Jazz Age January: The Other Typist

January 23, 2014 Historical Fiction, Psychological, Roaring 20s 34

You know what’s the bee’s knees, Bookworms?

The Roaring 20s! I had such a great time reading The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty (my review) that I thought I’d participate in Jazz Age January (put on by the very cat’s pajamas, Leah at Books Speak Volumes) again and tackle The Other Typist by Suzanne Rindell. What can I say? When the giggle juice is flowing freely in the speakeasy, I get a little carried away.

jazzageThe Other Typist begins with  young woman named Rose telling the story of her life. She grew up in an orphanage, but thanks to some enterprising nuns championing her cause, she was able to attend good schools and soon secures a position as a typist in a New York City police precinct. Unaccustomed to wealth and privilege, Rose is quickly enthralled by the glamour of the newest typist at the precinct, Odalie Lazare.

Odalie is a force of nature, sweeping through the city and dabbling in moonshine and bootlegging. She is the quintessential flapper, from bared knees to bobbed hair. Odalie invites Rose to move from a modest boarding house and into her swank digs. Rose accepts her offer and is drawn deeper into Odalie’s luxurious, freewheeling, and potentially dangerous lifestyle. As often happens in these sort of arrangements, things begin to get complicated…theothertypist

Odalie may not be all she appears to be. Then again, perhaps Rose isn’t either. When I picked up The Other Typist, I was expecting some charming historical fiction, and the slow drift into psychological drama territory caught me by surprise. The ending left me reeling (and frankly, kind of confused…) If you like to dabble in madness and bathtub gin, The Other Typist may just be your new best friend.

Bookworms, I simply must know. If you lived during Prohibition, do you think you’d have partaken in a little tippling under the table? Who among you would’ve hit up the speakeasy? (I probably wouldn’t have turned my nose up at a good sidecar, I can tell you that much… )

*If you make a purchase through a link in this post, I’ll receive a small commission… Which will probably go toward the purchase of some cocktails, to celebrate the legality of it and all.*

34 Responses to “Jazz Age January: The Other Typist”

  1. Tanya

    Hmmm, I’m looking for something a little different to read for Jazz Age January and The Other Typist might be just what I’m looking for. I think i need a little thriller in my life right about now.
    And, yes, i would slip into a speak easy. And I like to mix myself an appropriate cocktail while i’m reading these Jazz Age beauties.

  2. Ashley F

    I have to admit, I’m not a lover of the whole 20s, Jazz era thing. I know you loved Gatsby but that is probably the least favorite book I read in High School.

  3. Heather @ Capricious Reader

    OMG I LOVE THE JAZZ AGE!!! That’s how Andi talked me into reading The Diviners (thank goodness, I was finally able to get into it) and I’m loving all the flapper stuff! I didn’t realize The Other Typist was set in that time period. I have the audio! I will have to listen! Soon! I like endings that leave me reeling (in a GOOD way) which has me all intrigued.

  4. Megan M.

    I’m not really into drinking so Prohibition wouldn’t have affected me like, at all. I don’t think the Jazz Age is for me because I can’t pull off a super short bob either. I do have this fantasy of running a traveling Jazz Age-themed bar out of a food truck (is that even legal?) and calling it The Sidecar though. Nobody steal that.

  5. Elena

    I don’t think I would have taken part in any illegal activities regarding alcohol, but if it were books, well… yes!

    Do you see Keira Knightley as either of the women? I just don’t.

  6. Leah @ Books Speak Volumes

    Weee, great post! It’s totally the cat’s pajamas. The Other Typist sounds like a great ’20s read… even if the psychological stuff was unexpected.

    I’m not sure if I would have been a flapper in the ’20s, but I have been obsessed with flapper style lately; Tom is under firm instructions not to let me near the glamorous Gatsby/Downton-inspired jewelry at Target anymore 😛

    Thanks for sharing this for Jazz Age January!

  7. Allison @ The Book Wheel

    Hooray for madness! I’ve had this on my shelf for a while and really want to get around to it. As for whether I’d break the rules during the Prohibition, I just don’t know! The current me wants to say no because I’m a rule follower, but then again, age 20 might have been different 😉

  8. Jennine G.

    I went to buy this at B&N yesterday and they didn’t have any copies. I was going to meet the author Saturday, but looks like I’ll miss her morning showing due to snow. I’m going to have to leave later than planned 🙁

  9. Melinda

    You make me want to read this one too, I’m a sucker for the 20’s, as you might already know 😛 It’s too bad I am not participating in Jazz Age January!

  10. Jennifer

    This one has been on my list for awhile now — and I was planing on reading it last month but just didn’t get to it. Great review though!

  11. Megan

    Since you have yet to steer me wrong with a book recommendation, I brought THE OTHER TYPIST with me on our beach vacation .. and proceeded to plow through in within 2 days … finally finishing it late, in the middle of the night.

    I had to come back to your review to make sure I wasn’t missing something. I was confused and agitated and intrigued with the ending. But after mulling it over (and reading a few online interviews with the author) I decided this book is AWESOME. It’s one of those books, though, where you have to read it a few times in order to fully grasp everything.

    I have never read a book with an unreliable narrator before. In conclusion, this book messes with your head.

    • Words For Worms

      Gah, I had a different reaction to the ending! I was like wait, WHAT?! I hit Goodreads immediately and got no clear answer so made up my own. I got a little cranky that my head was messed with, but the cranky set in rather later than I would have expected.

      • Megan

        You’re hysterical. But I think you did what the author wanted: come to a conclusion on your own. I’m not sure if there IS a concrete answer to what happened. It’s kind of like “make up your own ending.”

Talk to me, Bookworms!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.