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Review: `The Operator' is fun story but at times falls flat

This book cover image released by William Morrow shows "The Operator" by Gretchen Berg. (William Morrow via AP)
March 10, 2020 - 5:22 AM

“The Operator," William Morrow, by Gretchen Berg

In Gretchen Berg’s debut novel, “The Operator,” Vivian Dalton is a telephone switchboard operator in small-town 1950s Ohio. While it’s against the rules to listen in on phone conversations, her love of gossip tends to get the better of her.

One day, Vivian listens in on a call between the neighbourhood snob and an unknown voice, and she hears a piece of gossip that could destroy her life. So, she embarks on a mission to find out the truth once and for all.

“The Operator” is a fun, light and intriguing story, although at times it falls a little flat. The characters lack some dynamism, which makes it difficult to become deeply invested in their fears, failures and triumphs.

The story also seemed to go on longer than it needed to, with the more exciting revelations ending up being sandwiched between what felt like unnecessary moments.

Still, there are several edge-of-your-seat moments where the story picks up, and Berg does succeed at making the reader want to keep turning the pages to find out Vivian’s big secret - as well as the consequences when all is revealed.

News from © The Associated Press, 2020
The Associated Press

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