It is the early 1940’s, war is raging in Europe. Frankie Bard is there covering the war for American Radio with Edward R. Murrow.
As the bombs drop down into the dark night sky in London, Emma and her new husband have been just reunited in the small town of Franklin, Massachusetts, where he is a doctor. This small town has it quirks and eccentricities as do all small towns; Harry is one of them – he climbs the steps to the tower on the town hall every night to search the waters for u boats, he is adamant that will arrive on their shores.
The Postmistress Iris does her job to the letter every single day keeping the town’s secrets while delivering the mail. Until one day, she slips a letter into her pocket. Afterwards, she reads the letter; then decides not to deliver it.
As Frankie delivers the news from Europe, she is asked in the middle of it to travel the rails to get as many stories as she can from the people who are travelling to other parts of Europe; in search of their stories, their feelings, parts of their lives recorded on a new voice recorder. She has wanted to do this before; to travel to France where she has heard snippets of information about the Germans that are putting all the Jewish people in camps. The people in the US don’t think the war will touch them and live as though it won’t.
As the people tell their stories to Frankie, she is changed. Once the tough woman going to Europe to be a correspondent, she is moved by these people’s stories; as well as the guards that take each and every Jewish person off the trains at different stops; not knowing that they will be probably be dead within hours.
Two seemingly different places in the world that is just as separate as they are in miles away. A simple letter is the only thing that will bring the two together, along with the three women, the loss of innocence, what things happen to the cherished moments, when those moments are gone forever when the news is broken from far away, and up close.
I was mesmerized and immediately taken away when I started reading the first few pages of the book. Caught up in the 1940’s between small town America, where life for the moment was normal, and Europe during the WWII as it raged on, bombs dropping from the sky night after night.
The manner in which the author had woven the intricate worlds of both to encapsulate the reader was like poetry. The way that the incidents, how we experienced the events as it continued its way until the end where it will change us forever. I absolutely loved this book. I hope that it will capture you as it did me.