The Postmistress, by Sarah Blake. Amy Einhorn Books, 2010.
What would you think about a Postmistress who deliberately withheld mail? What would you think about a journalist who deliberately withheld the truth? In the months before the United States enters the Second World War, in the thick of the German blitz on London, Iris, the Postmistress in a seaside Massachusetts town, and Frankie, the radio journalist on location in London, each has a profound effect on the lives of those in their service areas - and on each other.

Told from alternating American and European viewpoints, life in America, England, France and Germany comes into focus through letters, radio broadcasts, and vivid description. The plot ends are neatly tied at the last, though the underlying philosophical questions are not so tidily dispatched.

Although it is set in a time before television, this novel has all the graphic impact of a wartime documentary - it is a journalist's report, after all, a radio lifeline which brought news from the war in Europe to America. It brought home to me the horrors of the London blitz and the mass emigration of Jews on the continent in a way that I will never forget. The author personalized the characters so well, there was never any question about labels or categories - each major and minor character was a Person with a Story.