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The Operator: A Novel

The Operator: A Novel

Автором Gretchen Berg

Озвучено Allyson Ryan


The Operator: A Novel

Автором Gretchen Berg

Озвучено Allyson Ryan

оценки:
3.5/5 (23 оценки)
Длина:
10 hours
Издатель:
Издано:
Mar 10, 2020
ISBN:
9780062989031
Формат:
Аудиокнига

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Описание

"What if you could listen in on any phone conversation in town? With great humor and insight, The Operator by Gretchen Berg delivers a vivid look inside the heads and hearts of a group of housewives and pokes at the absurdities of 1950s America, a simpler time that was far from simple. Think 'The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel' in the suburbswith delicious turns of jealousy, infidelity, bigotry, and embezzlement thrown in for good measure. The Operator is irresistible!" (Kathryn Stockett, author of the New York Times bestselling novel The Help)

A clever, surprising, and ultimately moving debut novel, set in a small Midwestern town in the early 1950s, about a nosy switchboard operator who overhears gossip involving her own family, and the unraveling that discovery sets into motion.

In a small town, everyone knows everyone else's business . . .

Nobody knows the people of Wooster, Ohio, better than switchboard operator Vivian Dalton, and she'd be the first to tell you that. She calls it intuition. Her teenage daughter, Charlotte, calls it eavesdropping.

Vivian and the other women who work at Bell on East Liberty Street connect lines and lives. They aren't supposed to listen in on conversations, but they do, and they all have opinions on what they hear?especially Vivian. She knows that Mrs. Butler's ungrateful daughter, Maxine, still hasn't thanked her mother for the quilt she made, and that Ginny Frazier turned down yet another invitation to go to the A&W with Clyde Walsh.

Then, one cold December night, Vivian listens in on a call between that snob Betty Miller and someone whose voice she can't quite place and hears something shocking. Betty Miller's mystery friend has news that, if true, will shatter Vivian's tidy life in Wooster, humiliating her and making her the laughingstock of the town.

Vivian may be mortified, but she isn't going to take this lying down. She's going to get to the bottom of that rumor—get into it, get under it, poke around in the corners. Find every last bit. Vivian wants the truth, no matter how painful it may be.

But as Vivian is about to be reminded, in a small town like Wooster, one secret usually leads to another. . . .

Издатель:
Издано:
Mar 10, 2020
ISBN:
9780062989031
Формат:
Аудиокнига

Также доступно как...

Также доступно как книгеКниге


Об авторе

Gretchen Berg was born on the East Coast, raised in the Midwest, and spent a number of years in the Pacific Northwest. She has taught English in South Korea and in Northern Iraq and has traveled to all the other continents. A graduate of Iowa State University, she lives in Chicago, Illinois. The Operator is her first novel.

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3.3
23 оценки / 5 Обзоры
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Отзывы читателей

