Since 1997, you’ve been coming to BarnesandNoble.com to discuss everything from Stephen King to writing to Harry Potter. You’ve made our site more than a place to discover your next book: you’ve made it a community. But like all things internet, BN.com is growing and changing. On May 1, we’re saying goodbye to our community message boards—but that doesn’t mean we won’t still be a place for adventurous readers to connect and discover.

Now, you can explore the most exciting new titles (and remember the classics) at the Barnes & Noble Book Blog. Check out conversations with authors like Jeff VanderMeer and Gary Shteyngart at the B&N Review, and browse write-ups of the best in literary fiction. Come to our Facebook page to weigh in on what it means to be a book nerd. Browse digital deals on the NOOK blog, tweet about books with us,or self-publish your latest novella with NOOK Press. And for those of you looking for support for your NOOK, the NOOK Support Forums will still be here.

We will continue to provide you with books that make you turn pages well past midnight, discover new worlds, and reunite with old friends. And we hope that you’ll continue to tell us how you’re doing, what you’re reading, and what books mean to you.

Reply
Distinguished Correspondent
JaneM
Posts: 152
Registered: ‎02-01-2008
0 Kudos

Re: Middle Chapters: Winter and Spring (9 - 17)

As to Rachel's question about Will, I found the whole dialogue between him and Frankie fascinating on pages 157-158.  Will seems to have adopted an almost fatalistic approach to life, war, and death.  He has found that the inevitability of death removes him from responsibility or accountability.  It makes him happy to know he is not responsible for Maggie's death, nor for saving any of the people in London.  He can simply "stand alongside".

 

While Frankie acknowledges that death is random, she feels a personal responsibility to attempt to change the course of events - to wake up the American people through her broadcasts and in some way effect a different outcome. 

 

The ultimate irony is that Will dies a totally random, accidental death, which almost proves his point.  Frankie, Emma, nor anyone else can save him from the fate that was deemed for him.

 

And on the topic of Iris and Harry, now that they have found each other, consummated their love and are happy, why aren't they getting married?  Seems to me that would be the proper course of action for someone as rule-driven as Iris!

Jane M.
Wordsmith
Tarri
Posts: 457
Registered: ‎02-26-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Middle Chapters: Winter and Spring (9 - 17)

 

 

 

How has Frankie's relationship to her job changed in these chapters? Is she as tough minded and directed as she was when we first met her in London? How does she treat the story of the Jewish refugees moving across Europe? What effect did her brief contact with Will have on her?

 

I think of myself as a pretty strong woman, but I do not know how anyone could survive the bombings and deaths that were happening right in front of Frankie.  I this she is tough minded and directed, but she has lost the focus (and detatchment) a journalist must have to report the news.  Each story she hears puts a crack in her heart, then when she causes Thomas' death she cannot get her focus back.

 

 

How have your feelings for Iris changed during these chapters? Compare your initial impression of her in a doctor's office to the woman we observe efficiently managing this small town the post office. How well do Harry and Iris understand each other? Are they similar at all?

 

I'm really starting to like Iris, she isn't really as unbending as I thought she was at first, and I believe she cares very much about the town and the people of the town.

 

Will said to Frankie that his experience of London during was was that everything "adds up."  What does he mean by this? Why does Will seem happy? What effect did it have on you that Will's death is a traffic accident, rather than a war death?

 

I was shocked when Will died in a traffic accident, it was so unexpected.   I wonder if Will seemed happy because he has figured out that he has what he needs at home and maybe that is what he meant by everything adds up.

 

How does Emma hold up? At the end of our current section, Emma is still getting daily letters from Will from before his death--how do you expect her to handle the news? Has your impression of Emma changed as the story progresses?

 

I am not liking Emma very much right now.  She could embrace the town, but she seems to think that she has to hold herself away from them and put on an act because she is the doctor's wife.  She is not someone that I would befriend, because seems whiney and needy.  However, as someone pointed out, she's pregnant and maybe the hormones are driving her emotions.

Wordsmith
literature
Posts: 499
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Middle Chapters: Winter and Spring (9 - 17) - Random Thoughts

Carmen_lady wrote:

Just a few random thoughts I had - feel free to add to it or whatever.

 

A sign of the times:  Emma continues to smoke like a bonfire although she is pregnant.

