Sunday, 4 January 2015

Short post for the end of the holidays...

On this wet, slushy, rainy, cold Sunday morning, I am enjoying a cup of Winter’s Blend tea that a friend recommended to me, and it is delicious!  This will be a short post - I wrote a full post on Thursday, New Year’s Day, and hadn’t intended to write today at all, but somehow a Sunday morning, as I settle in with my tea, just isn’t the same without a little bit of blogging. 

I have been reading The Postmistress by Sarah Blake these past few days, and am getting further along with it than I had expected, so if the rain keeps me inside, I may even finish it before the end of the day.  This is the book we will be discussing at the book club meeting on Saturday, but I wanted to write a short plot summary today so I could devote next week’s post to the discussion highlights.  This popular book club choice tells the story of three American women during the early days of WWII:  Frances “Frankie” Bard is a journalist and reporter, that “radio gal” that Americans listen to for updates on the war in Britain, specifically the Blitz in London;  Iris James is the postmistress in Franklin, Massachusetts, a forty-ish single woman who holds a high-ranking government job that, according to some townspeople, should have gone to one of the many men who are out of work; and Emma Fitch, the youthful new doctor’s wife, who must make a go of it in her new town, which is her husband’s hometown.  These three women must learn to cope with the ever-changing atmosphere that surrounds them during wartime, before America officially joined the war, and it is a novel about waiting, about love and loss, and about what it means to be a hero in a world where communication is slow and traditional roles are changing.  I don’t generally enjoy reading what I call “women’s books”, the type of books that focus on the struggles of women against obstacles, personal or man-made, but struggles that are specifically related to women.  They also include details about women’s lives (for example, in this book, childbirth and menstruation are detailed – things I don’t really need to read about).  I chose this book for our book club because it is a popular book club selection and many of my members enjoy reading historical fiction.  I didn’t expect to enjoy it, but despite my misgivings, I have been looking forward to finding opportunities to read this book over the last few days.  I think it is the tension the author has created, the uncertainty that I as a reader feel about the situations in the novel and their outcomes, that perhaps resembles, in some small way, the uncertainty that those during the war felt when they didn’t know what was going on in Europe and didn’t know if those who had gone over were ever coming back.  Although I don’t love her writing style, and would not actively seek out another book by this author, I was pleasantly surprised to find myself so interested in this novel.  I think my ladies will enjoy it, too – I’ll let you know after our discussion next week.

OK, that’s all I have for today.  Happy First Sunday in 2015!

Bye for now...
Julie

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