“It is a bit cliché to characterize life as a rambling journey on which we can alter our course at any given time – by the slightest turn of the wheel, the wisdom goes, we influence the chain of events and thus recast our destiny with new cohorts, circumstances, and discoveries . But for the most of us, life is nothing like that, Instead we have a few brief periods when we are offered a handful of discrete options”
– Katey Kontent, Rules of Civility: A Novel
It’s interesting that this quote, towards the end of the book, caught my eye – sometimes life imitates art….I can’t help but thinking whether we have control over our lives or if we only get glimpses of altering their pre-determined course?
Anyway, I digress: my point here was to review a stunning novel by Amor Towles. This masterfully written novel takes place in a post-Depression New York and chronicles the lives of the rich and the poor, the established and the “created”, men and women.
The heroine, if you call her that, is an incredibly articulate, self-made woman – Katey Kontent. Born of a lower/lower-middle class family, she is able to create a truly remarkable life for herself. While she has no true career ambition – her goal in life is clear: live well, love well, experience things and be fearless. In fact, I find her story inspirational. She shows that she is a woman way ahead of her time.
For those of you who are scratching your head with curiosity as to what exactly this book is about – just trust me that it’s worth the read. I’d liken it to Great Gatsby or Breakfast at Tiffany’s in style, theme, tempo and all-around “can’t put down-ed-ness.”
Character Development: A-
Next up: Winter Garden, by Kristin Hannah