 

Much is made of the stature of Emma.  "thin little neck", "soft little chin" and there are many other remarks made bout the smallness of her.  This makes me ask the question........Should the reader expect big things out of Emma?

 


Fizzier wrote:  Yes, I keep noticing the smoking too.  It was "in fashion" then. 

 

I hope that Emma does do something big and unexpected!

______________________________

 

It seems like everyone in the book smokes, everyone is always lighting up.  Will made quite a few reference to "Lucky Strikes" when he emerged out of the shelter, not necessarily referring to the brand but when the people emerged from the shelters and all you saw was the light of the cigarette againtst the nighttime.  Smoking was the "in" thing to do during most of the 20th century.  One of the big attractions around the Times Square area in New York City was the "Camel man smoking" billboard.  For those of you not familiar with it, it was the face of a man smoking a cigarette with his lips forming the shape of an "O" and puffs of smoke coming out of his mouth in timed intervals.  This has since been removed.

 

 

Wordsmith
literature
Posts: 499
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Middle Chapters: Winter and Spring (9 - 17)

JaneM wrote:

I liked your post and it triggered some thoughts of my own.  If being a Postmistress is Iris's role, on p. 134 she says the "the whole thing depended on her silence."  She could know the town's secrets but not pass them on.  This contrasts sharply with Frankie's perception of her job as telling the truth and speaking out for the voices of the people.  Maybe in a way Frankie Frankie is writing the letters to the American people that the Europeans cannot write for themselves.  So maybe she too, is a Postmistress. 

____________________________

 

Let's carry it one step further.  On the inside cover of the book it says that "Iris James is the postmistress of Franklin...Iris firmly believes that her job is to deliver and keep people's secrets, to pass along the news of love and sorrow that letters carry.  Yet one day Iris does the unthinkable: she slips a letter into her pocket."   Next scenario, the top of Page 163:   'The cabbie was trying to give her something.  An envelope.  She stared at him.  "It was on the street, there," he pointed.  "His, I think."  She looked at the address and shoved it in her jacket pocket, and caught Will's eyes on her.'  

 

When the cabbie hands Frankie the envelope and with Will's eyes on her, can we assume that Will is asking her to mail the letter?  So, in a way, is she not also a postmistress?  No spoilers here so more discussions on this next week.

 

Correspondent
MsReaderCP
Posts: 52
Registered: ‎07-10-2009
0 Kudos

Re: Middle Chapters: Winter and Spring (9 - 17)

Regarding discussion of who is Postmistress:

I do think Frankie is a Postmistress of sorts, she has a letter to deliver and she decides to do wha Iris tells her a postmaster would never do which is to keep silent, to never deliver the letter.  Frankie never gives emma the letter from Will, the one which she goes to Cape Cod to hand deliver to her and finds for the first time in her life she is afraid to deliver the news. 

My personal opinion is not that the book is called the Postmistress because Frankie is actually the Postmistress, but because she is a more dominant character than Iris in the book and her version of what Iris is is a Postmistress.

Inspired Wordsmith
Sunltcloud
Posts: 933
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Middle Chapters: Winter and Spring (9 - 17) Spoiler Alert

 

Spoiler Alert!
I've only read to page 217, the end of chapter 17, and no communication between iris and Frankie has taken place. Please, in this thread we want to speculate, that is part of the fun of reading "on schedule." Spoiler Alert should have warned me not to read the post in question.

MsReaderCP wrote:

Regarding discussion of who is Postmistress:

I do think Frankie is a Postmistress of sorts, she has a letter to deliver and she decides to do wha Iris tells her a postmaster would never do which is to keep silent, to never deliver the letter.  Frankie never gives emma the letter from Will, the one which she goes to Cape Cod to hand deliver to her and finds for the first time in her life she is afraid to deliver the news. 

My personal opinion is not that the book is called the Postmistress because Frankie is actually the Postmistress, but because she is a more dominant character than Iris in the book and her version of what Iris is is a Postmistress.


 

 

Contributor
Cobalt-blue4
Posts: 21
Registered: ‎09-01-2009
0 Kudos

Re: Middle Chapters: Winter and Spring (9 - 17)

I agree. When Will noticed Frankie in the shelter, I was intrigued to why the author brought the two separate worlds (or two separate story lines) together. They both noticed each other and she even moved to sit next to him. I was even more curious to why. Then they had a deep conversation and I was wondering to where their story lines were going.  The idea of romantic involvement crossed my mind, as well, and to how can he be so open with Frankie, yet not with such intent with his own wife.

