10-08-2009 04:00 PM
I just started this a week ago and so far so good. I'd have to like Frankie right now. She's awesome. this book actually took me a while to get used to as I'm not used to reading WWII books set in the US or UK. Setting description is great and very descriptive, but not so much that it gets boring. It's just right.
10-08-2009 07:43 PM
I'll second what others have said about liking the transitions. I'm enjoying how (so far at least) the change in setting moves seamlessly from one to the next.
10-09-2009 12:16 AM - edited 10-09-2009 12:21 AM
I agree with you and the others. I have just finished the section for this week.
Several times I had to pause to figure out how that character popped across the globe, to come and realize the scene had changed from Europe to America. Usually there is a couple blank lines or some way of noting a shift like that in a book. I was able to catch up again by going back a few paragraphs, but it is unsettling.
Well I tend to agree with some of you about the abrupt scene changes. I have had to backtrack a time or two also. I would be intently reading and visualizing the the prose when I was suddenly in another place... that aside...I really like the characters and the WW2 settings. I'm getting used to the style of writing and fully intend to enjoy the book. Happy reading all !!
I found the extra spacing was very important to me for recognizing a change in scene. Where the extra line or two was missing, I usually found myself jumping back and re-reading. I hope for the sake of future readers they catch and change those between this advance and the final printing! (The frequent scene changes themselves have not bothered me.)
10-09-2009 03:57 PM
I must say that my first impression of the book was regarding the beautiful cover! I try not to judge by picture alone as that can be deceiving but can anyone honestly say that their eye was not drawn to this one?
Story-wise....I am not generally a history buff. I prefer other fictional tales, HOWEVER I am enjoying this pick! The descriptions are detailed but not overly, allowing the reader (MOI in this case) to experience the journey first hand. Can't wait to get further in this one!
10-09-2009 08:31 PM
I am really enjoying re reading it again. The transitions as noted seem to be seamless. I am very interested in American History prior to the entrance of the country into the war. My father would tell me of listening to Edward R Murrow telling about the Blitz and it was hard to visualize. The author has woven a tapestry of sights from the incessant bombing and the grit of the British citizens to maintain a daily life.
I am really glad to have this opportunity to read this book.
- Zsa Zsa Gabor
10-10-2009 01:04 AM
The certificate was a surprise to me but as I read, it was very serious to Iris and we do have to remember the times. It did bring a smile to my face, I think I might have even blushed for her. Can't imagine even asking a doctor for a certificate of being intact these days.
I've only read the first chapter so far, and Iris' visit to the doctor for the "certificate" just made me laugh out loud.
10-10-2009 01:23 AM
Good questions. I have been making notes on each character just for this reason. I look forward tofinding out how theirs lives intermingle or if they do.
I was born after the war and have heard stories of women in the US driving trucks and doing a man's work while the men were overseas fighting. So, yes, we "came a long way" during wartimes and this book is already showing it.
Next week I'm at a writers conference but I will be back on target the 19th.
I have always enjoyed this time period, although it is before my time. World War II was a time for change for women. Emma, newly married, wants to please her man and be accepted for who he is. Iris, the 40 year old virgin, who takes pride in that, but has been on her own and works independently. And then there is Frankie, a guy's name and trying to make it in a man's world of broadcasting. How will the war change them and how will their lives intermingle? I've only finished chapter 4, but look forward to finding the answers.
10-10-2009 02:04 AM
I can't imagine how people felt then, especially when Frankie and the man went outside and had sex on the wall. I, too, wasn't expecting it. And as I read on about her roommate, Harriet and their apartment being blown up, I felt Frankie truly was blessed.
Frankie also lived through the bomb 'sounded like a freight train roared past her' on the street which 'knocked her into the air and then slammed her down onto the pavement'. Sarah's discriptive writing put you right there on the scene.
This is a book I will not want to put down.
10-10-2009 08:35 AM
My very first impression, as others have mentioned, was good because I thought the cover was so attractive. Whoever made the cover decision gets two thumbs up from me. So I guess we're really talking about my second impression in this post, when I actually opened the book and started to read I was so worried that the book could never be as wonderful on the inside as it looked on the outside, but I was wrong. I am thorougly enjoying THE POSTMISTRESS. The characters are fleshed out well, and the war is so real to me through Frankie's eyes. Very well-written and thought out.
10-10-2009 11:40 AM
I very much enjoyed the book. Although I've read a lot of WWII fiction, I think Frankie and her radio broadcasts brought the trials of the everyday Londoner and the people in other parts of Europe who were trying to get somewhere, anywhere to life like nothing else I have read. And Frankie herself was a very believable and sympathetic character. I think some of Ms. Blake's imagery was great. I particularly how like she described Frankie late in the book (page 248): "she seemed exhausted and wary, like a cat who had narrowly escaped a bath."
Wow! Thanks for introducing me to a wonderful new author.
10-10-2009 03:23 PM
The Postmistress took me back to my pre-teen years during World War II. My father worked at the local post office and was an air raid warden, my mother a Red Cross nurse. Of course, the author is too young to have been there, yet her writing was so real that she must have been there in another life.
