Sarah Blake lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband, the poet Josh Weiner, and their two sons.
Weaving together the stories of three very different women loosely tied to each other, debut novelist Blake takes readers back and forth between small town America and war-torn Europe in 1940. Single, 40-year-old postmistress Iris James and young newlywed Emma Trask are both new arrivals to Franklin, Mass., on Cape Cod. While Iris and Emma go about their daily lives, they follow American reporter Frankie Bard on the radio as she delivers powerful and personal accounts from the London Blitz and elsewhere in Europe. While Trask waits for the return of her husband-a volunteer doctor stationed in England-James comes across a letter with valuable information that she chooses to hide. Blake captures two different worlds-a naOve nation in denial and, across the ocean, a continent wracked with terror-with a deft sense of character and plot, and a perfect willingness to take on big, complex questions, such as the merits of truth and truth-telling in wartime. (Feb.) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.
A beautifully written, thought provoking novel that I'm telling everyone I know to read -- Kathryn Stockett, author of The Help I loved it. It's exquisite and I wish I'd written it. It's truly a lovely, moving and beautifully evocative book. -- Cathy Kelly Unforgettable, insightful and compelling... Perfectly recreates the cadences of passion while also conjuring up the wrenching, nightmare suspense of history in the making -- Sena Jeter Naslund, author of Ahab's Wife
Frankie Bard is a young female reporter in London during the Blitz, working with the likes of Edward R. Murrow and Eric Severeid. Her broadcasts make an impression on the residents of Franklin, MA-Dr. Will Fitch and wife Emma, garage owner Harry Vale, and postmaster Iris James-who in 1940-41 don't know how or if the war will affect them. Harry is sure the Germans are about to land on their beach, while, hearing Frankie talk of an orphaned boy, Emma and Will don't feel the news goes far enough. Iris insists that "there is an order and a reason" to everything, and "every letter sent.proves it." First novelist Blake doesn't let her work fall prey to easy sentimentality; this story is harsh and desperate, as indeed is war, but her writing is incisive and lush: a house missing a piece of mortar, "as if it had been bitten"; a distracted Iris, with "sand.dribbling out of the bag of her attention." VERDICT Even readers who don't think they like historical novels will love this one and talk it up to their friends. Highly recommended for all fans of beautifully wrought fiction. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 10/1/09.]-Bette-Lee Fox, Library Journal Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.