--Love Comes Calling, 92-93
Maybe this is too modern for a Hello Girl ~ definitely too out there to be unnoticed.
What opportune timing! Ellis is not doing so well at college and decides she is hopping a train to Hollywood instead of returning to the autumn session. However... she needs a little cash of her own to get her there. Not hopping a train as in boxcar, but needing to buy her ticket without her family money. Janie's mother, who had been the Eton family's cook, has passed away and Janie asks Ellis to fill in for her at the switchboard. How hard can that be? With Ellis's father being chairman of the board of the telephone company, she doubly has to be incognito. As children, she and Janie were always being mistaken for each other ~ a little blackening of eyebrows and they could still pass for each other.
"My board only has a hundred and twenty telephone numbers. They're all marked. If a call comes to you, then it has to be one of them."
"I'll return on Sunday. I'll meet you here when I get back into the city in case there's anything you need to tell me before I go back to work."And, our story begins...
Can you just imagine this girl ~
or this one??
As an operator B, connecting the calls, how hard can it be? Remembering to "sound" like Janie and keep a low profile, time will fly!
With her head in the skies, Ellis takes on this acting job with gusto. Except... with several calls coming to her board at once, she forgets to flip the switch after connecting two calls together, and unexpectedly overhears the conversation to injure her next-door neighbor, Griffin Phillips ~ and... she reprimanded them before leaving the line. A policeman comes calling to see what she remembers, as he was one part of that call coming through her board's telephone numbers. He proceeds to socially take her to a speakeasy where she runs into her previous college roommate, Irene. Overcome by expectations, Irene needs rescuing each time Ellis sees her. And, of course, ... Irene calls her Ellis instead of Janie, as Officer Jack Feeney knows her by. Quick thinking, she tells him they had been in a play together and that is what her role name was.
Love Comes Calling is a story set during Prohibition in the 1920s and the bending of the law ~ depending on who your contact was; mobs, corruption within the ranks of looking the other way, or consumption in the home or clubs ~ like Hernando's Hideaway ~ knock three times.
Ellis has her hands full with her new job and trying to keep Griff safe without telling him why she is coming back and forth between their homes at odd hours. Impulsive and uncertain at times, Ellis continues her pursuit in finding out the other caller's identity. Brave and caring, she stumbles naively into dangerous surroundings.
Siri Mitchell has written over a dozen novels, three of which were named Christy Award finalists. I have read eight of her books. As she is a varied interest author and I am a historical fiction genre reader, I look forward to her writings. As a business degree graduate of the University of Washington, she has worked in many levels of government, and lived on three continents. Siri and her family currently reside in the D.C. metro area. Learn more at sirimitchell.com about these stories of American heroines written in first person. Siri also writes under the pseudonym Iris Anthony, irisanthony.com, with these novels set in France, interweaving in earlier time periods, written with more character point of views. Here is an interesting interview with Siri on her different style writings ~ http://christianreads.blogspot.com/2014/04/author-interview-iris-anthony.html.