I’ll freely admit that I’d not heard the term “unreliable narrator” before- but when people speak of a book having “a great unreliable narrator” I was definitely curious. For those who are unsure exactly what an unreliable narrator is- according to Wikipedia it’s this: An unreliable narrator is a narrator, whether in literature, film, or theatre, whose credibility has been seriously compromised.
Meet Rose Baker. Prim and proper- she’s a woman who types men’s confessions at a NYPD office. Rose is living in New York in the 1920’s- a time that is confusing with women bobbing their hair, Prohibition and speakeasies. Women’s roles are ever-changing- and for Rose, a person who likes to know rules and procedures- this is hard to understand. One day, Odalie, walks into the NYPD for a job as a typist- and even though the reader will not understand at that point, Rose’s life will have changed. It’ll be up to the reader to decide if the change was positive or negative.
Odalie, a pretty and vivacious little thing, takes to the fact that women’s roles are changing- perhaps, even a bit too easy. As the reader begins to learn more about Odalie, more about Odalie’s and Rose’s friendship- it’s easy to see how someone could get caught up in the sparkle and glamour of Odalie. The friendship between the girls develops and Rose finds herself part of Odalie’s world- a world that is foreign and yet enticing.
The first couple of chapters, for me, were a bit hard to get into. I couldn’t quite decide what to think. But, as I began to read and find more details out (although one could never be sure if the details were true), I enjoyed the story more. By the last half, I was on pins and needles to find out what made Rose the “unreliable narrator”. By the end of the book, I felt completely drawn into the book, entertained, and ready to go to a speakeasy.
The Other Typist is a book you should read with friends. With book clubs. With someone who has a fondness for “unreliable narrators”. And, just in case you are curious- this is a perfect book to introduce a friend to the meaning of “unreliable narrator”.
Traveling With T’s thoughts:
Enjoyable. Interesting. 2 thumbs up. The Other Typist has all the makings of being a highly discussed book of 2013- perhaps even the most discussed book of 2013. Buy. Read. And see what all the fuss is about The Other Typist.
* This book was sent to me by Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam for consideration of recommending to a book club. The above thoughts and opinions are mine alone.