The Other Typist by Suzanne Rindell [Berkley/Penguin Books, April 2014]. Historical Fiction. Paperback. ISBN13: 9780241963746. 354 pg.
“Odalie understood it was sometimes your will to want to be tricked; she did not need you to affirm her world. She would create it with or without you. Instead, she invited you in ever so casually, and somehow—even when her lies were shabbily wrought—you would find yourself wanting to go in, if only out of an insatiable curiosity.”
Notes on a Scandal meets Single White Female. Rose grew up in a convent and lives an orderly life. She’s a typist with perfect accuracy and impressive speed at a New York Police Department precinct during prohibition in the 1920s. By her own description she’s a plain woman with a simple, quiet life. In walks the mysterious Odalie who completely charms Rose with her modernity and confidence. She possesses the beauty, style and lifestyle that Rose dreams about. Her new colleague introduces Rose to a speakeasy, they quickly become close friends–soon sharing an apartment and wardrobe. But who is Odalie really? Her backstory often mysteriously changes.
A dangerous secret threatens their friendship and comfortable existence as Rose falls further under Odalie’s spell. Is Odalie using Rose for her survival and to escape her sordid past? To give anything away would ruin the fantastic storytelling in this debut novel. It’s a masterful work of historical fiction. The setting and characters draw you in from page one.
[review reprinted from August 2013]
Berkley Trade Reprint has offered to send a reader with a valid U.S. Mailing address a copy of The Other Typist. To enter, please include your email address in the comment section and I will select one winner on April 14. I’ll email you for your mailing address. The publisher will then mail out a copy of the novel to you.