An irresistible, moving and uplifting novel about Viviane, a switchboard operator in a 1950s American town, whose discovery of a secret about her husband creates a ripple effect of consequences for Vivian, her family, and the whole community. The switchboard operators in Wooster, Ohio, love nothing more than to eavesdrop on their neighbours’ conversations, and gossip about what they learn. Vivian Dalton is no different, though she’s tired of hearing chats about quilting and makeup tips. She longs for something more exciting. But when she listens in on snobbish Betty Miller’s chat with a friend whose voice Viviane doesn’t recognise, she wishes she hadn’t. What Vivian hears rips the rug of her life out from under her, and sends her on a mission to find out whose that unfamiliar voice was, 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-breaking and often funny narrative, unexpected friendships, family tensions and a marriage shaped by secrets are brought brilliantly to life, in an utterly satisfying read from a brilliant new writer.
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