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Rachel-K
Posts: 1,495
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Final Thoughts

Hi, all. Please use this thread to share any of your last thoughts on The Postmistress with the group. What do you think will remain your strongest impression from this novel? Is there a scene or a passage that will stick with you especially?

 

 

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dhaupt
Posts: 11,839
Registered: ‎10-19-2006

Re: Final Thoughts

As a final thought I just want to say again how much I really enjoyed this read. Sarah put me through a whole scale of emotions reading this book.

 

I think the scene that will stay with me the most is the one on the train where the mother says good-bye to her son. It was so poignant and heartbreaking and it still makes my heart hurt when I think about it.

 

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Zia01
Posts: 187
Registered: ‎08-08-2009

Re: Final Thoughts

I've been waiting for this thread for a long time because what I'm am getting ready to say has been bugging me since I read the book and there never has been a good spot to discuss it.

 

I would have enjoyed this book so much more if the jacket blurb and even the synopsis on this website, hadn't been so misleading.

 

Here's the B&N synopsis:

 

Filled with stunning parallels to today's world, The Postmistress is a sweeping novel about the loss of innocence of two extraordinary women-and of two countries torn apart by war.
On the eve of the United State's entrance into World War II in 1940, Iris James, the postmistress of Franklin, a small town on Cape Cod, does the unthinkable: She doesn't deliver a letter. (this doesn't even happen until Pg 243 in 1941 near the end of the book)In London, American radio gal Frankie Bard is working with Edward R. Murrow, reporting on the Blitz. One night in a bomb shelter, she meets a doctor from Cape Cod with a letter in his pocket, a letter Frankie vows to deliver when she returns from Germany and France, where she is to record the stories of war refugees desperately trying to escape. (This makes it sound as if she is granting a dying wish from Will. Once you read the book this is found to be inaccurate.)
The residents of Franklin think the war can't touch them- but as Frankie's radio broadcasts air, some know that the war is indeed coming. And when Frankie arrives at their doorstep, the two stories collide in a way no one could have foreseen. The Postmistress is an unforgettable tale of the secrets we must bear, or bury. It is about what happens to love during wartime, when those we cherish leave. And how every story-of love or war-is about looking left when we should have been looking right.

 

But what bugged me the most more than anything is the assumption the reader is led to believe about Iris taking the letter. The blurb and the jacket both make you think it's the main plot line of the book. In reality it is not. I spent the entire book looking for this letter and wondering what the heck it had to do with anything in the story. If I hadn't been given the wrong impression, I would have really enjoyed this book.

 

I thought I was being overly sensitive to it but a friend who also read for this book club felt the same exact thing. She kept waiting for the plot to happen.

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Immortal-Spirit
Posts: 143
Registered: ‎03-16-2009
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Re: Final Thoughts

 


Zia01 wrote:

I've been waiting for this thread for a long time because what I'm am getting ready to say has been bugging me since I read the book and there never has been a good spot to discuss it.

 

I would have enjoyed this book so much more if the jacket blurb and even the synopsis on this website, hadn't been so misleading.

 

Here's the B&N synopsis:

 

Filled with stunning parallels to today's world, The Postmistress is a sweeping novel about the loss of innocence of two extraordinary women-and of two countries torn apart by war.
On the eve of the United State's entrance into World War II in 1940, Iris James, the postmistress of Franklin, a small town on Cape Cod, does the unthinkable: She doesn't deliver a letter. (this doesn't even happen until Pg 243 in 1941 near the end of the book)In London, American radio gal Frankie Bard is working with Edward R. Murrow, reporting on the Blitz. One night in a bomb shelter, she meets a doctor from Cape Cod with a letter in his pocket, a letter Frankie vows to deliver when she returns from Germany and France, where she is to record the stories of war refugees desperately trying to escape. (This makes it sound as if she is granting a dying wish from Will. Once you read the book this is found to be inaccurate.)
The residents of Franklin think the war can't touch them- but as Frankie's radio broadcasts air, some know that the war is indeed coming. And when Frankie arrives at their doorstep, the two stories collide in a way no one could have foreseen. The Postmistress is an unforgettable tale of the secrets we must bear, or bury. It is about what happens to love during wartime, when those we cherish leave. And how every story-of love or war-is about looking left when we should have been looking right.

 

But what bugged me the most more than anything is the assumption the reader is led to believe about Iris taking the letter. The blurb and the jacket both make you think it's the main plot line of the book. In reality it is not. I spent the entire book looking for this letter and wondering what the heck it had to do with anything in the story. If I hadn't been given the wrong impression, I would have really enjoyed this book.