 

jb70 wrote

I too was a little afraid when Will and Frankie met that they would either become romantically involved or that they would have another random sexual encounter as other couples in the tunnel were.  I was glad that they did not but did feel sad that Wills eemed to connect and open up more with Frankie than he was able to with Emma.  Sometimes that kind of emotional attraction can be just as bad as an affair.

Contributor
Cobalt-blue4
Posts: 21
Registered: ‎09-01-2009
0 Kudos

Re: Middle Chapters: Winter and Spring (9 - 17)

 

thewanderingjew wrote:

I wondered if, after Will's death, she and  Jim Tom might not team up. In a weird sort of way it might seem like the ultimate form of justice being played out. The children would no longer be motherless, Emma would not be alone with her new baby and if Will was in heaven looking down, maybe his soul would finally rest. He would feel justice was done. I hope this theory doesn't sound too warped but Jim Tom seemed to be handling his crisis far better than Emma was, so it seemed like a workable solution to me, in a more perfect world. I will have to finish the book to see what ultimately happens so I may eventually feel foolish for positing such a plan. I am reading on schedule this time!


Debbie's response:  Hi TWJ, I also wondered about that, but only for a second. It seems that they come from very different worlds, but then maybe he could provide the security that Emma seems to need. So I guess we'll see.

___________________________________________________________

 

Literature's response:

I can't see Emma with Jim Tom.  They seem so different.  Jim Tom is handling the situation better because he has children to take care of and he must continue to function so there is continued normalcy for the children.  Whereas, Emma is pregnant with her first child and she is still just taking care of herself. 

 

My take and I am only about 2/3's through the book so I don't know what happens:  I think Emma and Otto have more in common and seem to be very comfortable with each other .  I don't have my book/notes with me but Emma seemed to be looking quite intently at Otto's body when she first saw him painting the trim on her house.  As I remember it, there were quite a few comments about Otto's long, lean body and how his body looked when he stretched to reach the trim.

__________________________________________________

 

Interesting thoughts. Yet, those thoughts never crossed my mind. Emma just doesn't seem like the type who would be attracted to another man with only Will's homecoming on her mind. She noticed Otto's body, but it didn't seem to me that it was in a 'love-interest' way. Yes, the reader knows that she is a widow, but even still, I don't see her putting herself out there again to be involved with (open up to) another man. I think her child will be 'the love of her life'.

 

Contributor
Cobalt-blue4
Posts: 21
Registered: ‎09-01-2009
0 Kudos

Re: Middle Chapters: Winter and Spring (9 - 17)

 

SUNLTCLOUD WROTE...Right now I can't stand Emma. I am working on the first few pages of Spring 1941. Emma talks to iris and this is her contribution to her marriage, I suppose:? (page 138)
"He sounds so happy in his letters," she said wistfully, after a little.
"He believes in what he's doing."
"Yes, but what am I doing? What about sitting here and waiting for word? All I think is getting the news, and I can't see straight sometimes. ............."
Here is my adivce to Emma: "What kind of attitude is that? Do something with yourself. Go bake a cake and invite some neighbors. Learn to knit. That's what women do who aren't out there reporting the war or entertaining the soldiers. Knit some socks. Support your husband. We don't always understand why a man does what he does, but shouldn't you give him a chance? You should be glad that he is happy. Have some faith in him. Write him a long letter, more than two words long anyway."
Good. I feel better now. I might not continue to read for the rest of the day; I might go and knit. Hey, it worked after the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. I knitted myself through the worst period of time and we made a whole lot of people happy in the process.

How does Emma hold up? At the end of our current section, Emma is still getting daily letters from Will from before his death--how do you expect her to handle the news? Has your impression of Emma changed as the story progresses?

 

 

Amen! Sunltcloud, you've got Chutzpah!  I applaud your response. :smileywink:

 

Inspired Wordsmith
Sunltcloud
Posts: 933
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Middle Chapters: Winter and Spring (9 - 17)

 

It didn't surprise me at all that Will opened up to a complete stranger more readily than to his wife. How could he tell Emma about his epiphany? She didn't even understand his need to go to London. Being thrown together in an airraid shelter also creates a kind of isolation that is conducive to baring one's soul. (I've had total strangers pour their hearts out on long crossatlantic flights, simply because of forced proximity for an extended period of time.) I did not expect Will and Frankie to hook up romantically; emotional and intellectual contact seemed more important at that point to both of them.


