Review: The Operator by Gretchen Berg

Title: The Operator

Author: Gretchen Berg

Pages: 352 Pages

Publisher: Headline

The Blurb

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.


The Review

Small town sensibility is the subject of The Operator by Gretchen Berg. It is about how life was very different in the 1950s and how even being in a world without social media we are still fascinated by the gossip and lives of others.

The story centres on Vivian who works at the switchboard. Vivian is obsessed with being seen and being values in society but when she listens in to a switchboard phone call and finds out a secret that is about her Vivian begins to understand the adage be careful what you wish for. Her small town world is about to be completely rocked.

Whilst this is a fascinating look at the lives in a small town in America – one that demands social etiquette and rules – I did find the whole thing rather boring and slow placed, however, it is arguable that given the time frame things didn’t work at a speedy pace, it wouldn’t make sense to do so.

Either way, I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I wanted too. I think that the cover oversold the story which is a shame.

The Operator is an interesting read but it did not blow me away.

The Operator by Gretchen Berg is available now.

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