Rose Baker seals men’s fates. With a few strokes of the keys that sit before her, she can send a person away for life in prison. A typist in a New York City Police Department precinct, Rose is like a high priestess. Confessions are her job. It is 1923, and while she may hear every detail about shootings, knifings, and murders, as soon as she leaves the interrogation room she is once again the weaker sex, best suited for filing and making coffee.
This is a new era for women, and New York is a confusing place for Rose. Gone are the Victorian standards of what is acceptable. All around her women bob their hair, they smoke, they go to speakeasies. Yet prudish Rose is stuck in the fading light of yesteryear, searching for the nurturing companionship that eluded her childhood. When glamorous Odalie, a new girl, joins the typing pool, despite her best intentions Rose falls under Odalie’s spell.
As the two women navigate between the sparkling underworld of speakeasies by night and their work at the station by day, Rose is drawn fully into Odalie’s high-stakes world. And soon her fascination with Odalie turns into an obsession from which she may never recover.
©2013 Suzanne Rindell (P)2013 Penguin Audio
Science writer in America's heartland
This is an excellent book, and it's hard to review without giving spoilers. It's a story about how crafty people can lead a double life by playing others for fools. But, even more, it's a story about how truly crafty people can actually fool themselves about the double life they are already living.
Gretchen Moll adds something special to the narration, not just because she's good at giving personality to the different characters, male and female (and she is). The TV characters she plays in Life on Mars and Boardwalk Empire inform her reading here, but her performance is different enough to keep things interesting.
In short, it's a great book, well-narrated. I highly recommend it, especially for book clubs, where readers will have a lot to discuss afterwards!
Since taking my first creative writing class in 2008 the pleasure I used to get from reading has been greatly reduced. I notice things I never noticed before. That said, I think I rate books pretty generously. Anyone who actually manages to write a whole book and then get it published deserves an extra star.
Rose Baker is a typist in a New York police station during the Prohibition era. She's alone in the world and starved for human connection. When the beautiful Odalie befriends her, Rose begins to experience the life she craves, but disapproves of. Lots of great plot twists keep the action moving. I won't spoil the end, except to say that the ambiguous conclusion is surprisingly satisfying. I'll be interested to see what Rindell comes up with for her next novel.
I really enjoyed this one ! I loved the Gatsbyesque setting and the fascinating first-person narrator. And I especially LOVED the ending ! Soooo unusual. Excellent reading by Gretchen Mol. Her almost emotionless dictation suits the character.
A school administrator and avid reader and listener of books. At least an hour of every day is spent in the car, and that's where the bulk of my listening is done. I tend to listen to books on "faster" mode so I can get through more books!
The book started a little slow, but definitely picked up throughout, with a very interesting ending. Think "The Great Gatsby" meets "Gone Girl."
Interesting tale about 1920's Prohibition Era NYC. The story centers around two young women who work as typists in a police precinct. This was really intriguing novel that grabs your attention right from the start. Difficult to review since the book really should be read completely "blind" as the author intended. If you are planning on reading this one, do yourself a favor and don't read any reviews, etc. beyond what is written on the inside book jacket.
It took a while for me to really get into this story, but once it had sucked me in I was completely entranced. The narrator was excellent and her voice was perfect for the characters and time period.
This is an evocative, fast-moving book about two women, one innocent and starry-eyed, the other hard-bitten and amoral, and the relationship they develop. We are drawn into Odalie's net with Rose, and learn about her as Rose does. Rose, however, doesn't guess whom she is dealing with until it is too late for her. I imagine that she just didn't want to face facts, and neither did I.
Gretchen Mol is a terrific reader. I'll look for more books she narrates.
The set-up (and it's almost all set-up) is decent. But the ending made me feel that if it weren't for the excellent audio performance I would have completely wasted my time.
Gretchen Mol's terrific job is the only real reason to listen to this.
"Listening with my other ear"
The setting and the on the edge of your seat-because you THINK you know what is coming up, writing.
The Great Gatsby or the old detective dramas of the 60's. I would mention others but it would mess up the ending.
She did a fine job.
I wouldn't trust any of them. Maybe Rose just to interrogate he.
Some may not like or get the ending of this book, but you will be talking about and debating it for days after you are finished. Then, you will listen to it again. Bring on the movie is all I can say.
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