It has been a long time since I have been so stirred and enamored by a novel. I could not put Rules of Civility down and when the book ended, I wanted more. Amor Towles throws the reader into New York City society of the 1930’s and beyond in a manner that makes you feel as if you are right at the table with the characters, having your own gin and tonic. The metaphors in the novel are simply beautiful, and the story flows at an easy, enjoyable pace.
Katey Kontent is a quick-witted, smart and fun working girl trying to get by in the city. With her friend Eve, the two take the city by storm and even when they have no more than three dollars to their names, they still manage to have a great time in the dives of New York. When the two meet Tinker Grey, their world suddenly includes the upper tiers of New York society and all of the secrets that lie within that realm. The relationships and encounters change as the novel progresses, but Katey remains true to herself and she continues to thrive. She is a warm and easy to like as a main character and her ambition and good humor make her an ideal leading lady.
Rules of Civility drew me right in and I think that the fantastic character development paired with the flowing story really made this novel fly.
Amor Towles not only made me want to become best friends with Katey, he made me want to sip gin and tonics while enjoying life after a long day at work. I firmly believe that there are books that remind us that in life, beauty and interest lie all around us even if we ignore them while we are caught in our mundane routines. These books remind us of a simpler, yet more elegant times and teach us a lot about ourselves in the process. Rules of Civility was certainly one of those books.
Lauren Kirk is a graduate student, freelance writer, wine lover, and avid reader. Random musings can be found over at www.goldiesays.com.
Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Viking Adult. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.