Cobalt-blue4 wrote:

I agree. When Will noticed Frankie in the shelter, I was intrigued to why the author brought the two separate worlds (or two separate story lines) together. They both noticed each other and she even moved to sit next to him. I was even more curious to why. Then they had a deep conversation and I was wondering to where their story lines were going.  The idea of romantic involvement crossed my mind, as well, and to how can he be so open with Frankie, yet not with such intent with his own wife.

 

jb70 wrote

I too was a little afraid when Will and Frankie met that they would either become romantically involved or that they would have another random sexual encounter as other couples in the tunnel were.  I was glad that they did not but did feel sad that Wills eemed to connect and open up more with Frankie than he was able to with Emma.  Sometimes that kind of emotional attraction can be just as bad as an affair.


 

 

Inspired Wordsmith
Sunltcloud
Posts: 933
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Middle Chapters: Winter and Spring (9 - 17)

 

Thanks for the vote of confidence. If you mean my response to Emma's immature behaviour I accept your applause. But....to be perfectly honest, the knitting thing after the earthquake......at first I did it to keep my hands from shaking every time a truck passed and made a rumbling sound, and to keep my mind from replaying the events. I had quite a bit of damage inside my house (my bookcases are anchored to the wall now) and the fear of more to come lasted for some time.

Cobalt-blue4 wrote:

 

SUNLTCLOUD WROTE...Right now I can't stand Emma. I am working on the first few pages of Spring 1941. Emma talks to iris and this is her contribution to her marriage, I suppose:? (page 138)
"He sounds so happy in his letters," she said wistfully, after a little.
"He believes in what he's doing."
"Yes, but what am I doing? What about sitting here and waiting for word? All I think is getting the news, and I can't see straight sometimes. ............."
Here is my adivce to Emma: "What kind of attitude is that? Do something with yourself. Go bake a cake and invite some neighbors. Learn to knit. That's what women do who aren't out there reporting the war or entertaining the soldiers. Knit some socks. Support your husband. We don't always understand why a man does what he does, but shouldn't you give him a chance? You should be glad that he is happy. Have some faith in him. Write him a long letter, more than two words long anyway."
Good. I feel better now. I might not continue to read for the rest of the day; I might go and knit. Hey, it worked after the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. I knitted myself through the worst period of time and we made a whole lot of people happy in the process.

How does Emma hold up? At the end of our current section, Emma is still getting daily letters from Will from before his death--how do you expect her to handle the news? Has your impression of Emma changed as the story progresses?

 

 

Amen! Sunltcloud, you've got Chutzpah!  I applaud your response. :smileywink:

 


 

 

Inspired Contributor
Choisya
Posts: 10,782
Registered: ‎10-26-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Middle Chapters: Winter and Spring (9 - 17)

 

Good point Sunltcloud but wouldn't fear have played a part here?  These were parents and children whose lives had been cruelly disrupted and who were having to travel to unknown places in fear of their lives. Children would perhaps pick the fear and anxiety and be very nervous of strangers. 
Rail routes were disrupted by bombing during the war so this might explain why Thomas is on that train.  

Sunltcloud wrote:

Just a few random thoughts as I sit here with my map of Europe. Long journey for Frankie in chapter 15.

London, Dover, Calais, Paris, Belgium, Berlin, Leipzig, Black Forest, Kehl/Strassburg, Mulhouse.

 

On the train Frankie more or less interviews/makes small talk and hears details of Thomas Kleinmann's life. He comes from the mountains around Kitzbuehl, which is south east of Munich, and had been looking for his brother in Munich. Why is he on a train that starts in Berlin?

 

I have noticed in chapter 15 that the language of children and adults is the same. .All the answers seem short and to the point. I understand this coming from the adults, especially military personnel and policemen, but, from what I remember, it was very impolite of a child to answer in one word. When I grew up it was customary for parents and teachers to make children speak in full sentences.

 

The twelve year old Luther Borg on page 179: - "American?" He looked down at her (Frankie) eagerly.

