A sophisticated and entertaining debut novel about an irresistible young woman with an uncommon sense of purpose.
Set in New York City in 1938, Rules of Civility tells the story of a watershed year in the life of an uncompromising twenty-five-year- old named Katey Kontent. Armed with little more than a formidable intellect, a bracing wit, and her own brand of cool nerve, Katey embarks on a journey from a Wall Street secretarial pool through the upper echelons of New York society in search of a brighter future.
Rules of Civility by Amor Towles is his fiction debut that touches on the theme of chance encounters and their role in shaping lives. Towles has crafted very original characters in this witty tale of 1938 New York and the social layers that shape the people. Painted against the backdrop of 1930s New York, Towles writes of aspirations, of love and of loss with such fluidity that readers will not be able to easily and knowingly set this novel down. In Rules of Civility, Katey Kontent celebrates New Year’s Eve with her roommate in a lowbrow jazz bar when Tinker Grey, a well-to-do banker is seated nearby. The chance meeting of Katey and Tinker at that bar leads to a long and oftentimes lonely journey for Katey as she is rapidly brought several rungs up the social ladder. Through richly descriptive prose with vivid imagery, Towles crafts a compelling story that will have readers rooting for Katey as she rises in social circles and then feeling the losses Katey experiences. In many ways, Towles will touch readers with very relatable characters and with emotions that bring to life Katey’s experiences; experiences that leave us all with questions about how we got where we are today. For book discussion groups, I think Rules of Civility would make an excellent choice.
Amor Towles was born and raised just outside Boston, Massachusetts. He graduated from Yale University and received an MA in English from Stanford University, where he was a Scowcroft Fellow. He is a Principal at an investment firm in Manhattan, where he lives with his wife and two children.
To learn more about author Amor Towels, please visit his website.
I received a copy of Rules of Civility by Amor Towles from Viking Books to offer my honest review of the book. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of aforementioned book.