawn into the lives and action of characters. emotions jump off page.
Story extends from London thro Europe and across the Atlantic.
Published 12 months ago by JANE MCFARLANE
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