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The Postmistress

by Sarah Blake

It is 1940, and bombs fall nightly on London.

In the thick of the chaos is young American radio reporter Frankie Bard. She huddles close to terrified strangers in underground shelters, and later broadcasts stories about survivors in rubble-strewn streets. But for her listeners, the war is far from home.

Listening to Frankie are Iris James, a Cape Cod postmistress, and Emma Fitch, a doctor’s wife. Iris hears the winds stirring and knows that soon the letters she delivers will bear messages of hope or tragedy. Emma is desperate for news of London, where her husband is working – she counts the days until his return.

But one night in London the fates of all three women entwine when Frankie finds a letter – a letter she vows to deliver . . .

The Postmistress is an unforgettable story of three women: their loves, their partings and the secrets they must bear, or bury . . .


‘Heartbreaking’  Daily Express

‘A World War Two blockbuster with echoes of Atonement‘  Red

‘A moving tale that will stay with you long after the final page’  Good Housekeeping

‘In Sarah Blake’s World War II story The Postmistress, rousing on-air missives from radio presenter Frankie Bard touch the lives of women on both sides of the Atlantic.’ Vogue

‘The real strength of The Postmistress lies in its ability to strip away reader’s defenses against stories of wartime uncertainty and infuse that chaos with wrenching immediacy and terror. Ms Blake writes powerfully about the fragility of life and about Frankie’s efforts to explain how a person can be present in one instant and then in the next gone forever . . . The nobility triumphs over the fear, which is one explanation of why this book will click in a major way. Another is that Ms Blake knows how to deliver tragic turns of fate with maximum impact.’ The New York Times

‘Great books give you a feeling that you miss all day until you finally get to crawl back inside those pages again. The Postmistress is one of those rare books. When I wasn’t reading it, I was thinking about it. Sarah Blake seamlessly moves from inside one character to another, in a novel that reminds us of a time when the news travelled from post to paper to radio and that is how we learned about the world The Postmistress made me homesick for a time before I was even born. What’s remarkable, however, is how relevant the story is to our present-day times. A beautifully written, thought provoking novel that I’m telling everyone I know to read.’  Kathryn Stockett, author of The Help

‘I loved it. It’s exquisite and I wish I’d written it. It’s truly a lovely, moving and beautifully evocative book.’ Cathy Kelly

‘Think The Help meets The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society.’ Oprah Magazine

‘I think it could have the kind of following that The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society had.’ USA Today




Book Club Notes
09 February, 2010

About Sarah Blake

Sarah Blake is an American writer based in Washington D.C. Her debut novel Grange House, set in Victorian era Maine, was published in 2001.


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