What We're Reading
The Postmistress by Sarah Blake
The First Thursday Book Group will meet to discuss this book on Thursday, May 5th from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 in the Theatre-level conference room.
Radio gal Frankie Bard, poses a question to a dinner party, “What would you think of a postmistress who chose not to deliver the mail?” This serves as the dramatic backdrop of Sarah Blake’s compelling novel, The Postmistress. As war rages through Europe, two women isolated physically and emotionally, reside in fictional Franklin, Massachusetts, on the coast of Cape Cod, listening to war reporter Frankie Bard as she details the blitz in London. For the postmaster (never call her a postmistress), Iris James, it’s only a matter of time before the war ends up on Franklin’s shores. Emma Fitch, the newlywed doctor’s wife has to contend with pregnancy and loneliness after her husband has a case go bad and decides he’s needed in London for the war effort. Both women fretfully listen to Frankie Bard’s insistent plea that war is coming. Middle-aged Iris gets involved with the lonely mechanic of the town, Harry Vale, while he seems to devote most of his time above the courthouse keeping an eye out for U-boats from Germany. In the meantime, Frankie Bard digs up human interest stories all around London. After an especially bad shelling, she meets Emma’s husband Will in a bomb shelter – never to be the same again. Ms. Bard decides to head into occupied France and Germany looking for the stories of the multitude of Jewish refugees fleeing Europe. All three women’s lives eventually come together in this complex but very entertaining story. -Shannon
Emily Alone by Stewart O'nan
A review in Entertainment Magazine enticed me to read this story, set within one square mile of the neighborhood where I grew up. The nostalgia prompted a brief exchange of emails with the author. This is no page-turner but rather a sensitive character study on the challenges of old age, disappointing children and coping with change. Emily meets those challenges with intelligence and grace. -Nancy
A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
Midway through reading this book, it won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction! The reader is taken backwards and forwards through time with a cast of characters deftly woven together by fate and the music industry. For readers who like the format of related vignettes (Olive Kitteridge, Let The Great World Spin, The Imperfectionists, etc.) this is a thought provoking novel on the human condition. -Nancy