In war-torn Europe of 1940, Frankie Bard, an American broadcast reporter, delivers intense person commentary on the London blitz and the forced evacuation of the Jews elsewhere in Europe. In Franklin, Mass., on Cape Cod, newlywed and newly pregnant Emma Trask anxiously awaits the return of her husband, a volunteer doctor stationed in London. Iris James, the single, 40-year-old new postmistress of Franklin, feels an immense responsibility in holding the town’s secrets in her bags of mail. Sarah Blake, the author of The Postmistress expertly weaves together the lives of these three very different women who live in two very different worlds. Frankie’s world is one of devastation, destruction and violence. For Emma and Iris, small-town America is home where its citizens go about their ordinary lives with their heads buried in the sand. As the United States reluctantly edges closer to getting actively involved in this horrible war, the entire country listens to the accounts of Frankie in disbelief, trepidation and horror. The United States at this time in history was trying hard to convince itself that the war in Europe would not touch them. But through the eyes of Frankie, Emma and Iris, the reader sees the tragedies of war that indiscriminately touched the lives of everyone.
This is a very powerful book, written about a very difficult subject in a dreadful time in our nation’s history. But I guarantee that once you pick it and start reading, you won’t be able to put it down! You will care very deeply about the fates of these three women.
I normally do not read romance novels, but the vivid details of this period in history, the costumes, customs, food, and social lives of the upper class of the Gilded Age really drew me into the story. The author deftly used the culture clash of American new money vs. Victorian tradition to move the plot along. There were plenty of twists and turns in the plot, so that you were always second-guessing what you thought was going to happen. The cast of supporting characters was delightful, including Prince Bertie himself. The American Heiress is Daisy Goodwin’s debut novel, which came as a surprise to me. Her writing is excellent and mature. This was really a fun summer read.