The Operator Blog Tour

t’s 1952. The switchboard operators in Wooster, Ohio, love nothing more than to snoop 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 more outrageous than the monotonous discussions about quilting and makeup tips.
But on the night of December 15th, she wishes she hadn’t listened in on Betty Miller’s call with an unknown stranger because what Vivian hears rips the rug of her life out from under her. Vivian may be mortified, but she’s determined to find out who the unfamiliar voice belongs to, and why they are trying to ruin her life. And the thing about small towns is, one secret tends to lead to another …
THE OPERATOR vividly captures small town dynamics as it takes us down Vivian’s rocky path towards reinvention and compassion. In this moving, heart-felt and uplifting narrative, unexpected friendships, family tensions and a marriage shaped by secrets are brought brilliantly to life, in an utterly satisfying read from a dazzling new writer.
Perfect for readers of Kathryn Stockett’s The Help, Sue Monk Kidd’s The Secret Life of Bees and Anne Tyler’s Clock Dance.

 

The Operator, Gretchen Berg, Laurie Frankel    The Operator, Gretchen Berg, Kathryn Stockett

 

When you love a book, you just want everyone you’ve ever met to rush out and read it too. That’s definitely the case with The Operator and I can’t wait for my sister to finish it so we can have a long lazy afternoon together enjoying a lengthy chat about this gorgeous, gossipy and captivating read.

Its the perfect antidote to these difficult times and it’s a tonic to lose yourself in its perfect portrait of a small town where everyone knows each other’s business and feel like you are one of its inhabitants.

It’s such a skilful blend of amazingly vivid characters and a zip along plot that plunges you straight into the middle of their lives that you won’t be able to put it down. I totally fell for Betty & Vivian and by the end of the book I felt like I’d become part of their world too.

If you love a period read that allows you to inhabit its landscape and live that era inside its pages then this is the perfect read to dive into and forget all about everything that’s going on in the world. It’s a moving read too,  as we see these characters journey through pitfalls to make some realisations about themselves and what us important in life and their realistic and perceptive portrayal will strike many chords – time has changed perhaps, but human nature certainly hasn’t…

This is a book that would be absolutely perfect for your next reading group meeting – even if now that meeting’s going to be online as there is plenty to talk about and you’ll have strong opinions about these characters and the adventures they get up to across these pages. If you loved The Help, then this is right up your street and I can’t wait for this too to be optioned for a movie – I’m already thinking about who to cast as Vivian and Berry and think it’d absolutely be a feel good smash hit!

Thanks so much for inviting me onto the Blog tour and if you liked the sound of The Operator, then buy yourself a copy here and read it as a tonic over these difficult days ahead…

 

‘Just finished THE OPERATOR in an unstoppable rush and it was every bit as glorious, gossipy, delicious and perfect as I’d hoped. Absolutely heaven!’, Jill Mansell

‘What if you could listen in on any phone conversation in town? With great humor and insight, The Operator by Gretchen Berg delivers a vivid look inside the heads and hearts of a group of housewives and pokes at the absurdities of 1950s America, a simpler time that was far from simple. Think The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel in the suburbs with delicious turns of jealousy, infidelity, bigotry, and embezzlement thrown in for good measure. The Operator is irresistible!’, Kathryn Stockett

‘Funny, sweet, secretive, and full of fascinating 1930s, 40s, and 50s period details, The Operator is a poignant look at life in a small town with its nosy neighbors, thorny families, imperfect romances, scandalous pasts, and gratifyingly just deserts. Nothing is as simple – nor as dreadful – as it seems’, Laurie Frankel

‘Funny and fast-paced, this intriguing tale of loose lips sinking relationships will make you wistful for days gone by’ , Heat

Writer On The Shelf

 

Gretchen Berg grew up in the US Midwest and now lives in Oregon. She has always been curious about history and family dynamics, and has a personal family tree of over 16,000 people. Her family research started with her own grandmother’s little brown notebook full of details, and it was the story of her grandmother – herself a switchboard operator in Wooster, Ohio, in the 1950’s – that inspired this book and partly provides an authenticity to the narrative.

THE OPERATOR is her astonishingly accomplished first novel with a vibrant narrative full of brilliantly portrayed characters, surprise plot twists, and a deftly handled exploration of the issues of class and race relations in 1950’s America.

Writer On The Shelf

 

Gretchen Berg grew up in the US Midwest and now lives in Oregon. She has always been curious about history and family dynamics, and has a personal family tree of over 16,000 people. Her family research started with her own grandmother’s little brown notebook full of details, and it was the story of her grandmother – herself a switchboard operator in Wooster, Ohio, in the 1950’s – that inspired this book and partly provides an authenticity to the narrative.

THE OPERATOR is her astonishingly accomplished first novel with a vibrant narrative full of brilliantly portrayed characters, surprise plot twists, and a deftly handled exploration of the issues of class and race relations in 1950’s America.

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