A Month of Faves: The Other Typist {Let’s Discuss The Ending}

a month of favorites event GirlXoxo

Hello! And welcome to week 2 of #amonthoffaves! Girlxoxo and Estella’s Revenge and I are so excited you all are back and ready to go! Today, there will be a  link-up at Girlxoxo for a Book Review or Discussion from your fave genre or author!

Today, we’ll be discussing a book that has been on my mind lately thanks to the fab Rebecca @ Love At First Book and Catherine @ The Gilmore Guide to Books.

And the book is……………………………

THE OTHER TYPIST by Suzanne Rindell

 

So, I read THE OTHER TYPIST back in 2013- right before it was released. And during that time- there were many rumblings of the “unreliable narrator”. Not having had heard the term- I looked it up- and became intrigued by the term:

An unreliable narrator is a narrator, whether in literature, film, or theatre, whose credibility has been seriously compromised. The term was coined in 1961 by Wayne C. Booth in The Rhetoric of Fiction. ~ definition courtesy of Wikipedia.

This fits Rose to a T!

So what is THE OTHER TYPIST about?

Here is the summary from Goodreads:

New York City, 1924: the height of Prohibition and the whole city swims in bathtub gin.

Rose Baker is an orphaned young woman working for her bread as a typist in a police precinct on the lower East Side. Every day Rose transcribes the confessions of the gangsters and murderers that pass through the precinct. While she may disapprove of the details, she prides herself on typing up the goriest of crimes without batting an eyelid.

But when the captivating Odalie begins work at the precinct Rose finds herself falling under the new typist’s spell. As do her bosses, the buttoned up Lieutenant Detective and the fatherly Sergeant. As the two girls’ friendship blossoms and they flit between the sparkling underworld of speakeasies by night, and their work at the precinct by day, it is not long before Rose’s fascination for her new colleague turns to obsession.

But just who is the real Odalie, and how far will Rose go to find out?

So INTRIGUING, right?

Honestly, the first almost 100 pages are just ok. I was just kind of “ehh”. But then I really got into it. The story picked up. Then, everything I thought I knew about the book just blew up in my face.

Hold on folks- here’s the spoilers:

*Note: These are excerpts from the convo that I have been having with first Rebecca, then we added Catherine in after she finished the book. And because Rebecca is made of fabulous- she named the convo on Facebook: “WHAT is the ending to this book?”

Argh! This is so hard to discuss- b/c each time I think I find proof- I get more confused. Ok- so Ginerva/Rose/Odalie are the same person. Ginerva is the actual person. Odalie is 1 personality. And Rose is the other- the unreliable narrator. I think what we have to consider is that it’s Rose telling us the story from the psych house- and so all those times that someone saw Odalie- that is Rose just recounting a vision or delusion.
Here is a quote I found:
“I have since, of course, replayed the narrative Teddy told me that day several times in my head. It remains to be seen whether I’ve become its most accurate transmitter or its greatest distorter- but I will paraphrase to best of my abilities.” (pg 243)
Next quote:
“By the time I got close enough to catch a glimpse of Teddy’s body sprawled out in a broken posture upon gray impassive concrete of the sidewalk, it was as if I had already seen it all before. “(pg 319)
Could Rose by Delusional? And Odalie framing her? Yes. I think that theory holds some water as well. But I still think the multiple personality one holds more- and that the story is being told through Rose’s eyes.
—————————————–
Then a later excerpt from the convo:
All through the book, up till the LAST section- I took Odalie/Ginerva to be the same person and Rose to be the one “they” framed. But then the last line- when Rose talks about seeing Teddy’s body- well, that made me think they were all the same person. B/c even when she is being Ginerva in the psych unit- I thought they could have framed her. Basically, I just WANT TO KNOW. One way or the other- just know absolutely 100% what the author meant by the ending. I like ambiguity up to a point- but then I want to have an answer at some point y’know?
—————————————–
Have you read THE OTHER TYPIST? Do you have any theories? Can someone HELP ME? I need to know the ending and it’s meaning.
And Suzanne Rindell- if you happen to be reading this- help a gal out. Just give me a wink if I’m on the right path.
Happy Reading and Bookishly Yours,
T @ Traveling With T
T Traveling With T pic sign off
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16 thoughts on “A Month of Faves: The Other Typist {Let’s Discuss The Ending}

  1. Melissa says:

    Wow, sounds like an intriguing book. Honestly, I don’t have the attention span right now for anything over 100 pages but I will put this on my must read list.

