Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Off the Book Shelf: Mercy Train and The PostMistress

I have two more books to share with you.  One I really, really liked and the other I just so-so liked.  I'll start with my favorite of the two.

The Postmistress by Sarah Blake is set during WWII in Cape Cod just before the US joined the war.  It follows a US reporter in England that is sending the war home to the US through the radio and how her stories impact the Americans who are still acting like the war is not happening at all.  I found this book to be so impactful and full of heart wrenching truths.

Those who carry the truth sometimes bear a terrible burden...
Filled with stunning parallels to today's world, The Postmistress is a sweeping novel about the loss of innocence of two extraordinary women-and of two countries torn apart by war.
On the eve of the United States's entrance into World War II in 1940, Iris James, the postmistress of Franklin, a small town on Cape Cod, does the unthinkable: She doesn't deliver a letter.
In London, American radio gal Frankie Bard is working with Edward R. Murrow, reporting on the Blitz. One night in a bomb shelter, she meets a doctor from Cape Cod with a letter in his pocket, a letter Frankie vows to deliver when she returns from Germany and France, where she is to record the stories of war refugees desperately trying to escape.
The residents of Franklin think the war can't touch them- but as Frankie's radio broadcasts air, some know that the war is indeed coming. And when Frankie arrives at their doorstep, the two stories collide in a way no one could have foreseen.
The Postmistress is an unforgettable tale of the secrets we must bear, or bury. It is about what happens to love during war­time, when those we cherish leave. And how every story-of love or war-is about looking left when we should have been looking right.

The second book, Mercy Train by Rae Meadows, follows "three generations of motherhood, family, and the surprising sacrifices we make for the people we love".   I enjoyed the story, but felt that the book was missing something.  Like it didn't fully develop the characters enough.  I don't necessarily feel like I wasted my time, but it just could have been better.  I am very interested to learn more about the Mercy Trains and find other books on the topics.

A rich, luminous novel of three remarkable women connected across a century by a family secret and by the fierce brilliance of their love
Samantha’s mother has been dead almost a year when the box arrives on her doorstep. In it, she finds recipe cards, keepsakes, letters—relics of her mother Iris’s past. But as Sam sifts through these family treasures, she uncovers evidence that her grandmother, Violet, had a much more difficult childhood then she could have ever imagined. And Sam, a struggling new mother herself, begins to see her own burdens in a completely different light. Moving from the tempered calm of contemporary Madison, Wisconsin to the seedy underbelly of early twentieth century New York, we come face to face with a haunting piece of America’s past: From 1854 to 1929 orphan trains from New York transported 150,000 to 200,000 destitute, orphaned or abandoned children across the country to find homes on farms in the Midwest.  

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I am married to my best friend and am the mom of two wonderful kids. I have had my ups and downs in regards to health, happiness and weight loss. This blog will tell you about all of those ups and downs and my opinion on the randomness that we call life.

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