Rules of Civility Has Old School Charm
Rules of Civility is a debut novel that reads like a classic. It has a timeless quality and is old-fashioned , but in a good way. I adored it. As I read the chapters, the plot only got better. The descriptions of the characters and their relationships were quite pleasant and enjoyable. The book had everything; a great setting (New York/Manhattan), an interesting period of history (pre-WWII) and many surprises as the story developed.
The protagonist, Katherine Kontent, is a delight: blunt, smart, funny and surprising. As a single young woman in 1938 New York, she unexpectedly finds herself climbing the social ladder with disorienting speed. She's surrounded by a generous cast of characters, all brought to vivid life. The revelations that rock her circle of friends came as a genuine surprise, but felt inevitable at the same time.
I felt as if I knew the persons in the book as many had qualities of someone that we have probably known. I would have enjoyed being a guest at some of the functions that were so aptly described as the story unfolded. There is so much meaning between the sentences and the subtleties that were implied that it gave moments of philosophical thought. Also, it created a bit of desire to return to some of the books where from which references and quotations were extracted. I would not be surprised to see a movie version of this somewhere in the future. It is a feel good book that portrays an entertaining story.