1st Line/1st Paragraphs, Tuesday Intros: The Operator by Gretchen Berg

April 14, 2020

1st Line/1st Paragraphs, Tuesday Intros

I’m linking up this week with Socrates’ Book Reviews who hosts a meme every Tuesday to share the First Chapter/First Paragraph (Tuesday Intros) of the book you are currently reading.

First Chapter, First Paagraph, Tuesday Intros (image: stack of books)

I’m pleased to share the first paragraph of The Operator by Gretchen Berg.

Is this on your TBR or have you read it?

Amazon Summary:

“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. . . .”

The Operator by Gretchen Berg

The Operator by Gretchen Berg (cover) Image: an old fashioned rotary dial

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links

Genre/Categories: Women’s Historical Fiction, Light Mystery

1st Line/1st Paragraphs From Chapter One:

“Vivian Dalton’s worn old ankle boots crunched over the packed snow in front of Freedlander’s, the bright lights of the department store spilling right out onto the sidewalk and mixing with the glow of the streetlamps. Vivian gave a quick, polite wave of a gloved hand to Betty Miller, who’d caught her eye through the flocked glass of the main display window. Freedlander’s fancied itself right up for the holidays with the lights and the bells and whatever it was they put on the window to make it look like it snowed inside. 

Vivian had heard it called flocked glass but couldn’t tell you what flocked was. She might’ve guessed something to do with geese. Flock, flocked. Who knew? Vivian just knew she would’ve liked to be inside the bright store, on the other side of that flocked glass, herself, all nice and toasty, instead of out freezing her toes off walking to work in the boots that might as well’ve been made of Saran Wrap, for all the good they were doing.”

Because of ongoing social isolation (COVID-19) and after some heavier reads including American Dirt and Code Name Hélène, I’m specifically looking for something lighter this week. Although Amazon shows mixed reviews, I’ve noticed that a few of my blogging friends (see Davida’s review here) have enjoyed The Operator by Gretchen Berg and I’m eager to dive in! Heavily character-driven doesn’t always work for me, but I’m giving it a try because it sounds like it also has a bit of a plot. Have you read it?

***UPDATE: I decided to DNF this at 21%….just not the right book for me at this time.


Is The Operator on your TBR?

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  1. I love me a good mystery and this sounds nice! I haven’t seen a post like this before and I like it. Have a good day <3

    • I need to get back to you and share that I’ve just decided to DNF this at 20% 1. Too much offensive profanity taking God’s name in vain (personal preference) 2. Unlikeable characters 3 opposite of charming and Cozy! Not what expected.

      • Oh my, Carol! Thanks so much for letting me know. Glad I didn’t rush to order this one. Your No. 1 did it for me; I have the same preference for sure. No way!

      • I need to add a funny comment! I share a kindle account with my 93 yo mom and I try and alert her to books I don’t think she’d enjoy……but I forgot to alert her about Operator. Soooooo….last week she tells me about this great story she read…..that’s right, The Operator! I told her I DNF because of the language and she agreed that it was offensive but the story grabbed her and she really enjoyed it (her sister was a telephone operator) and she tried “not to look at the profanity.” I guess I’m a wimp! 😂😂😂

      • That’s great about your mother, Carol! I’ll let swearing go sometimes, but rarely taking the Lords name in vain. However, I can see where your mother might get a kick out of it because of her sister. Personally relating to a book definitely makes a difference.

    • Actually….I just set it aside! It didn’t meet my expectations for the lighter and quirkier read I was looking for! Others have loved it though!

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