The Other Typist by Suzanne Rindell

other typistI’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.┬áIt’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.