The Operator by Gretchen Berg takes place in Wooster, Ohio in the early 1950s. It follows the story of Vivian Dalton, an operator who has a tendency to listen in on conversations as she connects them. When she overhears something that will change her world, there’s no turning back.
The town I call home wouldn’t be the town it is today if it weren’t for a telecommunications company that was founded here. A lot of the history I know about the town I learned from someone who used to work as the operator at the company. (Full disclosure: she swore she never listened in on conversations.) The photo featured on this post is taken at my local museum where the original switchboards are on display.
The dynamic of the Ohio town was so relatable and that made this book very enjoyable. I read it aloud with my partner and soon we found ourselves making references to the book, like when Ben emphasized that he “knew people.”
The characters in this book were so real to me and I typically always had someone I had in mind who reminded me of someone from my rural Arkansas town. This is definitely a book where you grab a cup of coffee and get cozy for a wholesome read. This is a story about a small-town family, the secrets they can harbor, the depths some people go to find out the truth, and the wide-spreading gossip of a small town.
A huge thank you to William Morrow for sending me a copy of this book. I would recommend this book if you enjoyed The Help or authors like Elizabeth Strout or Anne Tyler.