Title: The Typewriter Girl
Author: Alison Atlee
Publisher: Audible Studios
Acquired Via: Historical Fiction Blog Tours
Audible Release Date: April 4, 2014
ALL BETSEY DOBSON HAS EVER ASKED IS THE CHANCE TO BE VIEWED ON HER OWN MERITS, BUT IN A MAN'S WORLD, THAT IS THE UNFORGIVABLE SIN
When Betsey 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 attempting 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 her promised job, the future looks even bleaker than the debacle behind her. But her life is about to change. . . Because a young Welshman on the railroad quay, waiting for another woman, is the one man 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. Now she faces a challenge of another sort: not only to outrun her sins, but also to surrender to the reckless tides of love ...
I jumped at the chance to review The Typewriter Girl when it was presented because I've not done a lot of blog tours for audiobooks. (They're my favorite way to sneak in my personal reading choices.) I was also drawn to these two words: "Victorian England". I haven't read a lot of books set in that time period, but most of what I have read revolves around royalty. Or were written by Marion Chesney, but that's neither here nor there. So I took on The Typewriter Girl to expand my reading horizons from the comfort of my car.
I would almost say that I was surprised by the book, but I didn't know what to expect. When I read historical novels from the Victorian period, it doesn't focus on the social imbalance that was so pervasive at that time. I'm an escapist reader, so I don't gravitate toward books that make me think. The Typewriter Girl really brings the social inequity between women and men to the forefront. Betsey has to work her ass off to barely make ends meet because her job is seen by her employers as an outlet for her to snag a husband, not to really support herself. And being as Betsey is not a virgin, she is considered "ruined" and has nearly no options. At her job, it is rumored that she had an affair with a man where she went to school, so that made sexual harrassment okay. I'm almost ashamed of myself for taking the time period and society that I live in for granted because I most certainly am a ruined woman myself.
The fact that The Typewriter Girl made me think and remember how far humanity has come (in certain parts of the world), but that didn't really help me like the characters. Betsey was spunky and a bit of a bitch, but I never really rooted for her. I always expected myself to suddenly feel something for her other than sympathy for living in that time, but it never came. John Jones was a self-made man (and the love interest, of course), but he really wasn't much better than some of the other men in the novel. He never realized his sexual attraction to Betsey until he found out about her past. None of the secondary characters jumped out at me either, and I didn't cry when one of them died.
I will say that I was surprised when I found out that Idensea was not a real place. As events in The Typewriter Girl unfolded, I wanted to do some research on the town and the pier company. I was nothing short of flabbergasted to see that every search for "Idensea" sent me back to reviews or blog posts about The Typewriter Girl. I applaud Atlee with her world-building because I never would have guessed. I mean, I'm sure she based it on some real places and events, but I was fooled.
I'm sure I would have enjoyed The Typewriter Girl a great deal more if I would have had more feelings for the characters, but I am appreciative of the insight that I was given to that time period. If you're a lover of things historical dealing with the poor and middle class, you should give The Typewriter Girl a try.
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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.
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Blog Tour Schedule
Review at Peeking Between the Pages (Audio Book)
Book Blast at Mina’s Bookshelf
Book Blast at Princess of Eboli
Book Blast at Literary Chanteuse
Book Blast at What Is That Book About
Tuesday, August 5
Review at A Bibliotaph’s Reviews (Print)
Book Blast at So Many Books, So Little Time
Wednesday, August 6
Book Blast at Let Them Read Books
Thursday, August 7
Book Blast at Mari Reads
Book Blast at Book Lovers Paradise
Friday, August 8
Book Blast at Book Blast Central
Saturday, August 9
Book Blast at Caroline Wilson Writes
Sunday, August 10
Book Blast at Book Nerd
Monday, August 11
Review at Just One More Chapter (Audio Book)
Book Blast at Gobs and Gobs of Books
Tuesday, August 12
Book Blast at Queen of All She Reads
Wednesday, August 13
Review at Historical Tapestry (Audio Book)
Book Blast at The Lit Bitch
Book Blast at CelticLady’s Reviews
Thursday, August 14
Review at A Bookish Affair (Print)
Guest Post at Historical Tapestry
Friday, August 15
Review at Brooke Blogs (Audio Book)
Guest Post at A Bookish Affair
Saturday, August 16
Book Blast at Broken Teepee
Sunday, August 17
Interview at Closed the Cover
Monday, August 18
Review at The Maiden’s Court (Audio Book)
Tuesday, August 19
Book Blast at Layered Pages
Book Blast at Always with a Book
Wednesday, August 20
Book Blast at Literary, Etc.
Thursday, August 21
Review at Books in the Burbs (Print)
Book Blast at Bibliotica
Friday, August 22
Review at Bibliophilia, Please (Audio Book)
Saturday, August 23
Book Blast at Reading Lark
Book Blast at Ageless Pages Reviews
Sunday, August 24
Book Blast at Passages to the Past
Monday, August 25
Review at Flashlight Commentary (Audio Book)
Book Blast at Historical Fiction Connection
Tuesday, August 26
Interview at Flashlight Commentary
Wednesday, August 27
Book Blast at Susan Heim on Writing
Thursday, August 28
Review at Luxury Reading (Print)
Review at The True Book Addict (Audio Book)
Review at Jorie Loves a Story (Print)
Friday, August 29
Interview at Jorie Loves a Story
Enter to win the following:
- One copy of The Typewriter Girl (Audio Book or Print)
- Set of earbuds in a cute typewriter print pouch
- A Typewriter Girl Happily-Ever-After t-shirt (features last lines from famous novels)
- A vintage style postcard "from" Idensea, the setting of The Typewriter Girl
- A "dream wildly" ribbon bookmark with typewriter key charms
To enter, please complete the Rafflecopter giveaway form below. Giveaway is open to residents in the US, Canada, and the UK.
- Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm on August 29th. You by must be 18 or older to enter.
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To satisfy FTC guidelines, I am disclosing That I received an advance digital copy of the novel from the publisher thru Historical Fiction Blog Tours in exchange for an unbiased review. It has in no way affected the outcome. All expressed opinions are awesome, honest, and courtesy of me.