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Inspired Bibliophile
thewanderingjew
Posts: 2,247
Registered: ‎12-18-2007

Re: First Impressions

 

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.
Fozzie wrote:

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...

 



 

 

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aprilh
Posts: 424
Registered: ‎09-25-2008
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Re: First Impressions


Fozzie wrote:

 I think the way the transitions between scenes and main characters are handled is superb.  For example, on page 14, we had Iris looking at the girl reading on the bus.  Then, so smoothly, the next section started with the line the girl on the bus, Emma, was reading in Anna Karenina.  It happened again on page 23.  Will shut off the radio as the radio personality was signing off and then, immediately, we read Frankie’s comments about what she thought about how she sounded while signing off for the night.  The transitions occur at the exact moment that the characters lives intersect.  I like that.


You captured my thoughts exactly! The transitions were written wonderfully. It was great being able to place these characters in each others' lives so quickly in the book.

 

April
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jenieliser
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎09-03-2009
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Re: First Impressions

I'm really loving this book so far! I only just finished chapter 2, but I can't wait to pick it up again. It sucks you in. I really like the characters. I like it when authors give characters personalities without spelling it out, Sarah does this really well in my opinion. She has great descriptions, without being overdone. I picture everything vividly, but it isn't overly wordy. Again, really loving it so far.

Wordsmith
Tarri
Posts: 457
Registered: ‎02-26-2007
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Schedule

A couple of new posters have asked, so I am copying this from the News topic (last topic on my page of topic headers)

 

10/5 to 10/30: General Discussion Begins

Fall, 1940: Chapters 1 - 8

 

10/12 to 10/30: Sarah Blake Joins the Group

10/12 to 10/16: Amy Einhorn, Publisher and Sarah's Editor Joins the Group

Winter, 1941: Chapters 9 - 17

 

10/19 Sarah Blake Continues with the Group.

Summer, 1941: Chapters 18 - 28, and Whole Novel.

 

10/26 Sarah Blake Continues with the Group.

Final Thoughts

New User
cnmib
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎09-01-2009
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Re: First Impressions

This is also my first First Look book.  I read the whole book as soon as I got it.  I was a little taken aback at the quick switch from character to character and would sometimes have to re read sentences to know who was in the scene.  That was mostly at the beginning of the book.  I either got used to the quick scene change or it didn't happen as much in the end.

 

I like the character of Iris, but felt Emma had some good background story that would have enriched her character but it didn't seem to flesh out.  Frankie portrays a kind of war weary we don't often see in female characters.  I like that.

 

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Lildove3
Posts: 96
Registered: ‎02-05-2008
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Re: First Impressions

At first I wasn't too sure, but as the story progressed it became difficult to put down, especially with the delivery of the baby.

I was overwhelmed and shed some tears with the outcome.

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Bonnie_C
Posts: 168
Registered: ‎08-07-2009
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Re: First Impressions

This is a book where the background is as important as the characters in the story.  Sarah Blake takes her time and paints the backdrop in such a way that you do indeed feel as if you are there.  The characters are slowly being developed.  Chapter by chapter you get to know them.

At first the abrupt switches between characters/scenes threw me.  Then I began to expect them.  Now I think they make the story flow seamlessly. 

 

Bonnie

Inspired Wordsmith
eadieburke
Posts: 1,925
Registered: ‎01-27-2007

Re: First Impressions

The beautiful cover of The Postmistress kept calling me when I would walk past the book. I was reading two other books at the time it arrived and decided to wait until this past weekend to start reading – and The Postmistress did not disappoint!

 

I find myself so curious about the letter that didn’t get delivered.  I want to keep reading until I find out more about the circumstance of that letter. So far I am finished chapter 8 on schedule and still no more mention of the letter.

 

In the meantime, I am enjoying the characters and the story. I also love the short, action packed sentences. The transitions are different but once you get used to them, the story kind of flows like real life.

 

 I find it amazing to think about how the reporting of the wars has changed since then - radio of yesterday to actual viewing of battles as they happen on TV today. I think Sarah does a great job of describing the war of yesterday. She allows your mind’s eye to visualize just like the TV battles of today.

 

 

Eadie - A day out-of-doors, someone I loved to talk with, a good book and some simple food and music -- that would be rest. - Eleanor Roosevelt
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Bonnie824
Posts: 951
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: First Impressions

I loved the imagery and the story, but had a little trouble with so many characters being introduced so quickly, and so many POV. I was about half through this weeks reading before everyone seemed to fall in place.

Contributor
grammydee
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎05-03-2009

Re: First Impressions

I was hooked at the first look at the cover! The faded dried rose-the much handled envevelope-the old stamp and having been charged with delivering the mail no matter what in my past life I was surely intrigued. Not to mention the memories of growing up during WWII with the blackout curtains, the rationing, the censors cutouts in my uncles letters from his ship sailing who knows where ,plus the rumors of German subs in our! harbor and the body found on the shore...

 But I read usually strictly for my own pleasure-if I hate it I put it aside, if it's only ok I plod through-this I won't plod through I will enjoy it,although I have had to go back and re-read some parts as it tends to skip around without warning-that's ok too,I may have missed something. I like Frankie-a strong woman in a time when women were just coming into their own. Emma may be a little weaker than I would like and Iris is unusual to say the least.

I took the liberty of reading the notes and acknowledgments first too-most interesting!

