Review published on July 14, 2017.
I’ve been wanting to read a Fern Britton book for ages and so I jumped at the chance of reading The Postcard. I really enjoyed it, but I have to say that it wasn’t quite what I was expecting.
I had in my mind a fluffy, summery, happy sort of holiday read but there are some much stronger themes running through this book, in particular depression, loss and jealousy.
For much of the book I wasn’t entirely sure whether I liked Penny, the protagonist, or not. She’s quite difficult at times and, like one of her friends, I thought she should count her blessings, but of course life isn’t that simple and there was a lot going on in the background that was affecting her quite a lot (see above). Her vicar husband, Simon, was a bit of a saint (quite appropriate given his job!).
But then along came a character who was much easier to dislike and I started to see where a lot of Penny’s insecurities came from. I think the author portrayed this really well and there were little vignettes from Penny’s childhood that helped to flesh out her character.
I actually really liked a thread of the story that wasn’t explored in that much detail, that of Ella and her brother, Henry. I wanted to know more about them and I wonder if the author is planning to write a book about them in the future as there seemed to be some unresolved issues and a lot more to find out about them. And then there’s the lovely Kit and Adam, Penny and Simon’s neighbours, who also could go on to spawn another book I think.
The Postcard is one of those really easy books to read and enjoy. It has a lovely little Cornish village setting and some really interesting characters. Overall, it’s quite a gentle, undemanding sort of read and one which I found a real pleasure to pick up.
Nicola Smith 4/4
The Postcard by Fern Britton
HarperCollins 9780007562992 pbk Jun 2017
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