Robbins Library's Reviews > Rules of Civility

Rules of Civility by Amor Towles
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's review
Jul 19, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: jenny-recommends
Read in July, 2012

Set in Manhattan over the course of 1938, Rules of Civility is far more exciting than its sedate title indicates. Twenty-five-year-old Katey Kontent (pronounced kon-TENT, not KON-tent) lives in a boarding house with her friend Eve Ross and works in a secretarial pool at a law firm. Their lives change on New Year's Eve, when she and Eve meet the wealthy Tinker Grey.

Katey is a marvelous character: a good friend, a conscientious worker, lively and clever but grounded and sensible at the same time. She is wise and articulate, but also has a sense of fun and adventure and wants to get the most out of life. Most of all, she is a wonderful guide through 1938 New York: from the apartments, hotels, restaurants, and subways to the manners and social customs of everyone from doormen to secretaries to employers to the idly wealthy. Towles has captured the place and the era in stunning and convincing detail; Rules of Civility is a must-read for lovers of New York, historical fiction, and strong characters.
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