The Other Typist

If you’re anything like me and love the idea of a ritzy novel that harks back to the vintage era of the 1920s, then The Other Typist by Suzanne Rindell is probably for you. However, you may also be like me in that you’re not always sold on elusive, mind-boggling endings that leave you more confused than you were throughout the book (times infinity).

That was my experience with The Other Typist. I thought I had the ending all sorted out, until the final few sentences  completely threw me and left me questioning everything I (thought I) knew about the characters. Allow me to elaborate, old sports…

Rose is a typist for a police precinct in the Lower East Side in New York, during the height of the prohibition. After spending her childhood as an orphan, Rose lives a rather plain and boring existence as an unmarried twenty-something. Enter Odalie, new girl at the precinct. As captivating and enchanting as she looks, Odalie’s mysterious demeanour eludes to a mish-mashed history that nobody in the office can decipher – especially Rose. Rose’s inherent curiosity with Odalie leads to an obsessive, possessive friendship which sees Odalie’s rich lifestyle spinning them both through glittering underground speakeasies laced with bathtub gin and sparkling jewels. Throughout their journey together, we learn that Odalie and Rose aren’t exactly as they seem… and who are they, really?

Beautifully written (despite a little too much foreshadowing for my taste), Suzanne Rindell creates a vacuum of prose, drawing the reader into a toxic, heady vortex and following the rather unlikeable characters through an era that glittered and enticed deliciously. That said,  I’m not sure there was enough character development throughout the story to support (nor warrant) the cryptic conclusion that was to be. Perhaps you should give it a  read and let us know what you think below. It is definitely worth the read.

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