The stories of Frankie, Iris, and Emma come together during WWII. Frankie and Iris play major roles in Emma’s life though she doesn’t really know either of them. Iris is the postmaster of the small town where Emma moved after marrying her doctor husband. Frankie is a radio reporter filing stories on the war from London that Emma and the others living in Franklin listen to. Frankie and Emma’s worlds collide when a tragedy at work prompts Emma’s husband to flee to London under the guise of helping the war effort. He meets Frankie during an air raid; an event that changes a number of lives and leads to the undelivered mail of The Postmistress.
Frankie, Emma, and many of the minor characters were well developed, but Iris was kind of a mess. The Postmistress opens with Iris, at the age of 40, obtaining a virginity certificate. The post office she runs is described as always being in perfect order which is in contrast with others in the area that are marred by scraps of paper and discarded catalogs. All of this makes some of her later decisions to be highly out of character without good explanation.