Friday, December 9, 2016

Rule of civility, by Amor Towles

Another novel set in New York City, in this case, the New York of the thirties, just prior to World War II.  When Katy and her friend Eve meet Theodore “Tinker” Grey at in a basement jazz club on New Year’s Eve, 1937, it sets in motion the events that will dominate the coming year.  Katy and Eve are boardinghouse roommates, poor working girls exploring the heady life of Manhattan at the time when the country is finally emerging from the Great Depression.  Although overseas the political climate is charged with intimations of the coming war, in pre-war America, gaiety and light has returned after many lean years.  Katy grew up on the outskirts of New York and Eve is a Midwestern girl from Indiana, determined to live a life as different from her upbringing’s expectations as possible. The handsome, cultured, and wealthy banker Tinker is very attractive to both of them.  Tinker and fate draw them into the world of high society. Then an accident alters everything and by the end of 1938, both women’s lives will be permanently changed.  Well written and easy to read, but most of the characters are type-cast.  335 pp.

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