So last week I mentioned I was reading Amor Towles’s Rules of Civility, and there were some comments about how beautiful the cover of this book is. I decided I had to share it here since a) The cover really is totally gorgeous (and was what grabbed my attention in the first place) and b) The book itself was so amazingly good. I read it in a couple of days and wanted it to go on longer.
It’s set in 1937, and has a very Fitzgerald-y feeling to the prose (one reviewer called it a “throwback” novel, which it is in the best sense of the word–very atmospheric, full of characters doing glamorous things with a dark underpinning and having witty conversations). It opens in 1937, among the upper society of New York City, and is narrated by Katy Kontent, a young woman working in publishing and pulling herself up from a lower-class Russian Brighton Beach upbringing. She and her friend Eve, out carousing in jazz clubs on New Year’s Eve, meet a handsome young banker named Tinker Gray, you think the story is heading one way, then–well, it doesn’t. It’s almost Regency-esque in its complicated and detailed view of a very specific world. I loved it.
I am always looking for books set in the 1920s and 1930s, such a rich setting that isn’t seen much in romance (though I think it definitely should be!). I did one Undone short story set in the ’20s,The Girl in the Beaded Mask, and I would love to do more…
Right now I’ve started reading Sadie Jones’s The Uninvited Guests, since I’m still in a 1930s mood. What have you been reading lately? Do you like books set in this time period??