First things first, I’m happy to report that I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith is the winner of our December book club. Check back later this week when Maura Fritz will introduce the herself and the book. And now on to The Postmistress.
Well, based on your comments from section two (and I’m sorry I’m belated in getting this post live), it seems like many of us are feeling the same way about the characters heading into this section.
I was happy to have the remainder of the story play out in Franklin, and I wasn’t surprised at all that Frankie went there. But I found it very interesting to see how she interacted with the people in the town. Before we get to that part, what did you think about Iris holding onto the letter from Will’s landlady? This was obviously the letter that wasn’t delivered—the one that was discussed in the introduction. Do you agree with her reasoning, that because it didn’t have a definite answer about whether or not Will was alive that it was better to wait until after Emma’s baby was born? Was she being considerate or cowardly?
I thought it was interesting that Frankie simply bolted from London. That she returned her equipment without seeing anyone and immediately returned home. I think the things she saw weighed more heavily on her than she realized until she was able to step away and gain perspective.
Once Frankie arrives in the town and she reveals to people who she is, what do you make of their reactions? Especially, the scene in the coffee shop where the men around her are talking about the war, and she keeps quiet for as long as she can. I found her interactions with both Harry and Otto to be reassuring. I felt like they appreciated what she had gone through and understood the line between her needing to share her experiences, and realizing that there were some things she could not talk about.
The conversation that Frankie and Iris had in the post office about Iris’s belief in the order of things was especially interesting to me. I was surprised to see them so much at odds, but maybe it’s just that they are both such strong, stubborn characters. And since Iris hasn’t been through what Frankie has she is still holding firm to her belief in order and her responsibility. Whereas, Frankie is disheartened by all that she has seen. Was there anything about their conversation that surprised you?
Finally in this section the truth about Will’s death comes out. And it comes from a telegram, which no one can ignore. What did you think about both Iris and Frankie keeping some version of the truth from Emma? Iris suspected but didn’t really know that Will had died, while Frankie had actually been there. Do you think they were right to keep the truth from Emma? Was it easier for her to receive the telegram as opposed to hearing the bad news directly from Frankie, who had witnessed it? Why do you think that Frankie never told Emma that she had met Will, even if she left out the part about his death? Do you think she should have given Emma the letter after the telegram arrived?
And lastly, what did you think about the way the book ended? I was surprised at Harry’s death, especially after he had proposed to Iris. I wonder why Sarah Blake decided to leave all three of the main characters on their own in the end. What do you think will happen next in the town of Franklin with these three women? Do you think Frankie will stay in Franklin or do you think she will return to being a reporter? How do you think Emma and Iris will cope having lost the people they love most?
I hope you all have enjoyed reading this book. Like so many of our other authors, Sarah Blake has agreed to answer questions that you have about the story. So post your question(s) in the comments by next Monday, November 29th, and we will post her answers after that.
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