This reading group guide for The Typewriter Girl includes an introduction, discussion questions, ideas for enhancing your book club, and a Q&A with author Alison Atlee. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.
Betsey Dobson is a typewriter girl, bound and determined to earn her own living in Victorian London, even if one can barely call it a living. When she’s offered a job as excursions manager at a seaside resort, Betsey seizes the chance for a better position and a different life. In order to succeed and realize her dreams of independence, Betsey must prove not only the worth of the project, but of herself. When Betsey’s friendship with John Jones, her boss, turns to something more, she must decide whether romance and ambition can coexist, and whether her fiercely sought independence is worth sacrificing. Topics & Questions for Discussion
1. What does the first scene of the novel reveal about Betsey’s character? How do her actions and attitude set her apart from the other typewriter girls? In what ways is she unconventional for a woman in the 1890s?
2. During her last night with Avery, Betsey wonders if “she wanted the wrong thing, this job that could end with th