Iris is the postmaster in Massachusetts during WWII. She takes her job very seriously, as she is entrusted with delivering messages of life to mothers, sons, and lovers during war time. She falls for Henry, who every day goes up to the top of the tallest building looking for German U-boats in the harbour. In the same town are newlyweds Emma and Dr Trask. When the doctor is called to deliver a child and loses the mother, he blames himself. He needs to make up for the loss he feels he caused and decides to head over to England, after hearing a report from reporter Frankie Bard about the bombings over there.
Most of the characters reside in the USA but we have the reporting from Frankie Bard on what's happening in Europe and a little bit from Dr. Trask. Dr. Trask is really just a vessel for his wife's story, her concern for him, and her interactions with Iris over how they think he is doing. Frankie has some heartbreaking stories to tell of her travels in Europe, but they are so detached from the other characters in the book that they're almost like a completely separate story.
The Postmistress is the title of the book and supposedly the centre of the book, but she herself complains during the novel that it's not 'postmistress' it's 'postmaster', so why the hell is the book called 'postmistress'? Unfortunately this book offers nothing unique from most other WWII books to make it stand out. It has a disjointed story with a weak ending and isn't something I'd recommend.
First Line: "It began, as it often does, with a woman putting her ducks in a row."