Rules of Civility


I loved this book and give it 4 stars.

“On New Years’ Eve in 1937, twenty-five-year-old Katey Kontent is in a Greenwich Village jazz bar with her boardinghouse roommate stretching three dollars as far as it will go when Tinker Grey, a handsome banker with blue eyes and a tempered smile, happens to sit at the neighboring table. This chance encounter and its startling consequences propel Katey on a yearlong journey from a Wall Street secretarial pool toward the upper echelons of New York society and the executive suites of Condé Nast–rarefied environs where she will have little to rely upon other than a bracing wit and her own brand of cool nerve.

Wooed in turn by a shy, principled multi-millionaire, and an irrepressible Upper East Side ne’er-do-well, befriended by a single-minded widow who is ahead of her time, and challenged by an imperious mentor, Katey experiences firsthand the poise secured by wealth and station and the failed aspirations that reside just below the surface. Even as she waits for circumstances to bring Tinker back into her life, she begins to realize how our most promising choices inevitably lay the groundwork for our regrets.”

Rules of Civility was thought provoking and the way things unfolded with Tinker Grey threw me for a loop. It got me thinking about what would constitute a “deal breaker” in someone I was dating. It also got me to thinking about how I’ve judged peoples’ lifestyles without hearing their side of the story.

The story involves twists with four major players the main character encounters.

I ordinarily wouldn’t have read a book like this (not too interested in New York high society) but it got good reviews on Goodreads and the author, Amor Towles, received wide acclaim for another book, a Gentleman in Moscow. (By the way, this is his first book and the writing is outstanding.)

Rules of Civility demonstrates how people are often not the same on the inside as they appear on the outside.

Have you read this? What did you think?

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