Thursday, July 4, 2013

The Typewriter Girl by Alison Atlee

The Typewriter Girl by Alison Atlee is a wonderful feminist manifesto. I don't know if Atlee intended for it to be such when writing, but in my humble opinion, it demonstrates the strength and courage of a woman willing to work hard to take care of herself. However, within this power of determination, Atlee does not lose the sensual traits and dainty trends of being a woman.

Elizabeth Dobson is a typewriter girl in Victorian London. This is often the high achievement of employment for an unwed woman during this time, but this is simply not enough for Betsy Dobson. She wants more, and by use of her quick wit and cunning mind, she is willing to do what it takes to achieve more.  Risking everything, she uproots herself from all she knows in London to take a possible job in Idensea at the suggestion of Mr. Jones. She travels on only faith - really, only faith - in hopes that this new job will create a new life. Her struggles are many, her successes few, and her past infiltrates what could be her future, and yet Betsy perseveres. Like a true woman on a mission, the few moments she sees her place in the world give her the strength to keep moving on.

I enjoyed Atlee's portrayal of Betsy Dobson - it was honest, upfront, and sincere. I liked her as a character and enjoyed her sarcastic charm and sly disposition using her essence as a woman to get what she wanted. This isn't to say she used sex as a means to an end, but she did allow it to sway a man's head (or two). I did not find her promiscuous, though. I found her forthright. In fact, it was Mr. Jones's character that annoyed me from time to time - his inability to make decisions, to be painstakingly honest, to take risks. I suppose this juxtaposition of personalities created the perfect foil. Well played, Atlee.

Typewriter Girl appeals to the reader that enjoys history and romance, strength and passion, love and hate. It fuels the feminine spirit; ignites the feminine flame.

If you'd like to peruse the fashion that inspired Atlee's novel, visit her Pinterest page:

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