And on page 181 - the old man with the torch - "American?" He squinted. She nodded.

 

I wonder, wouldn't the boy have said, "Are you American?" (Sind Sie Americanerin?)

 

Did this bother anybody else or am I being overly critical?

 


 

 

Inspired Contributor
JoyZ
Posts: 47
Registered: ‎12-19-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Middle Chapters: Winter and Spring (9 - 17)


MsReaderCP wrote:

Regarding discussion of who is Postmistress:

I do think Frankie is a Postmistress of sorts, she has a letter to deliver and she decides to do wha Iris tells her a postmaster would never do which is to keep silent, to never deliver the letter.  Frankie never gives emma the letter from Will, the one which she goes to Cape Cod to hand deliver to her and finds for the first time in her life she is afraid to deliver the news. 

My personal opinion is not that the book is called the Postmistress because Frankie is actually the Postmistress, but because she is a more dominant character than Iris in the book and her version of what Iris is is a Postmistress.


 

In rereading the opening pages, Frankie's letter, she comments about a letter being pocketed and never delivered.  She states it is the war story she never filed.  It is Frankie's story.

Wordsmith
literature
Posts: 499
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Middle Chapters: Winter and Spring (9 - 17)

Cobalt-blue4

I agree. When Will noticed Frankie in the shelter, I was intrigued to why the author brought the two separate worlds (or two separate story lines) together. They both noticed each other and she even moved to sit next to him. I was even more curious to why. Then they had a deep conversation and I was wondering to where their story lines were going.  The idea of romantic involvement crossed my mind, as well, and to how can he be so open with Frankie, yet not with such intent with his own wife.

 

jb70 wrote

I too was a little afraid when Will and Frankie met that they would either become romantically involved or that they would have another random sexual encounter as other couples in the tunnel were.  I was glad that they did not but did feel sad that Wills eemed to connect and open up more with Frankie than he was able to with Emma.  Sometimes that kind of emotional attraction can be just as bad as an affair.

 

_________

I guess the story line had to continue so Frankie sat next to Will.  How else would Frankie have gotten the letter to deliver to Emma?  I didn't want Frankie & Will to become romantically involved since their personalities were just so differernt.   Frankie should have been with a more dynamic personality.  

 

 

Inspired Wordsmith
Sunltcloud
Posts: 933
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Middle Chapters: Winter and Spring (9 - 17)

 

You are right, Choisya, fear probably made the boy speak in one word sentences. Now that I imagine him in a movie scene (my way of writing about an emotion when I am not sure how it would play out) I can see his eyes full of fear and his words retained in his throat; he almost stutters when the word "American" comes out. The sound he makes is probably a hopeful one, because a child would be happy to see an American (they were preceded by images of candy.)
It was different in the area where I grew up. The soldiers who came through town were French. At first there were waves of Moroccans (Foreign Legion) each wave less friendly. But I do remember the first group; they camped in the woods near our house on the outskirts of town. Three of us children "inspected" them against our family's wishes. They gave us candy and treated us very gently.
During the last few days of war my mother and grandmother hid a Moroccon soldier in our attic. He was just a boy, very dark complected, whose teeth were chattering with fear. I was the one who was lifted to the ceiling and through the hole in it to hand him soup. (I assume it was some kind of trap door to the attic but can't remember it any other way than as a hole) He joined the French soldiers during the last battle that was fought around our house. Later, after the war, he contacted my family and sent us a bag of rice.

Choisya wrote:

 

Good point Sunltcloud but wouldn't fear have played a part here?  These were parents and children whose lives had been cruelly disrupted and who were having to travel to unknown places in fear of their lives. Children would perhaps pick the fear and anxiety and be very nervous of strangers. 
Rail routes were disrupted by bombing during the war so this might explain why Thomas is on that train.  

Sunltcloud wrote:

Just a few random thoughts as I sit here with my map of Europe. Long journey for Frankie in chapter 15.

London, Dover, Calais, Paris, Belgium, Berlin, Leipzig, Black Forest, Kehl/Strassburg, Mulhouse.

 

On the train Frankie more or less interviews/makes small talk and hears details of Thomas Kleinmann's life. He comes from the mountains around Kitzbuehl, which is south east of Munich, and had been looking for his brother in Munich. Why is he on a train that starts in Berlin?