So far it's a great read.

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melisndav
Posts: 37
Registered: ‎06-16-2009
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Re: First Impressions

We'll have more questions up later today, but I'm wondering what your first impressions of The Postmistress are? Can you relate to the characters and the story?

 

I had a very hard time with the book at first as well.  It started warming me up around chapter 3 or so.  I can't relate to this story as much.  I'm of a generation where you can get instant messages via computer or cell phone.  So I'm never waiting for news.  And if you can't get a hold of the person you are looking for, you can call someone else on there cell to see if they have seen or heard from the person you are trying to reach.  You can get breaking news on your cell phone as well.  So for someone who is older, such as my great grandparents, they would comprehend waiting on news through the mail and how devastating it can be not to receive any news.  My great grandmother went through that and she has told us several times how hard it was to wait.

Contributor
DarcyO
Posts: 10
Registered: ‎08-31-2009

Re: First Impressions

Well, this is my first First Look and so far I am loving this book! Blake's imagery is fantastic. One of my favorite sentences is "The searchlight shot straight up into the blackness where, singly or in pairs, the German planes flew like shuttlecocks up and back down the river – a relentless rhythm."

 

I think the book flows pretty well. There was only one place where it was very jarring (page 75) when Maggie is in childbirth and then all of a sudden Iris is watching the gulls.

 

Frankie is my favorite character so far. And I want to more know about Otto. Is he is a spy or just a sad German who is missing his family? His actions right now are a bit suspicious.

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margotjj
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎09-02-2009
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Re: First Impressions

I feel connected to both London and Franklin. I grew up in a small town where everyone knew everyone (though admittedly a little larger then Franklin's 400). As I said I also relate to London. I never lived through a war but I was in living in NY and in downtown when 9/11 happened. I know the fear and such that Frankie deals with and the stories that never made the news but were as equally important. The way the story is written brings me in to the locations and I feel I can see the buildings and walk down the streets. I like that the story welcomes one in and says learn, enjoy, laugh and cry neighbor.

Frequent Contributor
EiLvReedn
Posts: 58
Registered: ‎05-25-2007
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Re: First Impressions

I agree with April. The idea of a dinner party and a story to tell. I felt like I was there or at least you could fully imagine the scene. I wasn't too sure about what Iris had to do w/ anything and the Dr visit but as you read it all falls into place. Love the description of the town also. I'm from a small town, everyone knows everyone and newcomers are to be "watched". Ha! Anyway I'm loving the story and am going to back to it.

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abbyg7
Posts: 40
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: First Impressions

I was totally into the book from the very first sentence. 

I think Ms. Blakes writing style is very intense and makes me feel like I am really in the situations with the characters.

My parents and grandparents were living in Europe during WWII and a lot of the stories they told were very similar to the scenes in England that are in the book.  It's also interesting to hear what the people living in the U.S. felt before this country got involved in the war.  I can't wait to read more of the book.  It was hard to put it aside to stay on schedule.

Wordsmith
Fozzie
Posts: 2,404
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: First Impressions

Commenting on the piece I bolded, underlined, and italicized:

 

I agree.  She does seem very regimented.  She seems to think the certificate is a necessary precursor to an intimate relationship and seems to have set ideas about how things should go in the relationship.  I bet her desire for order will clash with the chaos of the war.

 

 


thewanderingjew wrote:

 

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.
Fozzie wrote:

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...

 



 

 


 

Laura

Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.
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tree_lover
Posts: 158
Registered: ‎09-08-2009
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Re: First Impressions

The first thing I would like to do is congratulate Sarah Blake on her book.  The book is fast reading and I am 3/4 through the book already.  The beginning of the book for me was hard to get into to.  The characters didn't make sense and the story jumped around a bit for me.  In some of the chapters, one character was introduced and then it jumped into another one and another storyline.  I will not spoil it for the others, but toward the middle of the book is when it started to become more cohesive. 

 

The character I like the most is Frankie.  She is a strong and compassionate character.  She knows what she wants and goes for it. I also like Iris, a government worker who doesn't always agree with the law but is beholden to comply with it.  I was disappointed with Dr. Fitch not realizing what was going on from the start with Maggie.  I feel sorry for Emma and I don't think she deserves what she is going through.  I look forward to finding out what happened to the characters.

 

 

http://nygirltrustnoone.blogspot.com/
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emmagrace
Posts: 162
Registered: ‎12-04-2008
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Re: First Impressions

This is usually not the type of story that I enjoy. I was not expecting to be so enthusiastic about this story. So far, I have found the characters to be very well developed and the story captured my attention from the very beginning. It is interesting to read how the war affects each character. It is also interesting to read how life continued during chaos.

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RS18
Posts: 43
Registered: ‎08-14-2009
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Re: First Impressions

I really like the cover of the book. The flower is very pretty, and the colors are nice. To be honest, I am finding it very difficult to get into this book. The beginning was confusing because the story kept switching from character to character. But after reading some of the posts, I am hoping the story will pick up for me as well.

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blesstheirheartsmom
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎08-31-2009
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Re: First Impressions

I loved the book so much I read it in 2 days!

 

It had be hoping for a sequel-always a good sign!

 

I thought the issues were ver relevenet even in todays worls and the first hand accounts of the bombings in

London were very interesting and would be appropriate to liven up a history class!