Friday, August 29, 2014

HFVBT: Alison Atlee's The Typewriter Girl -- Audio Book Review

My thoughts
I have mixed feelings about this book. While I really enjoyed the narration by noted narrator, Rosalyn Landor, I found some of the themes in this book to be lacking. For one thing, the main character, Betsey, is trying to make a new start in life, but her past comes back to haunt her. And what is that past? A man...a bad relationship. So what does she do? She gets involved with another man who "rescues her" from said man from the past. It's all very pat. And far be it for me to object to foul language when I have the mouth of a sailor, but I just could not get beside the constant use of the f-bomb. Did they really say it that much during the Victorian era? It just rang false to me. 

However, I'm not going to be completely negative in my review. Despite the false feel of the foul language, I do feel that the author captured the era very well. And I do believe that one does not have to be completely in love with the characters to like the book. I was a bit reminded of Michel Faber's Crimson Petal and the White. The characters in that book are not likable, yet it's a terrific book. But in Faber's book, we know why the characters are the way they are. We know what motivates them. In this book, the motivation behind the characters was not so obvious. 

I've seen mixed reviews about this book so I'm not going to say don't read it. You just might be one of the people that really likes it. 

About the book
Audible Audio Book Edition:
Release Date: April 4, 2014
Listening Length: 12 hours and 39 minutes
Publisher: Audible Studios
Language: English
Genre: Historical Fiction

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A Pub­lish­ers Weekly Best Books of the Year pick: The Type­writer Girl is a “spec­tac­u­lar debut, set in a per­fectly real­ized Vic­to­rian England.”

When Bet­sey Dob­son dis­em­barks from the Lon­don train in the sea­side resort of Idensea, all she owns is a small valise and a canary in a cage. After an attempt to forge a let­ter of ref­er­ence she knew would be denied her, Bet­sey has been fired from the typ­ing pool of her pre­vi­ous employer. Her vig­or­ous protest left one man wounded, another jilted, and her char­ac­ter per­ma­nently besmirched.

Now, with­out money or a ref­er­ence for a new job, the future looks even bleaker than the deba­cle she left behind her.

But her life is about to change … because a young Welsh­man on the rail­road quay, wait­ing for another woman, is the one finally will­ing to believe in her.

Mr. Jones is inept in mat­ters of love, but a genius at things mechan­i­cal. In Idensea, he has con­structed a glit­ter­ing pier that astounds the wealthy tourists. And in Bet­sey, he rec­og­nizes the ideal tour man­ager for the Idensea Pier & Plea­sure Build­ing Company.

After a life­time of guard­ing her secrets and break­ing the rules, Bet­sey becomes a force to be reck­oned with. Together, she and Mr. Jones must find a way for her to suc­ceed in a soci­ety that would reject her, and fig­ure the price of sur­ren­der­ing to the tides of love.

Praise for The Typewriter Girl

“Atlee’s out¬standing debut unflinchingly explores … the unforgiving man’s world of Victorian England.” –PUBLISHERS WEEKLY (starred review)

“Easily one of the most romantic books I’ll read all year … John and Betsey are compelling and worth rooting for.” –DEAR AUTHOR (a Recommended Read)

“Sweeps readers to a satisfying conclusion.” –LIBRARY JOURNAL

Buy the AudioBook
About the Author
Alison Atlee spent her childhood re-enacting Little Women and trying to fashion nineteenth century wardrobes for her Barbie dolls. Happily, these activities turned out to be good preparation for writing historical novels. She now lives in Kentucky. For more information please visit Alison Atlee's website. You can also connect with her on FacebookTwitterGoogle+Goodreads and Pinterest.

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A copy of this book was sent to me in exchange for an honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for providing it.


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  1. The jumping from one man to another to save her bit would be off-putting to me right off the bat so I'm not even sure I would pick this one up.

  2. Well, the cover and title definitely have me sold, but the plot? Maybe not so much. And while they did swear in Victorian times, I don't think f bombs would be going off all over the place, so that would probably distract me too. Hmm, this might be a "if I stumble across the audio version at the library" kind of read. :)

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