 

I have noticed in chapter 15 that the language of children and adults is the same. .All the answers seem short and to the point. I understand this coming from the adults, especially military personnel and policemen, but, from what I remember, it was very impolite of a child to answer in one word. When I grew up it was customary for parents and teachers to make children speak in full sentences.

 

The twelve year old Luther Borg on page 179: - "American?" He looked down at her (Frankie) eagerly.

And on page 181 - the old man with the torch - "American?" He squinted. She nodded.

 

I wonder, wouldn't the boy have said, "Are you American?" (Sind Sie Americanerin?)

 

Did this bother anybody else or am I being overly critical?

 


 

 


 

 

Wordsmith
literature
Posts: 499
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Middle Chapters: Winter and Spring (9 - 17)

thewanderingjew wrote:

I wondered if, after Will's death, she and  Jim Tom might not team up. In a weird sort of way it might seem like the ultimate form of justice being played out. The children would no longer be motherless, Emma would not be alone with her new baby and if Will was in heaven looking down, maybe his soul would finally rest. He would feel justice was done. I hope this theory doesn't sound too warped but Jim Tom seemed to be handling his crisis far better than Emma was, so it seemed like a workable solution to me, in a more perfect world. I will have to finish the book to see what ultimately happens so I may eventually feel foolish for positing such a plan. I am reading on schedule this time!


Debbie's response:  Hi TWJ, I also wondered about that, but only for a second. It seems that they come from very different worlds, but then maybe he could provide the security that Emma seems to need. So I guess we'll see.

___________________________________________________________

 

Literature's response:

I can't see Emma with Jim Tom.  They seem so different.  Jim Tom is handling the situation better because he has children to take care of and he must continue to function so there is continued normalcy for the children.  Whereas, Emma is pregnant with her first child and she is still just taking care of herself. 

 

My take and I am only about 2/3's through the book so I don't know what happens:  I think Emma and Otto have more in common and seem to be very comfortable with each other .  I don't have my book/notes with me but Emma seemed to be looking quite intently at Otto's body when she first saw him painting the trim on her house.  As I remember it, there were quite a few comments about Otto's long, lean body and how his body looked when he stretched to reach the trim.

__________________________________________________

 

Cobalt-Blue4 wrote:  Interesting thoughts. Yet, those thoughts never crossed my mind. Emma just doesn't seem like the type who would be attracted to another man with only Will's homecoming on her mind. She noticed Otto's body, but it didn't seem to me that it was in a 'love-interest' way. Yes, the reader knows that she is a widow, but even still, I don't see her putting herself out there again to be involved with (open up to) another man. I think her child will be 'the love of her life'.

-----------------------------------

 

In time Emma will learn to live without Will.  Yes, she will have the baby to take care of just like she wanted to take care of Will.   But when Emma finds out for sure that Will has died, will she continue to live in Franklin?  She doesn't have a place that she really calls home but will she consider Franklin to be her home then?  If Emma doesn't remarry, how will she support herself and the baby?  I know this is a novel, but realisticly speaking, even people in novels have to work.  Maybe she'll take SunItCloud's suggestion, bake a cake, invite the neighbors in, they will love it and she will sell cakes to support herself and the baby.  Have i gone too far?

 

 

Correspondent
MsReaderCP
Posts: 52
Registered: ‎07-10-2009
0 Kudos

Re: Middle Chapters: Winter and Spring (9 - 17)


JoyZ wrote:

MsReaderCP wrote:

Regarding discussion of who is Postmistress:

I do think Frankie is a Postmistress of sorts, she has a letter to deliver and she decides to do wha Iris tells her a postmaster would never do which is to keep silent, to never deliver the letter.  Frankie never gives emma the letter from Will, the one which she goes to Cape Cod to hand deliver to her and finds for the first time in her life she is afraid to deliver the news. 

My personal opinion is not that the book is called the Postmistress because Frankie is actually the Postmistress, but because she is a more dominant character than Iris in the book and her version of what Iris is is a Postmistress.


 

In rereading the opening pages, Frankie's letter, she comments about a letter being pocketed and never delivered.  She states it is the war story she never filed.  It is Frankie's story.


Thanks!  That just put the whole book in perspective for me.  I hadn't gotten around to re-reading that beginning part which is always important when it happens after our story is over!

