Book Review: ‘The Operator: A Novel’ By Gretchen Berg

A delightful debut novel from author Gretchen Berg highlights this story. A small town in the early 50’s, with fun characters, humor, small town secrets and a few twists and turns along the way keep the reader engaged throughout the story. A really fun read.

The small town of Wooster, Ohio in the 50’s has the usual crop of residents. There’s the snooty upper-crust Betty Miller, who thinks she’s better than everyone and on top of the social ladder. Then there’s Vivian Dalton who is married to Edward with a teenage daughter named Charlotte. She works for the Bell telephone company as an operator who places the calls. She also listens in to them (as do the other operators). They tend to learn the town’s gossip this way.

But on this day Vivian hears Betty talking to someone and Betty gets a real juicy piece of gossip. And it’s about Vivian’s husband Edward. And It Is Big. Vivian is shocked by what she hears. It seems Edward has a secret past she never knew about. And Betty can’t wait to share it to bring down Vivian, who she never has liked. Now Vivian isn’t sure what to do about it. The days go along with the holidays coming up. Betty has decided what day she will leak it.

Vivian decides to be pro-active and she investigates this big secret and finds away to get in front of it before it’s too late. There’s also another story involving a bank embezzlement and two locals on the run. As that story plays out another smocking secret comes out in this small-town where no secrets can stay buried.

You can pick up The Operator in stores on Tuesday, March 10th from Morrow.

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