    On another note, do you have a book suggestion for a 21 yr old girl.

    • You def need to have the attention span happening for this book!

      Hmm,, when I was 21 I was really into chick lit (think The Devil Wears Prada, Confessions of a Shopaholic) I also had started reading Sue Grafton (mystery) books and Janet Evanovich at that time. I would look into Sophie Kinsella (Confessions of a Shopaholic) and see if that sounds good for the 21 year old.

      • Melissa says:

        Interesting suggestions. We loved the movie, so I’m sure the book is good too. She liked the Harry Potter series, Hunger Game series, Twilight of course. I think we might even have some Sue Grafton. Thanks!

  2. I’ve read it; have no other theories than the ones exposed and I’ve been frustrated by the whole book. I’ve been very disappointed by it: I had read such great reviews! And according to me, the book doesn’t deserve all the hype around it (it’s my biggest disappointment of 2014 and not solely because of the end). Since this read, I can no longer bear unreliable narrators :S

    • Ahh! That’s so interesting- I haven’t heard too many negative reviews.
      So at first I was kind of MEH about the book- but then I really got to enjoying it, then the last line was a WOWZA to me. But the more I think about it- I need to know the ending. Was it multiple personalities? Was it something else? I just want to know.

      I recently read The Silent Sister and wondered if she was going to be a bit of an unreliable narrator at first (but no that is not how it panned out).

      I’m not anti unreliable narrators- but I’m not all wowed by them either!

    • lol! I had really never heard the term before The Other Typist! I liked it- BUT the ending is driving me crazy. Like I just want to know!

      **Bane of my reading existence** wins the internet today 🙂 LOVE it!

  3. I guess I have to go with the split personality thing, but like Flo, I ended up not caring enough to think about it too much. Although, it certainly is frustrating to be left completely in the dark. Completely. What is this, one of those “write your own ending” that my third graders like to read? And, it’s not even Japanese! 😉

    • I love your and Flo’s thoughts on this book! I liked it. I did. But, the more I think about it- the more the ending bothers me. Like it was good. It had shock factor. But it leaves too many unanswered questions. And that’s annoying me. And, ooh, if Japanese writers do shock you- I might need to check one out!

  4. Suzy says:

    I also couldn’t get into the first 100 pages, but after that, I couldn’t stop reading. I loved this book and the ending was WTF? I don’t know if I ever thought multiple personalities. I always thought Odalie was a real person. Was I delusional? I can’t wait till the movie gets made so MAYBE we can get some answers. Has anyone tried to fit in touch with Suzanne Rindell and just ask her?

  5. My head still hurts from our discussions about this book! 🙂 And I did read an interview with Rindell and she was a bit too coy about the whole thing- basically said she likes it that the readers have their own interpretations- which kind of fits into my belief that she got in a bit over her head and kept the ending deliberately ambiguous.

    As for me, I love an unreliable narrator! A book that messes with my head distracts me from my own noise!

    • Right?! I mean we discussed that ending till I was just about ready to cry and beg her to “TELL US. Just tell us. Let us know!”

      At first, because I took that she had the ending planned and everything- I was all “wow!” BUT after reading the interview you posted a link to and the fact that she’s not really “resolved” the ending- kind of makes me a bit suspect about her intent about the ambiguous ending. I like a bit of ambiguity- but…….

      Speaking of unreliable narrators, Bittersweet might be something to check out. She’s got a bit of an unreliable narrator-ish feel.

      • I’ll add it to my list! Two others I read this year that really messed with my head were The Headmaster’s Wife and How to Be a Good Wife. Both take the unreliable narrator to a new level!

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