"Rules of Civility," by Amor Towles
Set in New York City in 1938, Rules of Civility tells the story of a watershed year in the life of an uncompromising twenty-five-year-old named Katey Kontent. Armed with little more than a formidable intellect, a bracing wit, and her own brand of cool nerve, Katey embarks on a journey from a Wall Street secretarial pool through the upper echelons of New York society in search of a brighter future.
The story opens on New Year’s Eve in a Greenwich Village jazz bar, where Katey and her boardinghouse roommate Eve happen to meet Tinker Grey, a handsome banker with royal blue eyes and a ready smile. This chance encounter and its startling consequences cast Katey off her current course, but end up providing her unexpected access to the rarified offices of Conde Nast and a glittering new social circle. Befriended in turn by a shy, principled multimillionaire, an Upper East Side ne’er-do-well, and a single-minded widow who is ahead of her times, Katey has the chance to experience first hand the poise secured by wealth and station, but also the aspirations, envy, disloyalty, and desires that reside just below the surface. Even as she waits for circumstances to bring Tinker back into her orbit, she will learn how individual choices become the means by which life crystallizes loss.
I "won" this book from an online competition, but can't remember from where, as I have had it for a while. I decided as I was sick I would catch up with some reading and this was one of the books on my list to read. It wasn't my usual choice of book, but it made a change. I never clicked about what exactly was going on underneath the story, but it all made sense when revealed.
It was a bit too wordy for me this book, and it did take a while to get into it, but once you got into it, it was interesting and you needed to know what happened next. I do know one thing though Katey's life seemed to be very active, but I guess when you're in your 20's a busy life is a good thing.
This book also points out it's not what you know, but who you know, that helps you get breaks in your life!!!!
Stars out of 5 : 3 Glad I read the book, but probably won't read any more of is books in the future. Well worth looking for in the library though, it you're looking for a change of pace and are interested in the late 30's early 40's of New York.