 

I thought I was being overly sensitive to it but a friend who also read for this book club felt the same exact thing. She kept waiting for the plot to happen.


 

I have to agree.  When the letter was finally not delivered, it was an anti-climax.

 

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emmagrace
Posts: 162
Registered: ‎12-04-2008
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Re: Final Thoughts

I really enjoyed reading this! There are so many passages that will stick with me! I will have to give this some thought.

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nfam
Posts: 231
Registered: ‎01-08-2007

Re: Final Thoughts

I have to agree that they synopsis and blurb make this book seem to be something completely different from what it is. The letter is really a minor plot point, and I thought it was a stretch to have Iris open and read the letter. It seemed completely out of character. I also thought that having Frankie keep Will's letter was again out of character. For me, the book is a war story. I find the section about the war in London and Frankie's train journey to be the best in the book. 

 

I guess one way to put it is that I felt cheated by the build up around the book. The book itself is good, but when you're expecting one thing and you get another, it makes you feel cheated. 

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Lil_Irish_Lass
Posts: 163
Registered: ‎11-21-2008

Re: Final Thoughts

First I have to say I'm proud of myself for making it all the way through this novel. I wanted to put it down and not pick it up within the first 30 pages. I WANTED to like it, I really did, but it never happened for me.

I had moments (when Frankie was on the trains) where I enjoyed what I was reading in the moment but over all I did not enjoy this book at all. I thought the writing was confusing and choppy; one paragraph to another would flow from one character to someone else without any sort of break or hint of a change of topic. I couldn't connect with any of the characters or storylines mainly because of the writing style and layout choice. I also thought the ending was abrupt and thrown together quickly, as if the author was told she had reached her page limit and needed to summarize her ending rather than write it out fully as planned.

I also agree with Zia01, the description is very misleading; it does not reflect the actual story.

Overall I think this was a great idea for a novel but the execution of it did not appeal to me. 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"No sensible man ever engages, unprepared, in a fencing match of words with a woman." - The Woman in White
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lindareadsLH
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Registered: ‎09-03-2009
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Re: Final Thoughts

I truly loved reading this novel. The author did a remarkable great job in crafting this one into a unique read that is truly a wonderful experience.  I will look forward to other books by this author.

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amt19
Posts: 16
Registered: ‎08-10-2009
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Re: Final Thoughts

I have to agree that I too kept waiting for the letter which wasn't coming and was making the story drag

Once my friend told me to forget the letter the story pace picked up and  I enjoyed the rest of the book.

Had I not had that advice I would have spent the entire book waiting for the plot.

 

Wordsmith
babzilla41
Posts: 252
Registered: ‎05-04-2009

Re: Final Thoughts

[ Edited ]

Lil_Irish_Lass wrote:

First I have to say I'm proud of myself for making it all the way through this novel. I wanted to put it down and not pick it up within the first 30 pages. I WANTED to like it, I really did, but it never happened for me.

I had moments (when Frankie was on the trains) where I enjoyed what I was reading in the moment but over all I did not enjoy this book at all. I thought the writing was confusing and choppy; one paragraph to another would flow from one character to someone else without any sort of break or hint of a change of topic. I couldn't connect with any of the characters or storylines mainly because of the writing style and layout choice. I also thought the ending was abrupt and thrown together quickly, as if the author was told she had reached her page limit and needed to summarize her ending rather than write it out fully as planned.

I also agree with Zia01, the description is very misleading; it does not reflect the actual story.

Overall I think this was a great idea for a novel but the execution of it did not appeal to me. 


I completely agree...those were my thoughts as well.  I also think the idea for the novel was great but that it fell short.  Just as I never made a connection with the characters of the book, I don't think the characters ever connected in the end.  The characters themselves never knew why Frankie showed up nor did they ever knew that Iris failed to deliver a letter to Emma. 

 

 I did enjoy reading the middle section - when Frankie was on the trains connecting with the Jewish people. I thought the author did a good job of making the reader visualize all those faces - the terror, the sorrow of leaving your child alone going into the unknown.

 

I also loved the book cover.  If I had seen that in the book store, I would have, without a doubt, picked it up, but after reading the first few pages, I would have put it back down.    Disappointing, as I too had great expectations going into this book.  The WWII era is one of my favorites, whether fiction or historical.

 

In spite of a disappointing read, thank you Barnes and Noble for the opportunity!