She has caught the flavor of the time precisely and I can't wait to start the next section. Thank you Sarah Blake.
10-10-2009 04:20 PM
I did notice that this book does state on the front cover "Uncorrected Proof" so I assumed I would find typos & errors in this copy.
I don't know how others feel about the subject of editing, but here is my experience. During my first First Look I posted a "list of errors" and felt kind of odd, because nobody else did. Then I contacted the author per PM and sent him the list. He thanked me and told me that the book had not gone through the final edit yet, so errors should be expected. During my second book club I only found one phrase that seemed out of place. I did not post my find but sent a PM to the editor and she told me that she would bring it up during their meeting and that they would make a decision then. I have not looked at either book to see if errors were indeed corrected and if my suggestion was followed, but I have decided not to bring up editing concerns publicly any more. I know that it is difficult for an author to let the baby take its first steps and I certainly don't want to put an obstacle in the way. At least not officially.
slrihm wrote in part:
This is my first time reading a pre-published book so I sort of wondered how much of an 'editor' I was wanting to be. I found myself being more critical of some elements of writing and typos, etc. than I might have been if I'd checked it out from the library or bought it.
Just a thought. I'm enjoying the writing and the story....
(should we offer grammatical suggestions?)
10-10-2009 05:36 PM
My first impressions:
I think Sarah Blake has done a good job of taking the reader back to the WWI era. Her descriptions of both war torn London and the town of Franklin are very good and helped me to form a picture in my mind. I am liking the characters, some more than others, and I am looking forward to finding out more about each of them as the story unfolds..
10-10-2009 05:44 PM
I'm not really enjoying it. I'm only a few chapters in and I can't get myself to keep reading it for any period of time. I hope it turns around for me. It seems like a lot of you really enjoy it.
10-10-2009 07:27 PM
I really enjoyed the way the author drew us into the story. As a homeschool mom, I discuss books and creative writing with my children on a regular basis. (My son was actually a "First Impressions" user first While some stories may take a good bit of reading to really draw you in, others, such as Postmistress catch your attention very quickly...
I was also struck by how real the personalities and emotions were conveyed in the different unfolding stories. In certain stories you may read as if it is a play being staged in front of you, yet in others it seems as if you are actually in the scene. It's not always pleasant but I find it more enjoyable to feel I know the characters and to be touched by their emotions as in Postmistress.
10-10-2009 07:56 PM
10-10-2009 09:20 PM
I had a little bit of a hard time getting through the 1st chapter but I pursued and the book keeps getting better! I think Sarah has extremely powerful descriptions. On page 26, "... the Germans plowed straight into an American living room ..." actually gave me a visual of an airplane crashing into a house. I wondered if I would have had the same image pre 9/11. Frankie's newscast of Harriet's and Billy's mom's death was enough to make me cry. It made me think of Walter Cronkite - the eloquence of the words, the human touch, the integrity. Today's newscasts are just hard, cold statistics. I also picked up on some descriptions pertaining to death (not sure if they were intentional) - murder weapon, ghostly finger. I give Frankie credit for trying to make it in a man's world. She seems to be a very strong person to me. It will be interesting to see how she ends up. And last but not least, the cover is absolutely gorgeous. I can't tell you how many times I've run my fingers over the rose. I wonder if there's a reason why Sarah chose lavender as the color for the rose. I'm looking forward to the rest of the book!
10-10-2009 11:41 PM
I had a different take about the characters on the bus. Iris and Emma each made observations about each other. Sarah Blake used Emma's and Iris's observations of each other as a way to describe them. I thought it was a smart idea for the characters to describe each other as opposed to the author describing the characters. It made the scenario more real. Not only did we get to know the characters through the explanation of each other, but we also got to know each character better as to why each one perceived the other one the way that they did.
10-05-2009 06:38 PM
I think I felt that way at first too and I thought that Iris might be a bit of a nosybody too, but then I decided that she was very insecure and so she created scenarios that made her feel comfortable with her situation. She had just come from a difficult experience and she was probably on edge. When Emma's suitcase spills, she immediately offers her assistance. When Florence was gossiping in the post office Iris seemed to be disgusted with her and she defends the people, i.e Otto, for example. I think Iris appears more confident than she is because she is so well organized. I have a feeling she is so well organized because she doesn't know how to handle things that handle haphazardly.
I don’t trust Iris. The first full paragraph on page 14 left me with a bad taste in my mouth. Iris jumped to conclusions about a woman she didn’t know on the bus. Yes, we all judge people and make conclusions when we don’t even know them, but Iris seemed overly judgmental in this case...
10-11-2009 12:15 AM
Initially I was very excited to get the book and could not wait to start.
I had trouble getting into it the first couple chapters. I usually only read at work on breaks and found myself pushing to keep on right away, but as I continued now I am hooked and I am usually late coming back from break because I can't put it down. I am enjoying all the characters and connecting with them and I am far beyond Chapter 8!