The Typewriter Girl

Written by Alison Atlee
Review by Lauren Miller

Betsey Dobson is a vibrant, unconventional flower in a garden of hothouse heroines. The cover of this book, which depicts a demure-looking young woman gazing out over the pier, is misleading, however. Betsey is no shrinking violet. Her colorful mouth lends humor to her antics and misadventures and may shock some readers with the inclusion of some four-letter words in her vocabulary.

Betsey lives in the Victorian era, when women tried to marry young and marry well, and those who deviated from societal norms were looked upon with suspicion and distrust. If a woman could not rely on support from her family, she might have to curry favors or take a lover to survive. Although competent as a typewriter girl, Betsey is woefully underqualified when offered the opportunity to be an excursions manager at Idensea, an English seaside resort. She finds an unlikely ally in Mr. Jones, the resort’s builder. Betsey must risk it all to prove her value at the resort before her past becomes her undoing. If she succeeds, she will finally achieve the self-supporting lifestyle she desires.

Readers will love visiting the glorious setting of Idensea, with beautiful architecture and delightful excursions, like the Sultan’s Road, that could rival Blackpool or Brighton in its charm. The Typewriter Girl takes the reader to visit this small community on the brink of change and places within that idyllic setting the story of a remarkable young woman determined to forge her own destiny.