 

 

"I love books. If I could eat them, I would. I love their scent and often put my nose in to inhale their aroma." - Kathleen Grissom
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Deltadawn
Posts: 311
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Final Thoughts

I agree with you completely, Debbie!

This was a wonderful book - I really enjoyed it, too.

That scene was truly the most moving one (of many) in this novel.

Dawn


dhaupt wrote:

As a final thought I just want to say again how much I really enjoyed this read. Sarah put me through a whole scale of emotions reading this book.

 

I think the scene that will stay with me the most is the one on the train where the mother says good-bye to her son. It was so poignant and heartbreaking and it still makes my heart hurt when I think about it.

 


 

 

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jabrkeKB
Posts: 164
Registered: ‎11-15-2008
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Re: Final Thoughts


Zia01 wrote:

I've been waiting for this thread for a long time because what I'm am getting ready to say has been bugging me since I read the book and there never has been a good spot to discuss it.

 

I would have enjoyed this book so much more if the jacket blurb and even the synopsis on this website, hadn't been so misleading.

 

Here's the B&N synopsis:

 

Filled with stunning parallels to today's world, The Postmistress is a sweeping novel about the loss of innocence of two extraordinary women-and of two countries torn apart by war.
On the eve of the United State's entrance into World War II in 1940, Iris James, the postmistress of Franklin, a small town on Cape Cod, does the unthinkable: She doesn't deliver a letter. (this doesn't even happen until Pg 243 in 1941 near the end of the book)In London, American radio gal Frankie Bard is working with Edward R. Murrow, reporting on the Blitz. One night in a bomb shelter, she meets a doctor from Cape Cod with a letter in his pocket, a letter Frankie vows to deliver when she returns from Germany and France, where she is to record the stories of war refugees desperately trying to escape. (This makes it sound as if she is granting a dying wish from Will. Once you read the book this is found to be inaccurate.)
The residents of Franklin think the war can't touch them- but as Frankie's radio broadcasts air, some know that the war is indeed coming. And when Frankie arrives at their doorstep, the two stories collide in a way no one could have foreseen. The Postmistress is an unforgettable tale of the secrets we must bear, or bury. It is about what happens to love during wartime, when those we cherish leave. And how every story-of love or war-is about looking left when we should have been looking right.

 

But what bugged me the most more than anything is the assumption the reader is led to believe about Iris taking the letter. The blurb and the jacket both make you think it's the main plot line of the book. In reality it is not. I spent the entire book looking for this letter and wondering what the heck it had to do with anything in the story. If I hadn't been given the wrong impression, I would have really enjoyed this book.

 

I thought I was being overly sensitive to it but a friend who also read for this book club felt the same exact thing. She kept waiting for the plot to happen.


 

I agree with you completely!! Several times during my reading I went back and reread the flap of the book and kept thinking, when is this plot going to pick up?

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MsReaderCP
Posts: 52
Registered: ‎07-10-2009
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Re: Final Thoughts

i agree with Zia; and I'm glad she wrote it because i did not know how to explain it but there's still more to it.  there was the fabulous introduction that had me soooo excited for this great plot...only that plot did not happen in this book.  I did not find a life or lives that were forever changed because a postmistress decided to NOT deliver a letter.  She had a letter that she was asked to hold on to, more in the capacity of a mature friend, and she was asked to give the letter to its intended when its giver died.  She held onto the letter until she had proof that this had happened, no sooner and NO LATER.

 

So the only way the book began to make sense to me, and the 2 stories began to intertwine as they were intended is when I began to look at Frankie, the more dominant character, as the postmistess and the letter that she had that she could deliver or not deliver.  But wait, what about the most important letter with the most important news of all that could affect oh so many lives - Frankie's tapes- she held them and did not play them on the radio(did not deliver the news) because she did not think anyone would listen to her, but little Emma told her they would, how she and Will had listened to her, how they had listend to her story about the boy.  They were affected.  When I began looking at it this way it helped me think, maybe I don't have the wrong book after all.

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Kathy17
Posts: 23
Registered: ‎01-27-2007
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Re: Final Thoughts

I thought this was an amazing book from start to finish. I've already begun recommending it to all my book-loving friends. My only regret is that they can't get their hands on it now.

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RS18
Posts: 43
Registered: ‎08-14-2009
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Re: Final Thoughts

I fell behind on the reading, so I wasn't able to participate as much in the middle of the discussion. It took me a while to get into this book. I don't think I would have continued to read it if it wasn't for this book club. This month has been a very busy one for me, so that must play a factor as well. But I'm glad I continued reading the book. It was actually a good book that I enjoyed. I'm usually not interested in books from this time period, but this book has changed my mind. I will be recommending it to my friends and colleagues.

