Rules of Civility

Rules of Civility

by Amor Towles

Overview:This “wonderful” (Chicago Tribune) and “sharply stylish” (Boston Globe) debut novel presents the story of a young woman whose life is on the brink of transformation. On the last night of 1937, twenty-five-year-old Katey Kontent is in a second-rate Greenwich Village jazz bar when Tinker Grey, a handsome banker, happens to sit down at the neighboring table. This chance encounter and its startling consequences propel Katey on a year-long journey into the upper echelons of New York society—where she will have little to rely upon other than a bracing wit and her own brand of cool nerve. With its sparkling depiction of New York’s social strata, its intricate imagery and themes, and its immensely appealing characters, Rules of Civility won the hearts of readers and critics alike.

Debbie Weiss (09/23/18): I agree with both Faith and Gwendolyn when they say that this is a delightful book. Katie Kontent is a most interesting woman who has every intention of bettering herself and improving her station in life. She is intelligent, poised, cool and determined. Her life opens up when she meets a young banker named Tinker Gray. Katie meets many interesting people as she maneuvers her way around 1940's Manhattan. We meet various men that she gets involved with and we have a window into the lives of the affluent "haves" of society in a most intriguing way. This was a very enjoyable read.
Rating: ****+

Faith Bowers (03/08/17): I thoroughly enjoyed reading A Gentleman in Moscow and so I had to read Towles’ first novel as soon as I could. I loved this book. This book is a tad shorter but is beautifully written and seemingly a much simpler notion.

Set in the late Depression era in New York City, mostly 1938, Katie Comfort is an extraordinary women and writes her story in the first person. Her values and actions are very late 20th century so that may be the fault of this amazing novel. You know it is a romance and yet you are not positive who the special man is for a very long time. I loved the characters names symbolizing parts of their personality: Katie Comfort named to be made to feel good. Tinker Gray with what makes him tick. Wallace with his wallet always open as part of NYC’s upper class, Ann Grandon, the grand dame and Dickie. There are more but these are the obvious. If the names are that good, then each sentence written has many meaning. Enjoy.
Rating: *****

Gwendolyn Waring (12/19/11): This is a superbly written, delicious book! The writing is so crisp! Set in the forties it is a vivid snapshot of women who want more from life than tradition dictates in the forties. Set in New York city, it is a delightful women's read.
Rating: ****

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