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Line By Line

By Jennifer Delamere


Since she was young, Alice McNeil has seen success as a telegrapher as the best use for her keen and curious mind. Years later, she has yet to regret her freedom and foregoing love and marriage, especially when she acquires a coveted position at an important trading firm. But when the company’s ambitious junior director returns to London, things begin to change in ways Alice could never have imagined.
For Douglas Shaw, years of hard work and ingenuity enabled him to escape a life of grinding poverty. He’s also determined to marry into high society—a step that will ensure he never returns to the conditions of his past.
He immediately earns Alice’s respect by judging her based on her skills and not her gender, and a fast camaraderie forms. However, when Alice accidentally angers a jealous coworker and his revenge threatens both their reputations, Alice and Douglas are forced to confront what is truly important in their lives. Will their growing bond give them the courage to see the future in a different light?

Book Takeaway:

"A man's heart devises his way, but the Lord directs his steps." (Prov. 16:9)

Why the author wrote this book:

My interest in the history of the telegraph began when I read a book called The Victorian Internet. The book detailed many of the ways the telegraph’s impact on the world in the nineteenth century was similar to the internet in the twenty-first. The world got smaller, news traveled faster, and businesses were completely altered. As with the internet, there were even scams and long-distance romances!
Almost from the beginning, telegraphy was an occupation pursued by women as well as men. It was work that both could do equally well. Sometimes they worked in separate departments, but more and more, men and women worked right alongside each other. It didn’t escape too many people at the time that this setup could easily give rise to workplace romances. That’s a fun fact that I’ll be pursuing in the Love Along the Wires series. With the busy pace, the inevitable conflicts with coworkers, and the vital importance of business machines, Victorian offices don’t seem so different from many today.


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