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Review: Rules of Civility

Rules of Civility

Rules of Civility
By Amor Towles
Penguin Books, 9780143121169, 2012, 368pp.

The Short of It:

Friendship, love, and duty collide amid the backdrop of a glittering New York City in 1938.

The Rest of It:

This is one of those stories that is so full of rich imagery and well-drawn characters that I doubt I can do it justice in summarizing it here. Nevertheless, I shall try.

After Eve accidently dumps a bowl of food into Katie’s lap, the two become fast friends. Eve, or Evey, is beautiful, vivacious and impossible to ignore. Her flirtatious nature and her knack for always knowing where the party is, attracts Katie who is slightly more down-to-earth and sensible. Katie is a working class girl, trying to make a name for herself in the publishing world. But when the work day is over, it’s Evey who takes Katie by the hand and the two find themselves living it up with drinks paid for by others. It’s a fast crowd but not without some memorable finds.

One of those finds is Tinker Grey. Charming, dashing, full of wit and humor, he befriends Katie and Evey and the three of them pal around the city enjoying a lot of gin, and the memorable meals to go with it. But after an accident which leaves Eve in a precarious situation, Tinker, perhaps feeling guilty over his involvement, takes Evey in so that she can rehabilitate in luxury. Although Katie and Tinker are far from a thing, they do share something that he and Evey don’t and so this new living arrangement gives them all pause. How do you cage a wild thing? How can Tinker go on with his life while tending to his sense of duty?

This story gave me a lot to think about. If you enjoyed A Gentleman in Moscow, you will enjoy this book as well but it will leave you feeling a little sad which is why I think it took me awhile to finish. Sad, the way nostalgia can make you feel, wistful and longing for how it used to be. These relationships are complicated and fluid and every time I turned a page, I was presented with some new big idea to ponder. This is why I read this book slowly, savoring each interaction.

One big bonus for me is that Katie and Tinker are readers. There is much literature talk and mention of classic books such as Great Expectations. I also cannot help but mention that parts of it reminded me of one of my favorite movies of all time, Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Overall, I very much enjoyed this story and these characters will stay with me for a very long time.

Source: Purchased
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

Whatnot – Week 24

Roses on top of a wall.Good morning!  Look at these beautiful roses! On one on my walks this week, my head was filled with too many things and I was looking down at the ground the entire way. I saw these beautiful rose petals on the ground and thought, there aren’t any roses here. Then, I looked up. My neighbor’s roses were peeking out over her high wall. I love these little reminders. Always look up. That beautiful coral color against that blue sky instantly cheered me up. 

The school year is quickly winding down. Two graduations to look forward to, a musical production of Sweeney Todd which we all really hope can be performed live, a wedding anniversary coming up, not to mention Memorial Day weekend at the end of the month. These are all things we are looking forward to. After having nothing on the calendar for so long, it seems a little overwhelming but also exciting. 

On the reading front, I am still reading or plan to read these titles:

Last week was lost due to not feeling great but it reminded me how easy it is to fall behind with my reading goals so a little more effort will be spent this week to get back on track. A little more planning, a little more organizing. I’m a mood reader too so I need many titles as back-ups just in case my current read isn’t working for me. 

I posted my 10 Books of Summer list yesterday. Stop by if you missed it!

We had a little surprise yesterday. I was in a Zoom work meeting and the pup started to go off but like she knew who it was coming towards the door. In walks THE BOY. He surprised us all. He came down to finalize his car loan and to hopefully get a car today. He needs another for Kansas. His beloved Honda Pilot has 300K miles on it. Cross your fingers, think good thoughts, pray, toss salt over your shoulder. Thank you. After that he needs to go back to San Luis Obispo to finish his school year and work a bit more, then he will be here for a little bit before he leaves for Kansas. 

Oh! My daughter was selected to be a summer camp counselor so thank you for the good thoughts! It’s the perfect first job for her!

Off to see what work has in store for me. Have a good day!