Contributor
Hyperviper
Posts: 10
Registered: ‎09-02-2009
0 Kudos

Re: Middle Chapters: Winter and Spring (9 - 17)

Interesting characters no doubt. I'm already on p. 216, and I'd have to say that it's getting more interesting.

Frequent Contributor
Sheltiemama
Posts: 107
Registered: ‎06-01-2009

Re: Middle Chapters: Winter and Spring (9 - 17)

Instead of seeing people as just stories, Frankie is seeing them as people. She's not as tough-minded now, but she's even more driven. Meeting these people and not knowing how their stories will end -- something Will mentioned -- is changing her.

 

It's touching to see Iris watching out for Emma. I think she and Harry do understand each other. They seem very comfortable together, despite the flagpole issue. Iris still insists on following the rules there.

 

Will has found purpose in his life. His death in an accident just enforces the message of war deaths being random. Frankie also says that he wasn't watching the correct side of the road, like most Americans. And at this point, Americans weren't watching what was happening in Europe closely. The theme of watching and paying attention is interesting.

 

I really feel for Emma and agree with her that Will didn't need to go over there.

 

 

Inspired Wordsmith
Sunltcloud
Posts: 933
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Middle Chapters: Winter and Spring (9 - 17)

 


literature wrote:

thewanderingjew wrote:

I wondered if, after Will's death, she and  Jim Tom might not team up. In a weird sort of way it might seem like the ultimate form of justice being played out. The children would no longer be motherless, Emma would not be alone with her new baby and if Will was in heaven looking down, maybe his soul would finally rest. He would feel justice was done. I hope this theory doesn't sound too warped but Jim Tom seemed to be handling his crisis far better than Emma was, so it seemed like a workable solution to me, in a more perfect world. I will have to finish the book to see what ultimately happens so I may eventually feel foolish for positing such a plan. I am reading on schedule this time!


Debbie's response:  Hi TWJ, I also wondered about that, but only for a second. It seems that they come from very different worlds, but then maybe he could provide the security that Emma seems to need. So I guess we'll see.

___________________________________________________________

 

Literature's response:

I can't see Emma with Jim Tom.  They seem so different.  Jim Tom is handling the situation better because he has children to take care of and he must continue to function so there is continued normalcy for the children.  Whereas, Emma is pregnant with her first child and she is still just taking care of herself. 

 

My take and I am only about 2/3's through the book so I don't know what happens:  I think Emma and Otto have more in common and seem to be very comfortable with each other .  I don't have my book/notes with me but Emma seemed to be looking quite intently at Otto's body when she first saw him painting the trim on her house.  As I remember it, there were quite a few comments about Otto's long, lean body and how his body looked when he stretched to reach the trim.

__________________________________________________

 

Cobalt-Blue4 wrote:  Interesting thoughts. Yet, those thoughts never crossed my mind. Emma just doesn't seem like the type who would be attracted to another man with only Will's homecoming on her mind. She noticed Otto's body, but it didn't seem to me that it was in a 'love-interest' way. Yes, the reader knows that she is a widow, but even still, I don't see her putting herself out there again to be involved with (open up to) another man. I think her child will be 'the love of her life'.

-----------------------------------

 Literature:

In time Emma will learn to live without Will.  Yes, she will have the baby to take care of just like she wanted to take care of Will.   But when Emma finds out for sure that Will has died, will she continue to live in Franklin?  She doesn't have a place that she really calls home but will she consider Franklin to be her home then?  If Emma doesn't remarry, how will she support herself and the baby?  I know this is a novel, but realisticly speaking, even people in novels have to work.  Maybe she'll take SunItCloud's suggestion, bake a cake, invite the neighbors in, they will love it and she will sell cakes to support herself and the baby.  Have i gone too far?

 


 

 Literature, I don't think you have gone too far; I love the idea. I will refrain from giving all the characters their chores (I think I went too far with the last book - UTUS - by speculating on everybody's future.) But I do think your idea of selling cakes (or muffins or zucchini bread) would work well for Emma. Frequently war widows walked into a type of support system by doing something publicly that they had been good at privately. Sewing, cooking, catering, gardening, organizing.

My mother was not a war widow, but she did, for a while, knit new garments from old ones while my grandmother sewed old clothing into new dresses for food. In the country the farmers had what everybody needed, what everybody wanted - milk, eggs, flour, meat, and they were paid with services or goods.