Rules of Civility by Amor Towles - 2011
Last month I read and totally loved A Gentleman From Moscow by Amor Towles, set in late Tsarist Russia up until 1953. After finishing it, I was very eager to read his debut novel Rules of Civility, set in New York City in the 1930s. I added it to my Amazon wish list and was kindly soon given a $5.00 credit toward a purchase. I at once availed my self of this as credit would run out in a week.
When we first encounter central character of the novel, born in Brooklyn, Katya but who goes by the more approachable sounding Katey,she is working in a secretarial pool for a big law firm Manhattan. She has a close friend she rooms with and together they explore the nightlife of New York City. An encounter with a seemingly rich man starts a sequence of events that will shape the future of both women.
We follow their lives up to 1966, great transformations have occured. We see NYC begin to return to prosperity as World War Two begins. The characters do a lot of Reading. I enjoyed that very much.
I enjoyed Rules of Civility very much. The language has a poetic quality. There is material to delight foodies, followers of fashion and even some sex. The characters are very well developed.
As to which novel I suggest you read first, pick the historical period you find most interesting. My guess once you complete one you will add the other to your list.
“Amor Towles is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Rules of Civility and A Gentleman in Moscow. The two novels have collectively sold more than three million copies and have been translated into more than thirty languages. Having worked as an investment professional for more than twenty years, Towles now devotes himself fulltime to writing in Manhattan, where he lives with his wife and two children.” From Penguin Random House