On Sale: March 10, 2020
Hardcover / e-Book
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Women's Fiction Historical
A clever, surprising, and ultimately moving debut novel, set in a small Midwestern town in the early 1950s, about a nosy switchboard operator who overhears gossip involving her own family, and the unraveling that discovery sets into motion.
In a small town, everyone knows everyone else’s business . . .
Nobody knows the people of Wooster, Ohio, better than switchboard operator Vivian Dalton, and she’d be the first to tell you that. She calls it intuition. Her teenage daughter, Charlotte, calls it eavesdropping.
Vivian and the other women who work at Bell on East Liberty Street connect lines and lives. They aren’t supposed to listen in on conversations, but they do, and they all have opinions on what they hear—especially Vivian. She knows that Mrs. Butler’s ungrateful daughter, Maxine, still hasn’t thanked her mother for the quilt she made, and that Ginny Frazier turned down yet another invitation to go to the A&W with Clyde Walsh.
Then, one cold December night, Vivian listens in on a call between that snob Betty Miller and someone whose voice she can’t quite place and hears something shocking. Betty Miller’s mystery friend has news that, if true, will shatter Vivian’s tidy life in Wooster, humiliating her and making her the laughingstock of the town.
Vivian may be mortified, but she isn’t going to take this lying down. She’s going to get to the bottom of that rumor—get into it, get under it, poke around in the corners. Find every last bit. Vivian wants the truth, no matter how painful it may be.
But as Vivian is about to be reminded, in a small town like Wooster, one secret usually leads to another. . . .
13 comments posted.
Re: The Operator
my grandma had a party line back in the 60s and we used to
easedrop on everyone conversations
(Vickie Couturier 5:30am March 11)
hmmmm... . .. . .maybe . ....
(Martin Bodnar 6:27am March 11)
Depends on who was on the phone - some I don't think I would want to know...â€¦â€¦..
(Terry Kirgan 6:44am March 11)
I would not listen in on other's conversations.
(Caryl Kane 1:23pm March 11)
I would be tempted, but not sure if I would or not. I guess it would depend upon whether the evil genie sitting on my shoulder wins or not.
(Anna Speed 1:26pm March 11)
I'd like to say I would be above doing that, but ... I can't
say that I honestly wouldn't listen.
(Nancy Reynolds 3:39pm March 11)
If I had just cause, I might listen.
(Tracy Urschler 4:51pm March 11)
I don't think I would, but if something at the beginning is said then maybe.
(Cynthia St. Germain 6:33pm March 11)
(Melanie Rosen 9:59pm March 11)
We had a party line when I was growing up, so because it
was a shared line, of course, you could listen to other
conversations. When my dad became a Volunteer Fireman, we
got a private line and a special ring, so you knew it was
the fire department calling.
(Alyson Widen 12:02pm March 12)
Not sure I'd have the time or patience to listen in. Loved
(Liberty Ann Ireland 6:42am March 12)
We had a party line for several years when I was a child. I will
plead guilty to listening in a bit a few times when I picked up
the phone to make a call and someone was already on the line.
(Patricia Barraclough 1:04am March 14)
I'd pass on listening to others' conversations.
(Jana B 8:44pm March 14)
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