Tuesday, April 13, 2010
The Postmistress by Sarah Blake
I thought that this book sounded really good. It had some good things going for it: set in my home state, historical novel-WWII which is my favorite era, focused on female characters, what's not to like? The small town in Cape Cod has a female Postmaster (as she says, it is Postmaster not Postmistress no matter who holds the job) and a newly married doctor's wife who has suffered her share of heartache, and the whole town listens to the radio show of an American woman in London. America has yet to enter the war and the townspeople try to live life as normal but fears are still present.
I knew soon after I started reading that this book was going to irritate me because the author places the town of Franklin in Cape Cod. There is a Franklin Massachusetts but it is nowhere near Cape Cod. The town described in the book is Provincetown. If she didn't want to call it Provincetown why use the name of another real town? Why not use a fictional name?
My other beef with the book was that some of the characters behave in a way that makes you want to shake them and ask "What's wrong with you?". (If you plan on reading this you may want to skip to the next paragraph. I don't want to give anything away.) For example, when the doctor goes missing his wife does Nothing to try to find where he is! for months! His landlady notices that he is gone and that he left his wallet and all his clothes behind but does nothing! What?!? Other that and the fact that I prefer at least some happiness in the end, it was a pretty good book.
I liked the historical references especially the stories of some of the Jewish refugees. I like most of the characters, especially Frankie and Iris. I appreciate reading about strong female charaters.
However, I didn't appreciate some of the language. There were several f-words (but not much else by way of swearing) and there was a sex scene that was too much for my taste. Rated R.