10th March 2020

It’s 1952. The switchboard operators in Wooster, Ohio, love nothing more than to eavesdrop on their neighbours’ conversations, and gossip about what they learn.

Vivian Dalton is no different (despite her teenage daughter’s disapproval), and always longs to hear something scandalous. But on the night of December 15th, she wishes she hadn’t. The secret that’s shared by a stranger on the line threatens to rip the rug of Vivian’s life from under her.

Vivian may be mortified, but she’s not going to take this lying down. She wants the truth, no matter how painful it may be. But one secret tends to lead to another . . .

This moving, heart-felt and ultimately uplifting novel brilliantly weaves together an irresistible portrayal of a town buzzing with scandal, and an unforgettable story of marriage, motherhood and the unbreakable ties of family.

Published by Headline on 10 March 2020, Contemporary Fiction, 352 pages

This is the story of Vivian, her family and some of the other people in her small town, where everyone knows everyone’s business especially since the women that work on the switch board listen into other peoples telephone conversations!

I enjoyed that there were lots of little stories woven in to the main characters tale and that these all connected in someway throughout.

This book really reminded me of an episode of revenge (you all remember that TV show from 2011 right, with Emily Thorne in?) just without the murders. I kept thinking I had it all figured out and then what I thought was going to happen over 100+ pages was revealed over the next 5 or 6 pages which then had me mystified as to where it was going and this happened several times throughout the book!

I did find this rather slow but by no means was it less enjoyable, it just wasn’t one that I wanted to sit and devour in one go.

Thanks to Random Things Blog Tours – Anne Carter & Headline

Gretchen Berg grew up in the US Midwest and now lives in Oregon. She has always been curious about history and family dynamics, and has a personal family tree of over 16,000 people. Her family research started with her own grandmother’s little brown notebook full of details, and it was the story of her grandmother – herself a switchboard operator in Wooster, Ohio, in the 1950’s – that inspired this book and partly provides an authenticity to the narrative.

THE OPERATOR is her astonishingly accomplished first novel with a vibrant narrative full of brilliantly portrayed characters, surprise plot twists, and a deftly handled exploration of the issues of class and race relations in 1950’s America.

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