The Postmistress Book Review

The Postmistress: Book Review by Arlene

3 stars


The Postmistress Book Review







The setting for this novel takes place in the Fall of 1940.

In this day and age of modern technology imagine, if you can, the days of “Snail Mail.”

Imagine the only news of the world you receive is on a radio broadcast if you are lucky enough to even have a radio, or from a newspaper.

Countries separated by oceans seemed like they were so far away and any horrible thing happening to the masses of people across those oceans could not affect your life – or could it?

There was no e-mail, no cell phones, no internet, no 24 hours a day of information overload, no televisions in every home. There was no being bombarded by differing opinions of people you didn’t even know coming at you every minute of every day.

This is the premise of this book.

If you wish, step back in time and read The Postmistress.

The Three Main Characters:

Frankie Bard, a female radio broadcaster who works for The Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS),  and for Edward R. Murrow, a prominent news broadcaster in the United States who the people listen to on the radio to  learn about the world events taking place around the globe.

Frankie Bard is the first woman to report the news across the airwaves from The Blitz in London.

Iris James, the Postmaster in Franklin, Massachusetts, a small Cape Cod town.

Emma Fitch, the town of Franklin’s new doctor’s new wife.

The story weaves itself through the turmoils of these 3 women’s lives.

These three lives become intertwined with each other with each of them not having a clue that is happening. At the end of the book it all comes together and they meet with each other to share their stories but keep the secrets that need to be kept.

Edward R. Murrow sends Frankie Bard to London to get the word out on what is happening to the Jewish people all over Europe.

He wants 3 questions to be answered.
1. What is happening? 2.  How does it affect America?  3.  What does the common man say?

When Frankie goes over to London all she had available to report the news was a table, listening on headphones for New York to say “Come In London”. She would then flick the switch on the side of the microphone and speak.

England is being bombarded by the Germans every night, people are going underground every night, then waking up at daylight to go above ground to see the devastation of lives and homes being destroyed.

In order to get the real story Frankie decides to get on the trains leaving London every night with the people trying to escape the country and she interviews them to find out what is really happening to the common population of the European countries.

She records their voices when they answer her questions on 70 discs and in doing so becomes entrenched with their misery and fears. She asks the people the same questions and they answer her in their native tongues and languages.

She asks them:
1.  What is your name? 2.  Where are you going? 3.  Where have you come from? 4.  How long have you traveled? 5.  How much do you have? 6.  Will anyone meet you?

Frankie meets Doctor Will Fitch, the doctor from Cape Cod married to Emma Fitch, in an underground section of London and forges a friendship with him.

He has gone to London to help in any way he can after a tragic incident on Cape Cod.

She ultimately gets possession of a letter he had written to his wife. She takes the letter and promises herself when she gets back to the states she will go to Cape Cod and will personally deliver the letter to the doctor’s wife herself.

Iris James, the postmaster on Cape Cod also has a letter Doctor Fitch asked her to deliver to his wife should he die in London.

So, now we have 2 letters waiting to be personally delivered to a wife waiting to hear the fate of her beloved husband.

The cast of characters in this novel are every day people, living normal lives until their fates bring them together at a time in history which will never be forgotten.

My Thoughts:

This is a good book with a good story line and an enjoyable read. It is not a blockbuster but it can grip you at times and keep you engrossed.

Listen to the people on the trains.

Imagine what it was like back then compared to life today.

The hard cover copy of this book has 318 pages so it is not a long book but it does capture the time period and is well written.

You can get the paperback book of The Postmistress here. Or if you would like, listen to it for free with an Audible trial from Amazon.

Please join us in The Postmistress Book Club Discussion Questions. We would love to hear your thoughts on the book!

Looking for more ideas? Check out our book reviews.

14 thoughts on “The Postmistress Book Review

  1. This sounds like a book I would like. I enjoy reading about that time in history and the characters sound engaging. I’m curious as to what made you give it only 3 stars?

    1. Hi Teresa!
      I thought The Postmistress would be a better book than it was. It had all the elements that I would like in an historical fiction book but the execution was not there. To be honest and blunt, the reason it got 3 stars was that it dragged in places and the book was slow to move and it wasn’t engaging.
      It was just an okay book, not a book you would rave about.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Seems like this was a fairly enjoyable thriller. Reading about the questions and the plot left me a little lost – I’ll admit – but it probably makes more sense when you’re reading the book. And it being gripping at times is definitely a good thing!

    1. Hi Olivia Thanks for your comments on this novel. This book is not considered a thriller exactly but more intended to be historical fiction based on the communication available at that period in time. The plot and the character of Frankie Bard brought to light the experiences of those days. I considered this book one that is an enjoyable read but not a page turner that would keep you wanting more. Thanks again for stopping by!

  3. Interesting concept and a unique way of looking at the Second World War through the eyes of the report Frankie.
    Sounds like a sad book and perhaps realistic?

    1. Hi Susan!
      Thanks for your comments.

      The media concept and theme is a good one and I liked that it gave a different perspective to how things were done in World War 2. With mass communication via the internet and getting information as it happens it is quite different to the past which seems very slow compared to today’s standard.

      The book is sad in the sense that there are deaths involved. However, death itself was an accepted phenomenon during the 2nd WW so it was not sad but an accepted truth of reality. It did seem to portray a realistic impression of what happened then. Some of the historical information such as the Blitz gave the book some support.

      Thanks for stopping by and talk soon!

  4. I enjoy the modern convenience of technology in our current day and age. However, I do still enjoy the idea of actually writing and sending letters. I still hand write thank you cards. =) The Postmistress has an interesting premise and I’m glad you enjoyed it.

    1. Hi Lonna!
      We live and work in a fast moving world and modern technology has just become a way of life. I still send paper greeting cards and love receiving the same from the people in my life. It gives us the opportunity to express very personal feelings on those important occasions.

      Thanks for your comments as we appreciate hearing from you!

  5. This sounds like something my wife would love to read. I see it comes in paperback, do they offer a kindle version of the book? Very well written review.

    1. Hello Larry!
      Thank you for your positive comment on my review. This novel is available on the kindle version from Amazon for $12.99.

      Thank you for stopping by!

  6. I’ve only seen this topic glossed over in other novels. This is actually an interesting premise for a book. Communication is something we take for granted nowadays. But back in the forties, anything could happen without it being broadcast on the internet. This looks like a quick but fun read. Thanks for bringing it to my attention!

    1. Hi Mohammed!
      This was an interesting concept for a novel. It brought together an important part of world history and how that information was brought to the attention of people across the oceans. Today information is spread across the world in minutes. Who would have thought the whole world would be in our hands on a phone! A bit mind boggling!

      Thank you for your comments.

    1. Hi Audrey!
      Thanks for your positive comments. If we have stirred your curiosity on one of our selections we hope you stop by again. We have tried to select different types of books for anyone who loves to read and when we choose our book of the month we find out together whether it was a great book or not so we give an honest review based on our own opinion.

      We appreciate your thoughts!

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