The Postmistress

By Sarah Blake
(Berkley Trade, Paperback, 9780425238691, 384pp.)

Publication Date: February 1, 2011

Other Editions of This Title: Paperback, Compact Disc, Hardcover, Hardcover, Audio Cassette, Compact Disc, MP3 CD, Paperback

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Selected by Indie Booksellers for the February 2010 Indie Next List
“This compelling story is the perfect answer to that request, 'I want a really good book I can get lost in!' This WWII story of three memorable women has a strong sense of place -- from the shores of Cape Cod to war-torn London. The reader will relish every word and then want to pass it along to a friend.”
-- Elizabeth Merritt, Titcomb's Bookshop, East Sandwich, MA


Description

The New York Times bestseller- "A beautifully written, thought-provoking novel." -#1 New York Times bestselling author Kathryn Stockett.

In 1940, Iris James is the postmistress in coastal Franklin, Massachusetts. Iris knows more about the townspeople than she will ever say, and believes her job is to deliver secrets. Yet one day she does the unthinkable: slips a letter into her pocket, reads it, and doesn't deliver it.

Meanwhile, Frankie Bard broadcasts from overseas with Edward R. Murrow. Her dispatches beg listeners to pay heed as the Nazis bomb London nightly. Most of the townspeople of Franklin think the war can't touch them. But both Iris and Frankie know better...

The Postmistress is a tale of two worlds-one shattered by violence, the other willfully naïve-and of two women whose job is to deliver the news, yet who find themselves unable to do so. Through their eyes, and the eyes of everyday people caught in history's tide, it examines how stories are told, and how the fact of war is borne even through everyday life.

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About the Author

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




NPR
Monday, May 31, 2010

Susan Stamberg gathers recommendations from booksellers Rona Brinlee, Lucia Silva and Daniel Goldin. Their selections for summertime reading include books about small-town America, a polygamist father in over his head, and a postmistress in New England during World War II. More at NPR.org

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NPR
Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010

The Postmistress, a new novel by Sarah Blake, tells two stories set during the early days of World War II. In the first, an American radio reporter sends back dispatches from London during the Blitz, and in the second, two residents of a small Massachusetts town respond to those reports. More at NPR.org

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Conversation Starters from ReadingGroupChoices.com

  1. Much of The Postmistress is centered on Frankie’s radio broadcasts—either Frankie broadcasting them, or the other characters listening to them. How do you think the experience of listening to the news via radio in the 1940s differs from our experience of getting news from the television or the internet? What is the difference between hearing news and seeing pictures, or reading accounts of news? Do you think there is something that the human voice conveys that the printed word cannot?

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