On Sunday I took my newest best friend (there aren’t that many people I give that title to) Library Love on her “birthday date.” LL’s birthday was actually Tuesday but because she keeps such a busy schedule, we made sure to set aside a day so I could help her celebrate. You can just imagine my excitement when I learned that Sarah Blake (who lives in Washington D.C.) would be appearing at Politics & Prose Bookstore in our Nation’s Capital on the day LL and I had set aside for us. Being book lovers, voracious readers and having met at Jennifer Weiner’s book event last summer I thought that Sarah Blake’s book event would be a perfect and memorable activity. So after surprising LL with lunch and cupcakes in Bethesda, MD, I drove us down to D.C. to Politics & Prose. Thanks to LL’s quick thinking and lightening fast moves we landed seats front row and center for Sarah Blake’s book reading and Q&A of The Postmistress.
We enjoyed Sarah’s impactful and memorable reading from two different sections of The Postmistress. After she finished reading aloud to her captive audience it was time for Q&A’s. Well, let me tell you something. When it came to the moment when the microphone was open and waiting for the first question to be asked, no one stood up and braved the silence. I had a question and after looking around at the shy faces I got up and went to the mic. I told Sarah Blake that I absolutely loved her book and though I read it on my Kindle, I did buy a copy of the hardcover for her to sign and keep on my shelf. I then asked her about the cover. I told her that I knew my husband would really enjoy reading The Postmistress, the beautiful purple rose on the cover would be a deterrent for him. I noted that there were plenty of men in the audience that day but there are also a lot of men out there who probably don’t read as much good historical fiction as their wives/girlfriends do because of the covers with pretty colors and feminine designs. She of course said that she hoped that men would read her book anyway and she didn’t have much comment on the publishing and marketing of books towards certain sexes.
As the Q&A continued I remembered I had had a question that I came up with when I had just finished reading The Postmistress the other week. It was regarding the fact that there really was a female reporter who was a member of “Murrow’s Boys” in London and Europe during WWII. Her name was Mary Marvin Breckinridge and according to Wikipedia, she reported for Edward R. Murrow a total of fifty times during her tenure with his team throughout Europe and of those reports, seven were from Berlin, Germany. I asked Ms. Blake if she based her character, Frankie Bard, on M. Marvin Breckinridge and if she’d had the chance to meet her since she lived in D.C. till she died in 2002. Sarah’s answer was very surprising! She said that she knew she wanted to make one of her main characters a woman who reported for Murrow in London and Europe but it wasn’t till later in her writing/researching that she learned that there were actually two female reporters who worked for Murrow at that time. She added that no, she had never met Ms. Breckinridge. WOW! Talk about coincidences! That’s HUGE!
After the Q&A segment of the hour wrapped up, all the fans gathered in line with their books for Sarah to sign. LL rushed out of her chair so fast I barely realized she was third or fourth in line. I set our folding chairs against the wall like the store’s manager asked and joined LL in line. After Sarah signed our books as well as my mother-in-law’s copy that I brought with me we asked the lady in line behind us to take our picture with Sarah. So, there we are! We had such a great day celebrating LL’s birthday and meeting Sarah Blake.
If you get the chance to read The Postmistress, I can’t stress enough that you will love it. Even if historical fiction isn’t your cup ‘o tea, it’s really a great story. You can learn more about my thoughts on the book by checking out my review HERE.