Historical Fiction: The Postmistress, by Sarah Blake

**** The Letter

On the eve of America’s entry into the second World War, three women struggle with the changes that will inevitably alter their lives. The eponymous postmistress, middle aged Iris, has reason to hope that love will at long last be hers. Emma is a young, naive bride, whose husband, an MD, suddenly decides that he is meant to cross the Atlantic to help the victims of the Blitz, leaving behind a pregnant Emma to cope as best she can. Frankie is a brilliant young reporter posted in London, assistant to none other than Edward R. Murrow. Her evening radio broadcasts have a profound effect on some listeners, but far fewer than she hopes. As the situation in Europe, these women must grapple with the emotional chaos that war visits on those at home, little dreaming how intertwined their fates will be.

Author Blake handles words beautifully, writing in a straightforward, sometimes metaphoric style. Although this plot is reliant upon unlikely coincidence, it is dramatic and poignant without descending into sentimentality. The chapters on the plight of refugees are particularly affecting.

Highly recommended for readers who enjoy well researched, intelligent historical fiction.

Many thanks to Barnes & Noble and Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam for providing this advanced reader copy.


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