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Book Review: The Postmistress by Sarah Blake


Told through the focalised perspective of three women with vastly differing occupations during the war: a postmistress, a journalist and the pregnant wife of a soldier; all three females’ lives intertwine beautifully as different perspectives on war merge together. We see the journalist’s journey from viewing a story as a “single shot”, easily and simply executed and told to seeing it as it truly is; a complex compilation of emotions, unique individual scenarios and an ocean of ‘grey area’.

We follow the young love of a couple torn apart physically by war but who remain in touch through the magic of post and the written world of letters. We see the turmoil of an individual postmistress who crowns the narrative as she passes on letters, delivers bad news and has to make the ultimate call of judgement; to tell or not to tell when death knocks upon the door of one special individual.

Immerse yourself in the period of war, in the drama of love, in the moral dilemmas of a postmistress with bad news. Written in third person, Blake manipulates all three perspectives to give rounded and detailed characterisation, leaving you feeling emotionally attached to the girls long past the last page. Whether it’s morality or journalistic flair or home and personal turmoil that intrigues you, this book has something promising to offer! Yet for me it is the beauty of the entangled tales of love, of future children, of potential families, of hope and the tragedy laced-up in the underlying existence of war that makes this book special and memorable.

Standing out from a plethora of wartime dramas, The Postmistress is a truly beautiful yet heart-wrenching read this January.

Written by Genevieve Cox

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