The Postmistress by Sarah Blake
Iris James is the Postmistress in Franklin, Massachusetts in 1940. Frankie Bard is a "radio gal" in London reporting on the nightly bombings and hoping to convince Americans to get involved. Their two lives couldn't be more different and yet they find themselves in a situation that brings them face to face and changes them both.
There's a sexual scene in the book that would keep me from recommending it to younger readers and those who don't like that sort of thing in their reading. I have to say that it's done in very good taste though and is quite beautiful and not (in my opinion) lewd or obscene. The book is worth reading even if you want to skip that part when you come to it.
This is one of those books that leaves you missing the characters when you close the cover. I want very much to travel to Franklin and find Iris and have a cup of tea with her. I feel like she's someone you could just sit with and enjoy the silence. These characters are likeable, so as a reader you find yourself caring about them and it saddened me when some of them didn't survive to the end of the story. (I don't think that's a spoiler because 1] it's wartime so some deaths are expected and 2] I'm not revealing names).
As I said earlier I found the writing enjoyable to read, but I do have to mention one thing that struck me as odd. Toward the end of the book I found a whole sentence repeated and only 25 pages apart. It can't have been intentional; there seems to be no reason for it. On page 265 it says "She brought the canceling stamp down on three letters in a row with a satisfying thump, then turned and tossed what she stamped behind her in quick impatient flicks of her wrist." Then on page 290, "From the door, Frankie watched as she brought the canceling stamp down on three letters in a row with a satisfying thump, then turned and tossed what she stamped behind her in quick impatient flicks of her wrist. I don't remember ever finding a repeat like this before and I'm baffled as to how it got to the printer like that. Anybody else ever seen something like this?
All in all I do recommend this book highly. I found it a very satisfying read and am looking forward to seeing what else this authour has to offer.