Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Other Typist by Suzanne Rindell

Rose Baker is a young woman in the typing pool of the New York City Police Department during Prohibition. She is plain, quiet and prudish about life.  However, she is also lonely. So when Odalie, a glamorous flapper with bobbed hair and expensive clothes and jewelry, joins the clerical staff and reaches out to Rose for friendship, Rose is intrigued. Like a moth to a flame, Rose is drawn into Odalie’s dangerous life, becoming her roommate, sharing her clothing and jewelry, accompanying her to speakeasies and parties and running spurious errands on her behalf.  Odalie is mysterious, with more than one version of where she and her wealth came from: perhaps prostitution, bootlegging or a family inheritance.  Whatever the source, she lives well and is generous in sharing her comfortable life with Rose. But she also exacts payment for her generosity, expecting Rose to blindly do her bidding. And Rose, having been drawn in by Odalie and unable to return to her old life, cannot deny her.  How much will Odalie ask of Rose? How far will Rose be willing to go on Odalie’s behalf? Tension builds throughout the entire book and these questions are not answered until the last page.