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nbmars
Posts: 47
Registered: ‎02-21-2008
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Re: Final Thoughts

I think the scene that will stick with me the most is when Frankie unwittingly drew attention to Thomas.

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PinkPanther
Posts: 52
Registered: ‎10-26-2008
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Re: Final Thoughts

I enjoyed this book very much. It gave all of my emotions a rollercoaster ride. I was sad then happy then curious. I don't especially have a particular scene that will stay in my mind because the whole book has stayed in my mind. Even after reading the book I feel as if I were still in it. This was a great read!

"I ought, therefore I can"
-Immanuel Kant
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Bonnie_C
Posts: 168
Registered: ‎08-07-2009
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Re: Final Thoughts

 

I find it interesting in the posts made by the author and publisher that the initial manuscript did not bring Frankie into the story until much later.  To me Frankie is the dominant character in this book.

 

The scene that had the largest impact with me is when Frankie looked directly at the censor in the studio and hummed the opening of Beethoven's Fifth.  What guts.

 

I enjoyed the book.  I have also enjoyed participating in the discussions and reading the wide range of views and opinions of the many members.

Reader-Moderator
liisa22
Posts: 606
Registered: ‎10-19-2006

Re: Final Thoughts

 


Immortal-Spirit wrote:

 


Zia01 wrote:

I've been waiting for this thread for a long time because what I'm am getting ready to say has been bugging me since I read the book and there never has been a good spot to discuss it.

 

I would have enjoyed this book so much more if the jacket blurb and even the synopsis on this website, hadn't been so misleading.

 

Here's the B&N synopsis:

 

Filled with stunning parallels to today's world, The Postmistress is a sweeping novel about the loss of innocence of two extraordinary women-and of two countries torn apart by war.
On the eve of the United State's entrance into World War II in 1940, Iris James, the postmistress of Franklin, a small town on Cape Cod, does the unthinkable: She doesn't deliver a letter. (this doesn't even happen until Pg 243 in 1941 near the end of the book)In London, American radio gal Frankie Bard is working with Edward R. Murrow, reporting on the Blitz. One night in a bomb shelter, she meets a doctor from Cape Cod with a letter in his pocket, a letter Frankie vows to deliver when she returns from Germany and France, where she is to record the stories of war refugees desperately trying to escape. (This makes it sound as if she is granting a dying wish from Will. Once you read the book this is found to be inaccurate.)
The residents of Franklin think the war can't touch them- but as Frankie's radio broadcasts air, some know that the war is indeed coming. And when Frankie arrives at their doorstep, the two stories collide in a way no one could have foreseen. The Postmistress is an unforgettable tale of the secrets we must bear, or bury. It is about what happens to love during wartime, when those we cherish leave. And how every story-of love or war-is about looking left when we should have been looking right.

 

But what bugged me the most more than anything is the assumption the reader is led to believe about Iris taking the letter. The blurb and the jacket both make you think it's the main plot line of the book. In reality it is not. I spent the entire book looking for this letter and wondering what the heck it had to do with anything in the story. If I hadn't been given the wrong impression, I would have really enjoyed this book.

 

I thought I was being overly sensitive to it but a friend who also read for this book club felt the same exact thing. She kept waiting for the plot to happen.


 

I have to agree.  When the letter was finally not delivered, it was an anti-climax.

 


 

Add me to agree.  I was left more with disappointment than adoration.

 

Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.
-Sir Richard Steele

http://bookreviewsbyliisa.blogspot.com/
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sheljenk
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Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Final Thoughts

First of all, I would like to say that this author can really paint a picture!  I felt like I could see the scenes!  The parts that jump out at me include: The labor scene, where Will is describing what the labor is like.  Having been through it myself, the description was accurate and, in this case, heartbreaking and pivotal to the story.  The scene where the mother is forced to send her child alone on the train - to hopefully Lisbon and a better life, is also amazingly heartbreaking.  The scene haunted me for days.  It blows my mind to think that mothers actually did that - they had to send their children away on their own - believing they would never see them again, just for the chance they could survive. 

 

The scene where Frankie saw Thomas executed was so unbelievably sad.  I had never though about the refugees that fled out of Europe before the Americans joined the war.  It really opened my eyes when I read about the trains they couldn't get onto and the visas which would expire before they could leave.  All these scenes were so vivid in my mind and made me want to look into that time period on my own.  This is a wonderful book.