Book Talk: The Other Typist by Suzanne Rindell

Okay, I gotta come clean on this one: I’m not really sure what happened at the end. And, according to others who read it with me, I wasn’t the only one whose speculations drove her crazy.

But maybe that’s the point.

The Other Typist explores the seedy underground scene of corruption in New York City during Prohibition. Our narrator is Rose, a stiff, chaste orphan who works as a super-accurate typist at a police precinct. Her life changes dramatically when an additional typist is hired, the ever-glamorous Odalie. A bond forms between the polar-opposite women, and Rose slowly unravels the secrets Odalie keeps.

Odalie introduces Rose to the life beyond the police force’s radar; she dresses her up and drags her to speakeasies for long nights of drinking and dancing. At first, Rose protests, but her curiosity eventually takes hold; like anyone coming into his/her own, she finds herself influenced by her more worldly friend and her boundaries quickly begin to blur.

Spoiler alert.

As the novel continues, we watch Rose pick up Odalie’s affect. She is constantly consumed by what Odalie is thinking in each moment and she copies Odalie’s particular mannerisms, gradually morphing into a representation of her friend. Finally, the (d)evolution is complete. Rose has been corrupted – she and Odalie are one and the same.

By the end, the tension in the novel is palpable. Rose reveals that she’s writing from a mental hospital, for reasons she says come at the end of the book. I was on the edge of my seat, eager to figure out what the climax would be.

So here we go, I’m going to spoil it (this is your last chance!)…

SOMEBODY DIES.

That’s all I’m going to give you.

This book is for lovers of the Gatsby life and find themselves drawn to the allure of wealth and parties and sparkle and glamour and bobs.

Book: The Other Typist
Author:  Suzanne Rindell
Rating: ★★★
Type: Holy moly, what did I just read / Lovers of Gatsby and 1920s glamour.

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