Rules of Civility is a Memorable Visit to a Bygone Era

BlogHer Review

Confession time: I don’t read many books.

This hasn’t always been the case, however, after 22 years of formal education followed by 5 years of continuing education, I had had enough page turning. Sure I read blogs, magazines, and newspapers but nothing more than a few thousand words at a time.

After joining BlogHer, I received an email asking whether I wanted to review Amor Towles’ novel Rules of Civility. Always up for a challenge, I signed on.

As it had been so long since I’ve read novels for pleasure, I didn’t have high hopes that Rules of Civility would hold my attention. I was wrong. Towles weaves an enticingly mysteriously yet subtle story that leaves the reader wanting to skip ahead to learn the fates of main character Katey Kontent and her intriguing circle of friends.

Katey, a native New Yorker of modest upbringing, finds herself entangled in New York City’s high society during the late 1930s while simultaneously navigating through professional, and romantic minefields. Although Towles does not paint Katey as an obvious underdog, I found myself continuously rooting for her to find happiness in love and life.

What I enjoyed most about the novel was that it is full of exquisite descriptions of Manhattan with its underground jazz clubs, sky high lounges, and pre-feminism era law offices. I felt as though I could fell the reverberations of the high hat and smell the suffocating air of a smoky bar. I also found myself wondering what I would have done in various difficult circumstances if I had been in Katey’s shoes.

If you’re in the mood for a story that immerses you in a bygone era and keeps you reading past your bedtime, then Amor Towles' Rules of Civility is for you.


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