  • (4/5)
    I thoroughly enjoyed Gretchen Berg's debut novel.Broadly speaking, there are two timelines.The "past"begins in 1925 and familiarizes us with theMcGinity family, in particular three daughters, Vera, Vivian and Violet.Looking at them carefully, we see the stage is set for their futures.The "present" begins early Dec 1952 in Wooster Ohio and Bell telephone operator, Vivian Dalton eavesdrops and hears a piece of gossip that shakes the foundations of her simple life.The condescending Betty Miller is given a scandalous tidbit from a voice Vivian cannot place.If true, Vivian's personal and family life could be shattered.I found the characters as well as the settings easily visualized.There were many dimensions to the plot and all were successfully resolved....a fast moving, entertaining read....
  • (5/5)
    Operators listening in on conversations?It’s the 1950’s, and that could be done with a simple "number please." The operators could also disconnect a call too.What if you heard something in a conversation about you? Would you keep listening to conversations? Would you try to do something about what you heard?Vivian was devastated when she listened to a conversation and found out she was the topic of some gossip and gossip she wanted to keep under wraps even though she knew it would spread like wildfire.After hearing the gossip, Vivian tried to avoid everyone when she went out in case they would ask her any questions.What could it be that she was so worried about? The reader was kept in suspense for many chapters.There were other problems that the town thought were worth gossiping about too - and there was plenty of gossip to pass around. Secrets and gossip kept the small town of Wooster buzzing.THE OPERATOR is a light, comical, enjoyable read that should be enjoyed by readers of all genres. 5/5This book was given to me by the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
  • (2/5)
    I had been looking forward to reading The Operator, expecting something light, and quirky, perhaps with a bit of an edge, in a wholesome 1950’s small town setting. That’s not really what this is though. The Operator is satire, exploring the darker side of small town life that lurks beneath the veneer of respectability.I struggled with The Operator, in large part because I didn’t much care much for the characters. The residents of Wooster, Ohio, or at least those with whom we spend the most time, Vivian and Betty, are mainly unpleasant, perpetually unsatisfied, small-minded women whose flaws are their own undoing. Vivian’s lifelong habit of eavesdropping, which she indulges freely as a telephone operator, proves the old adage, “eavesdroppers never hear any good of themselves”, true. While Betty, a spiteful, snob is ripe to learn, “people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones”. Though I found the pacing a little slow and disjointed through the first half, the story has its moments as Vivian digs into the secrets being kept from her, exposing scandals far more serious than who has answered the door without makeup on, including premarital pregnancy, adultery, robbery, bigamy, and desertion.Of additional interest, the author’s note reveals the story is loosely based on her own grandmother’s life and as such some elements of the story are rooted in fact, including the misspelled recipes, poems, and a news article.I didn’t particularly enjoy The Operator, though I didn’t particularly dislike it either, it just wasn’t for me. It may be just what your looking for though.
  • (3/5)
    The Operator by Gretchen Berg is a lighthearted historical novel about gossip, eavesdropping and scandal. Vivian Dalton works as a telephone operator at Ohio Bell. She began eavesdropping on conversations at an earlier age and working at the telephone company allowed her to continue this hobby. Late one December evening, Vivian overhears a conversation between the hoity toity Betty Miller and a stranger. The stranger tells Betty a secret about Vivian’s family which, if it gets out, will embarrass Vivian. After getting over her anger, Vivian sets out to learn if the information is accurate. While the story plays out in the present, we get to learn about Vivian’s growing up years and her relationship with her family. We also learn about Betty Miller’s family and the robbery of the bank managed by Betty’s father, J. Ellis Reed. This side story does not make sense until the end of the book. I had a hard time getting into The Operator. The first chapter did not pull me in (it was a turn off). I found The Operator easier to read as I got further into the story. I also think I had trouble because it is hard to like the main character (or any of them for that matter). I felt the author captured the time period with the fashions, vehicles, the language, and events. I like how Gretchen Berg included Orson Welles’s “War of the Worlds’ Martian invasion broadcast. She captured the panic it created beautifully. I did feel The Operator was too long. It could have benefited from some judicious editing. This is Gretchen Berg’s debut novel which is loosely based on her grandmother (author’s note at end explains about newspaper articles and poems included). There are some recipes included in The Operator. The Operator is a blithe story about rampant rumormongering, endless eavesdropping, superior standards, and harmful hearsay.
  • (1/5)
    In 1950s Wooster, Ohio, two rivals, Vivian and Betty, are engaging in a game of gossipy one-upmanship that begins when Vivian, a switchboard operator for Dell, eavesdrops on one of Betty's phone calls. While Vivian is poor and Betty is rich, these antagonists have more in common than they think: they were both raised by overbearing, critical mothers and both have deep insecurities. The gossip showdown upends the delicate social structure of the town.Titanic shifts in small-town life ought to be intriguing. I was bored by these bored housewives, bored by the "shocking" revelations, and bemused by the abrupt insertions of recipes and snippets of nursery rhymes (which Vivian gets wrong). Betty is evil, and Vivian is a moron. Both are annoying. I had no sympathy with either of them, even though I assume that since Vivian is based on the author's grandmother, I was supposed to be rooting for her. All of the rest of the characters are completely flat. Descriptions of people and places are either absent or ineffective; I got no particular small town, warm-and-fuzzy vibe even though it was Christmas. I have no idea why Vivian's boots reappear over and over, crunching in the snow, or why her purchase of a hat is so significant. In one story line, the scene changes from Ohio to Canada to meet another completely dull set of characters. No spoilers, but the Canadian group had every imaginable reason to be interesting and they were not. At the very least, they might have been used as comic relief.The author seemed to be trying to decide whether she was writing a mystery, a cozy, chick lit, or literary fiction and managed to write none of the above.I received an advanced readers copy of this book from the publisher and was encouraged to write a review.