Monday, 19 December 2011

The Postmistress

I finished The Postmistress by Sarah Blake last night.  Although it is not a part of the challenge, I want to blog about it.

A couple of years ago, our book club read Tears in the Desert by Halima Bashir.  I emphatically stated that I didn't want to read any more books like that.  I don't need to read all the gory details to know that atrocities happen all over the world and that those types of books upset me.  My friend Bernice, who never pulls any punches, said, "That's what these books are supposed to do!  They are supposed to upset you."

I can read these books and feel pain and sorrow over others' plights.  But what can I do?

The Postmistress answered that question for me.  I can bear witness.  Sometimes, it's enough that people know and that they will pass the stories on.

"Pay Attention", Frankie Baird said in the novel.  Without going into the details of the story (it is not my intention to do book reviews but to do a commentary), Frankie was a young female reporter during the Blitz in London in 1941 who realized that the refugees leaving German Occupied Europe were not refugees per se, but Jews fleeing persecution and obliteration.  She was frustrated in her attempts to get people to see what was happening.  It became her goal to travel the trains, interviewing people and giving them a voice.  She bore witness to their very existence.

Everyone has a story.  Everyone wants to have a voice.  That is why these blogs are so popular.  They are a vehicle with which we can tell our stories and have others bear witness.

My name is Janice.  I live in Canada and I'm going onwards to an uncertain future as far as my relationships go.

What is your name?  Where are you from, and where are you going?


  1. I'm Jenny, and I'm about to take on a job I'm not sure I'm ready for.

  2. When I saw the title of this post I thought you were referring to yourself, e.g. you posting here:)

    I'm RA, and I'm going to sleep.

  3. I've been meaning to read this one for a long time glad you blogged about it.

    I'm Kimberly. I live in Canada and I don't know where I'm going but I'll tell you when I get there.

  4. I'm Mikki. My father was a Colonel in the military and we traveled often, so I guess my answer would be "everywhere and nowhere." I'm currently settled in New York, but in life I just try to keep going forward.

  5. I am Pragya. I am in India and I think I'm going where I want to, though sometimes I am not so sure.

  6. Hi, I'm Gaeta. I'm from San Diego, but like Mikki I'm a military brat and I'm married to a Navy guy, so I can second what Mikki said. After puffing up 150 stairs to my second-to-last house, I whined for suburban sidewalks, and my kids pleaded for the "Glee" high school experience. But is this what we really want? None of us are sure.