From the #1 New York Times-bestselling author of The Lincoln Highway and A Gentleman in Moscow, a “sharply stylish” (Boston Globe) book about a young woman in post-Depression era New York who suddenly finds herself thrust into high society—now with over one million readers worldwide
On the last night of 1937, twenty-five-year-old Katey Kontent is in a second-rate Greenwich Village jazz bar when Tinker Grey, a handsome banker, happens to sit down at the neighboring table. This chance encounter and its startling consequences propel Katey on a year-long journey into the upper echelons of New York society—where she will have little to rely upon other than a bracing wit and her own brand of cool nerve.
With its sparkling depiction of New York’s social strata, its intricate imagery and themes, and its immensely appealing characters, Rules of Civility won the hearts of readers and critics alike.
A good debut--wordy, though well written and narrated; just a pleasant stroll of a read. You come to the conclusion that as long as you dress great, hang with the in-crowd, are seen in the right places with the right drink...you can burp Carmina Burana and they'll call it opera.
READ THIS BOOK!
It has been longer than I can actually remember, when upon finishing a book, such powerful emotions are evoked within me that I stop and write in my Reading Journal for an hour trying to capture all the feelings conjured by the exquisiteness of an author's pen. Rules of Civility is one such book for me. The further I ventured into this quiet treasure the more it enveloped all the notions within me that yearn for self comprehension and contentment with where I have been and where I am going. This is the story of ascertaining one's true self and having the courage to live with or without all that is contained within that knowledge.
Rules of Civility takes place in New York City, circa 1938, and chronicles a year in the life of Native New Yorker Katey Kontent in what would prove to be a significant time of self discovery for Katey and consequently a newly made acquaintance named Tinker. Katey Kontent is a beautifully flawed character as is her complex counterpart Tinker Grey. I was immediately drawn to Katey as I completely identified with her search to be accepted in circles she wouldn't normally travel in and to be more than her family background was capable of elevating her to. Tinker was a mystery to me in the beginning and I despised Katey's selfish friend, Eve, for insinuating herself between Katey and Tinker as I could feel the connection between the two from their first meeting.
The depth of the story is found not only in the protagonist's journey, but in those who influence her path along the way. Wallace, Hank, Dickie, Eve, Ann, Bitsy and even Peaches, all touch Katey's life and form who she becomes toward the end of this heart wrenching year in her life...and in turn she affects the life of Tinker more profoundly than she could have ever known.
In short, I LOVED THIS BOOK! I could prattle on and on about Mr. Towles' genius, but to get the full effect, I recommend you read it for yourself.
Beautiful story and incredible characters.