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Monday, August 18, 2014

Book Review: The Typewriter Girl by Alison Atlee


The Typewriter Girl by Alison Atlee
Unabridged, 12 hr. 39 min.
Audible Studios
Rosalyn Landor (Narrator)
April 4, 2014

Genre: Historical Fiction

Source: Received audiobook for review with tour with Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

“In Victorian London, there’s only so far an unmarried woman can go, and Betsey Dobson has relied on her wits and cunning to take herself as far as she can—to a position as a typewriter girl. But still, Betsey yearns for something more…so when she’s offered a position as the excursions manager at a seaside resort, she knows this is her chance for security, for independence, for an identity forged by her own work and not a man’s opinion. Underqualified for the job and on the wrong side of the aristocratic resort owner, Betsey struggles to prove herself and looks to the one person who can support her new venture: Mr. Jones, the ambitious Welshman building the resort’s pleasure fair. As she and Mr. Jones grow ever closer, Betsey begins to dream that she might finally have found her place in the world—but when her past returns to haunt her, she must fight for what she’s worked so hard…or risk losing everything.

This eloquent debut novel displays firm propriety barely restraining seething passion—a sizzling combination reminiscent of Downton Abbey.”

I am slightly ambivalent about this novel – there were some points in the novel that I really enjoyed it, and other times that frustrated me. It was and wasn’t what I expected. One of the things early on that frustrated me was the title. Betsey is only a “typewriter girl” for the first few pages of the novel. I expected that it would be a larger plot point, seeing as it is in the title. I have no problems with foul language in novels if it creates a deeper characterization or fits a situation – however, every time the f-word was used in this novel, it really made no sense at all, except to use it.

The characters were relatively well crafted. I found that I liked Mr. Jones’ story as it unfolded – I found that he was possibly the best written character and his dreams/desires/and hopes were well defined. I didn’t exactly love Betsey. She has a couple stellar moments, but the majority of the time I found her simply wishing and hoping for something better. I was ultimately (sort of) happy with the way the novel resolved itself, but I wasn’t so sure that was going to happen from the beginning.

I do love the cover though - the font used for the title is perfect for the title and the image is reminiscent of the feel of the novel.



The audiobook narration was relatively better than the story itself. Rosalyn Landor has narrated for some fantastic historical novels (including historical romance) and for some big name authors. I think that her narration did a lot to improve my appreciation of the novel. I think that if I were reading this in traditional book format, it would have taken me a lot longer to read it and I probably wouldn’t have enjoyed it as much.

This is Alison Atlee’s debut novel. You can visit Atlee’s website for additional information about the book.

Reviews of this book by other bloggers:

Here are some choices for purchasing the book: Amazon, B&N, RJ Julia (my fav indie bookstore).

atlee tour

You can follow along with the rest of the tour by visiting the HFVBT site or on Twitter with the following hashtag: #TypewriterGirlBlogTour

There is also a giveaway running tour-wide for some swag related to The Typewriter Girl.  The items include:

  • One copy of The Typewriter Girl (Audio Book or Print)
  • Set of earbuds in a cute typewriter print pouch
  • A Typewriter Girl Happily-Ever-After t-shirt (features last lines from famous novels)
  • A vintage style postcard “from” Idensea, the setting of The Typewriter Girl
  • A “dream wildly” ribbon bookmark with typewriter key charms

To enter, please complete the Rafflecopter giveaway form below. Giveaway is open to residents in the US, Canada, and the UK.

  • Giveaway ends at 11:59pm on August 29th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
  • Winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter on August 30th and notified via email (by tour organizer).
  • Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Copyright © 2014 by The Maiden’s Court


  1. So much written about this book, I am confused!

  2. This book' synopsis intrigued me, but I am now contemplating listening to the audiobook since I have been liking those more and more lately. I feel that an narrator can really make (or break) a novel. Thank for the review :)

    1. The narration made the novel just a little bit better. Enjoy!


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