12 Jan 2012

The Postmistress, a good read

I read this novel a month or two ago and enjoyed it. I have been wondering what to say about it since. It is definitely what I would call  "a good read", and I can recommend it to anyone taking a long train or plane journey. 

The book is well written and parts of it interested and/or moved me. Yet I also felt at times that some of the situations were too contrived to be credible, and also that some of the characters were not sufficiently developed to fill out the space that is alloted to them in the book.

I won't tell the story as I hate being told the stories of books before reading them. Suffice it to say that there are three main female characters whose lives manage to intertwine during the Second World War, with their stories being told alternatively from London, other parts of Europe, and a small seaside town on the north-eastern coast of the USA.

It has to do with small-town mentalities, American anbiguities about entering the war, life in a city under bombardment (London in the blitz), the Jewish tragedy, radio programmes (the famous Ed Murrow, the man who signed off with "good night, and good luck" is a minor character in the book and the boss of one of the main characters), love, loneliness and despair.

At times the book is powerful and hits just the right spots. At other it manages to seem a bit too neat and predictable. Almost very good, but not quite. Try it and see.

Read on....


  1. David, life’s too short to spend it on an “almost very good book”.
    Still, I’m fond of your title again.
    I propose an alternative title for a “really very good novel”: The lost Mistress, a good lay ...
    But here the same comparison holds true. It need be a very good one too.

  2. Yep, I know, but you only know afterwards, as with other things. It would not have been the Postmistress but the radio girl in this instance. In fact the title should have been that: Radio Girl

  3. As with other things ....
    Well done.