Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

Living

February 7, 2012

The Book Shelf: ‘The Postmistress’ a bittersweet tale

JACKSONVILLE — The Postmistress

By Sarah Blake

The Postmistress, a recent best seller by Sarah Blake, is a bittersweet  story set in the WWII era just before America entered the war.  The story revolves around three women in a small New England town.  One, of course, is the postmistress, Iris.  She knows everyone’s business and almost everybody’s sins.  She watches it all and never says a word.  There is the neophyte female journalist, Frankie, who becomes enmeshed in the horrors of the blitz in London, then returns to New England to rest and recuperate.  Lastly, there is the woman who brings them together, Emma, the young wife of a physician.

The opening question is, what would you think of a postmistress who refused to deliver the mail?  That would be a mistake.  But without the mistake there would be no story.  The mistake makes the story.

To quote Ms. Blake:  “How Iris and Frankie come to betray everything they stand for is the war story I hoped to tell.  It is the story that lies around the edges of a photograph or at the end of a newspaper account.  it’s about the lies we tell others to protect them, and about the lies we tell ourselves in order not to acknowledge what we can’t bear.”

The story is beautifully written.  Ms. Blake is a genius with a simile:

• Her dress was like a striped tent without an occasion.  

• Shrapnel clattered down on the rooftops like clog dancers without a song.  

• Canned peaches in a bowl holding the gold of last summer.  

Ms. Blake does an admirable job of catching the flavor of this era in history.  It will be nostalgic for those who can recall many of those events.  It will be eye-opening to those not familiar with the horrors of WWII.

I’m not qualified to attribute “stars” to a book, but this one definitely gets my recommendation for a great read, even if you are not hooked on literary fiction.

1
Text Only
Living
  • deb - historic quilts.jpg Group preserves quilting tradition

    Inspired by unbounded imagination, generations of quilters have created history with thread and fabric, and now, local residents are adding to that history.
    “Quilting brings a richness to the family and community in a very tangible way,” said Jo Caraway, who hosts the Quilter's Guild of Cherokee County gathering every second Tuesday of the month in her Rusk-area home.

    October 21, 2013 2 Photos

  • Local reviews ‘Tomato Republic’

    On April 9, I had the privilege and pleasure of seeing the world premiere of The Tomato Republic, a documentary movie about the 2013 Jacksonville, Texas, mayoral election. The film was entered in the Dallas Film Festival within the Texas subjects division.

    April 15, 2014

  • “I am the resurrection and the life”

    For millions of believers throughout the world, Holy Week is considered the high point of the Christian year, because they recall the series of events in Jesus' life that began with a welcome embrace and ended with his death by crucifixion.

    April 12, 2014

  • 'Thespians ‘N Training’ group ready to sign up new talent

    TNT (“Thespians ‘N Training”) theatre arts camp will be offered for the 11th consecutive year by Cherokee Civic Theatre.  TNT 2014 will run July 14-26 at the historic Cherokee Theater.

    April 5, 2014

  • Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with tasty Irish treats

    A few years ago, my neighbors organized a St. Patrick's Day tea. They served all sorts of Irish goodies: tea cakes, shortbread, soda bread, scones. It was a tame celebration, but a tasty one.

    March 15, 2014

  • Cultivate your green thumb through container gardening

    Whether they're created using floral, vegetable or herbal plants, one thing is certain: Container gardening is a simple way to groom a green thumb.

    March 8, 2014

  • CuneyScene.tif Black History Month: Cuney - A town with black roots

    February is Black History Month, a time for some to reflect on their heritage. One such place worthy of remembrance is Cuney, Texas.

    February 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • posadas main LIV 12-14.tif Ois pido posada

    It's a centuries-old tradition, based on the scripture story of Mary's and Joseph's search for lodging in Bethlehem.

    December 14, 2013 1 Photo

  • Birthday Special birthday celebration held at Angelina House

    Sadler was the guest of honor at a surprise party for his 30th birthday at Angelina House on Wednesday, an event coordinated by Angelina House Wellness Director Trachel Crow and residence sales manager Linzey Campbell.

    November 29, 2013 1 Photo

  • Help pets stay healthy this holiday season, too

    While Fido may be a pro at making big “feed me, I'm starving” eyes, animal care professionals remind people that sharing their Thanksgiving mean is more harmful than not.

    November 27, 2013