|Edward R. Murrow|
11. Will says that “everything adds up,” but Frankie disagrees, saying that life is a series of “random, incomprehensible accidents.” Which philosophy do you believe? Which theory does The Postmistress make a better case for?
12. After Thomas tells his story of escape, the old woman in the train compartment says “There was God looking out for you at every turn.” Thomas disagrees. “People looked out. Not God.” He adds, “There is no God. Only us.” How does this novel raise the questions of faith in wartime? How does this connect to the decisions Iris and Frankie make with regard to Emma?
13. Why do you think Maggie’s death compels Will to leave for England?
14. What are the pleasures and drawbacks of historical novels? Is there a case to be made that this book is not about the 1940’s so much as it uses the comfortable distance of that time and place in order to ask questions about war?
15. Why does Otto refuse to tell the townspeople that he’s Jewish? Do you think he’s right not to do so?
16. Why is the certificate of virginity so important to Iris? What does it tell us about her character?
17. When Frankie returns to America, she finds it impossible to grasp that people are calmly going about their lives while war rages in Europe. What part does complacency play in this story?