[TLC Blog Tour&Review AND Giveaway] The Postmistress by Sara Blake

Posted 10 March, 2011 by Molly(Cover To Cover Cafe) in Book Reviews / 33 Comments


About the Book:
An ocean apart, two women—Frankie Bard, a gifted, intrepid, and beautiful young radio journalist in London to report on the Blitz, and Iris James, the dedicated, spinster postmistress of Franklin, Massachusetts—are entrusted with letters that concern the same man, to be delivered to his newlywed wife. Yet each woman decides not to do so, betraying her solemn commitment to deliver the news, whether by radio broadcast under Nazi bombardment or through the meticulous handling of the mail. The man in question is Will Fitch, a young doctor from Franklin who is moved by Frankie’s dispatches to go to London to treat the victims of the Blitz. Each day, his wife, Emma, enters the orderly realm of the local post office, presided over by Iris, to collect a new letter from Will.

Most of Franklin’s townsfolk—just like the glittering New York society from which Frankie hails—believe that the war in Europe will never touch them. A rare exception is Franklin’s Harry Vale, a mechanic with whom Iris has unexpectedly found a touching, midlife love. For hours each day, from a tower in the town hall, Harry trains his binoculars on the Atlantic, watching for the German submarines that he is certain will wreak destruction on America.

Alerted by her deceased colleague and dear friend to the horrific plight of Europe’s Jews, Frankie asks her boss, the legendary broadcast journalist Edward R. Murrow, for permission to tell their story. Carrying the first portable voice recorder, Frankie captures their agonizing accounts as she rides the last refugee trains out of Germany in the summer of 1941, and witnesses the systematic brutality with which they are abused and killed by the Nazis. Finding it impossible to convey the full horror of their situation to an America that does not seem to want to listen, Frankie resigns and heads back to the States…with the young doctor’s letter in her pocket. His daily letters to Emma have stopped arriving long ago, and Frankie travels to Franklin to look behind the story of a man and his wife that had long remained in her mind. In ways both expected and unexpected, the war comes home to Franklin.

An utterly enveloping tale of a world conveyed in a voice, and of secrets kept and shared, THE POSTMISTRESS is a challenging meditation on the individual’s responsibility to history, to her country and community, and to herself.

About the Author:

Sarah Blake’s THE POSTMISTRESS was a New York Times hardcover bestseller in the United States and has been sold to publishers in 13 other countries. The novel also won South Africa’s 2010 Boeke “Readers’ Choice Prize,” which is modeled after the UK’s Man Booker Prize and sponsored by Exclusive Books, South Africa’s largest retail book chain.

Born in New York City, Sarah Blake has a B.A. from Yale University and a Ph.D. in English and American Literature from New York University. She is the author of a chapbook of poems, Full Turn (Pennywhistle Press, 1989), an artist book, Runaway Girls (Hand Made Press, 1997) in collaboration with the artist, Robin Kahn, and two novels. Her first novel, Grange House, (Picador, 2000) was named a “New and Noteworthy” paperback in August, 2001 by The New York Times. Blake’s essays and reviews have appeared in Good Housekeeping, US News and World Reports, The Chicago Tribune and elsewhere.

Sarah lives in Washington, D.C. with her husband, the poet Joshua Weiner, and their two sons. For more information on Sarah, visit her website at sarahblakebooks.com

My Review:
When I signed up to review this novel by the highly talented Sara Blake, I was expecting a novel about a Postmistress from days gone by, during a war. But, when I sat down to read this, it was so much more than that. Sara Blakes’s words were wowing and captured me so completely I could hear the cries of those being bombed in London. I could feel the earth shattering explosion as if I was on one of the war torn streets. 
I could tell you all about Iris, the Postmistress or Emma, the doctor’s young bride, or even about Frankie, the reporter in London who broadcasts the war through the radio waves. I could tell you of the things they do to help others, or rather the things they don’t do, for the sake of helping the others. I could go on and on with the details of these 3 peoples lives in this AMAZING book, along with the lives of Will Flitch and other characters, but if I do, I know that I’d surely give away too much, and I don’t want to ruin the effect this novel will have on the reader. I don’t want to spoil the messages woven on these tender pages. 
So, I will tell you this: don’t think twice about getting a copy. This riveting story of heartbreak and love, passion and war, will make you a part of it. It becomes reality as this 5 star novel unwinds itself before the reader. It’s a fast read, because you become so wholly involved in the story that you want nothing more than to stay between those pages, yet it’s not a “light” read. It will get you thinking about life and those around and how fast it all can change in the simple blink of an eye. I definitely, HIGHLY, recommend this book to EVERYONE. Well done, Ms. Blake! 
You can visit other stops on the tour here
You can purchase your copy here
*This book was provided for review by TLC Book Tours*
This giveaway is open to US and Canada Residents ONLY. To enter simply leave a comment about this post! All entries MUST include some form of contact info for winning notifications. NO CONTACT=NO VALID ENTRY. You can leave a SEPARATE comment telling me how you follow for an added bonus entry. For a third entry, post about this giveaway to Twitter, Facebook or on your blog and LEAVE ME THE LINK in a third comment. Giveaway ends April 1st @1159pmEST. Good luck!  

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