Rules of Civility by Amor Towles


Title: Rules of Civility
Author: Amor Towles
Genre: Fiction / historical fiction

Rating: 4.75 / 5


Whee! I’m on a roll! I knew I was drawn to this book, but I didn’t actually think it would be as good as it turned out to be. Mostly I was attracted by the title, although I couldn’t tell you why, and slightly by the cover.

For some reason I feel like the description on Goodreads doesn’t really do it justice, and I feel like if I had read it before putting this book on my to-read list, I may not have actually ended up reading it. Nevertheless, here is a synopsis: It chronicles exactly one year in the life of a woman named Katey, beginning on New Year’s Eve of 1937 and finishing up a year later at the close of 1938. It takes place in Manhattan mostly, and Katey, though of relatively modest means (sharing a room and even a bed with her best friend in a rooming house), is ambitious.

I don’t know why this feels like an inadequate description of the book, but it does. It’s also sparkly. And fun–it is quite a bit of fun! And maybe “juicy” too? But it also has more depth than a lot of “fun” stories. I guess, despite the improbability of some of it, the characters felt realistic and believable. Also, the writing was perfect–it fit the story well, and the first person narration was basically flawless, which is hard to do since often I can find first person narrators a bit distracting. The whole thing was just really well done. I enjoyed this book a lot and I would recommend it to most people.


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