Review: The Typewriter’s Tale – Michiel Heyns.

An odd thing happened here. I finished the book at the start of the week and have been so busy with work I barely had the time to do anything, and so the review has sat, milling around in my head for a few days, so I hope this does Monday’s thoughts justice.

This follows Freida, typist for celebrated author Henry James, in her day-to-day life as an undervalued employee, merely dictating words when he internally craves to craft them herself. That in itself makes for an interesting book, a wordsmith not being able to toy with words.

But this is mere preamble to an acquaintance of  James passing through and changing everything, moving Freida from being a mere part of an author’s writing process, to playing a central role in what could arguably be a plot in the very books dictated to her.

It’s an old-fashioned book (as would any good book set in the 1910s be), and it’s very slow in its pace for the most part, but it’s so interesting. Those interested in words and writing will likely find  Freida’s thoughts as she types in enjoyable, but as her life is slowly changed, and she thinks of the wider world and possibilities, it’s a book that proves entirely worth it as you wonder about people, correspondence and risk.

A different book, for me at least, but one that was really pleasing right up to the very last line.

[★★★★]
19th February 2016 | Freight Books
@heathermmcd

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