Friday, July 29, 2011
Rules Of Civility by Amor Towles
Tinker Gray is the man the girls meet. Obviously from wealth, his every move betrays perfect manners and a sense of belonging wherever he is. They become a trio and the book follows them throughout the year, as they form alliances, come together and move apart, and go through the changes common to the young as they make their way and choose their life paths.
Eve and Tinker are together for a while, leaving Katy behind, then the pieces are shaken up and new alliances form. Along the way, the reader meets other people; the rich widow who takes what she wants with no regard for the opinions of others; the ultra-rich who assume the world is theirs for the taking and are distinguished by their manners; the hard-driving boss determined to make a go even if it kills his workers, the artists who portray the lives around them; the working class individuals striving to improve their lot.
Amor Towles has written a fascinating look at the moneyed class in the era coming out of the Depression and between the two great wars. His characters are finely drawn, especially Katy, who is the mirror through which the reader experiences this world. This book is recommended for lovers of historical fiction, and those interested in a great story that transports the reader to another place and time.