We had an excellent meeting last night discussing The Other Typist by Suzanne Rindell.
I love this book group and noted that we will begin our 8th year together in 2015, as last night was our 7th anniversary. I remember that first meeting. I had been working with another book group at my library workplace for about 7 months at that time. Asked my manager if I could begin a second group and focus on mysteries, my favorite genre. She said yes and off I went. That first meeting had about 25 people attending and scared me to death! How would it work with that many people for discussion? Well, it turned out that not all returned for the second meeting. Don't recall the number, but it was more like 7 or 8 of us. We still have 2 members in the group, besides myself, that attended that first meeting! We're a good group and the attendance has fluctuated between 10 and 18 or so. It's a lot of fun. When I left the library job, I continued on for a while as the leader and then another library colleague took over. She moved away this last year and I have stepped back up to ramrod things. I love it and hope we continue for many years to come.
OK, last night was a cold night here in Central Texas. We had 12 members that attended and our discussion of the 1920's book, The Other Typist, was vigorous. Just a little info about the book.
Rose is a typist at a New York police precinct. She goes into the interview room with detectives and functions as a stenographer as they question and solicit confessions from individuals. The time is the 1920's and the book has speakeasies, Prohibition, bobbed hair, Gatsby-like rich people and estates, bootleggers and the Charleston. Rose is fascinated by the new typist that has been hired, Odalie, a mysterious woman who introduces her to an underground world Rose has only heard about in the interview room. And Odalie is really something else...odd, compelling, twisted.
Honestly, we didn't like this book all that much. There were parts that were intriguing, but it was not a traditional mystery by any means. A psychological study perhaps. The blurb on the front of one of the copies compared it to Gone Girl (really?). That was a clue for many members as our book group may be the only one in existence that did not love Gone Girl. (Ask me why if you'd like to know.) We talked a lot about the ending and debated what we thought about it. We talked about the two women, Rose and Odalie, and what some of their actions meant. We felt that it might have been better edited and also could have included more of the 1920's culture. We found one reference to someone being like "Lady Diana", which seemed an editing miss as Princess Di wasn't alive for quite a few more years. We did have a couple of members who liked it more than others. We had a couple who would have liked to throw it across the room. It was a fun debate and comment free-for-all. We gave it a thumbs-to-the-side, OK but not rushing to tell people about it, rating.
Next month, we will be discussing Louise Penny's new book, The Long Way Home. I can't wait!