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A Certain Age

(A Certain Age #1)

by
3.65  ·  Rating details ·  8,007 ratings  ·  993 reviews
New York in the Roaring Twenties – a time for love, secrets and scandal…

As the freedom of the Jazz Age transforms New York City, the iridescent Mrs Theresa Marshall of Fifth Avenue – a beautiful socialite of a certain age – has done the unthinkable: she’s fallen in love with her young lover, Captain Octavian Rofrano, a handsome aviator and hero of the Great War. But though
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Paperback, 432 pages
Published July 14th 2016 by HarperFiction (first published March 1st 2016)
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Rowena Klein Coco Beach is the sequel to A Certain Age and is about Virginia when she goes down to Florida. Sophie and Octavian are mentioned, but Virginia and her…moreCoco Beach is the sequel to A Certain Age and is about Virginia when she goes down to Florida. Sophie and Octavian are mentioned, but Virginia and her husband are the main focus.(less)
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3.65  · 
Rating details
 ·  8,007 ratings  ·  993 reviews


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Will Byrnes
When the girls admire him a young man takes it as a matter of course; but when a widow selects him for her attention he thrills with the knowledge that he is being stamped with the approval of a connoisseur. - Helen Rowland
Well, Mrs Theresa Marshal, 44, is no widow. She shares a 5th Avenue residence and a lovely place in Southampton with her very-much-alive husband, Sylvester. Octavian Rofrano, the 22-year-old she often refers to as Boyo, manages to prove, with some frequency and energy, that
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Erin
Nov 03, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 Stars. Entertaining but not as riveting as the other books by Beatriz Williams that I've read. I didn't really connect with the characters & I would have enjoyed it more if the main story had been about the murder mystery, but overall I liked A Certain Age and Beatriz Williams continues be a favorite author of mine.
Christina
Oct 12, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

3.5 stars

"Telling lies is a fault in a boy, an art in a lover, an accomplishment in a bachelor, and second-nature in a married man."
-Helen Rowland


Beatriz William's newest novel, A Certain Age, is a loose reinterpretation of Richard Strauss's comic opera Der Rosenkavalier, which was first performed in 1911. But Williams sets her twist of this story in New York, during the roaring 20's. Williams explains in her author's note that the opera was meant to enact a struggle between old and new - old mo
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Nicole R
If you know anything about me by now, it is that I have drank of the Beatriz Williams Kool-Aid. Williams has a magical way of transporting you to the defining times of our nation's history by creating characters that deftly tell a story that not only encompasses the culture of that era, but also subtly reveals what it meant to be a woman at that point in history.

A Certain Age takes us to the roaring 1920s Manhattan. The times, they are a-changin'. Women are becoming bolder, clothes are becoming
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Toni
Dec 03, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well, this is a cool little number from Ms. Beatriz Williams, a snazzy author I just rediscovered. I've read "One Hundred Summers," but this novel about the 1920's jazz age, and everything we hoped went with it, held my attention so much better. Wealthy 5th Avenue socialites, their affairs, Long Island summer homes, horse racing, etc. They were doing it all well before we were all born, and they did it with such casual accomplishment, as if it were their birthright. It's so amusing that every ge ...more
PennsyLady (Bev)
Apr 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: wishlist
A Certain Age
by Beatriz Williams

Let me begin by placing a few key phrases before you.

"hedonism of the Jazz Age" in New York City
Captain Octavian Rofrano (BOY)... honorable, devoted war hero, "battle scarred" paramour of the flamboyant Mrs. Theresa Marshall.
Miss Sophie Fortescue... naive, charming ingenue, advancing and retreating on the fringes of "the Roaring 20's."

"As a fateful triangle forms, loyalties divide and old crimes are dragged into daylight, drawing Octavian into transgression…and Th
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C.W.
Apr 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I discovered Beatriz Williams' work as I was about to fly abroad on vacation. In my final misguided attempt to only travel with e-books, I promptly had a panic attack after clearing security and raced into the nearest airport bookstore to load up my carry-on with paper copies. I bought THE SECRET LIFE OF VIOLET GRANT on a whim because the premise intrigued me, and devoured it while on the beach. Addicted, I then scoured the local bookstore for more of her books, which I fortunately found.

In A CE
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Jaline
Apr 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: xx2017-completed
I am always fascinated by well-written books that take place during the 1920’s. It was an exceptional time: between two wars, prohibition, the old guard and the new struggling to find a way to share the same space. Beatriz Williams’ book exemplifies those times and struggles – and in a way that is so real it is almost painful at times. There was a point where I almost couldn’t bear the fact that some people in this story would not get what they wanted – that they would be forever marked, or even ...more
Tracy
Sep 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love everything Beatriz Williams writes. Literally everything! This book is no exception and I really enjoyed it. The story is unique in that you think you're going to read a fun romance but it ends up having a whole murder mystery tied into it too. The sassy writing describing 1920s New York City was great. You read from a few perspectives and they were all very well written. I loved the ending of the story. I didn't expect the ending the way it happened but I thought it was great!

I highly r
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Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews

Falling in love with a younger man while you are still married and then having a younger woman come along wasn't the best thing to happen to Mrs. Theresa Marshall.

A CERTAIN AGE began with an excerpt from a murder trial then moved to alternating chapters and told of the life of high society and how they adapted social protocol to whatever they wanted.

We follow Mrs. Marshall, Mr. Marshall, Captain Rofrano, and Miss Fortescue in the scandalous antics they were all involved in. Decisions had to be m
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Julie
Jun 21, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Beatriz Williams has another great book here with A Certain Age. Set against the backdrop of a changing NYC, we are thrust into a love triangle and a scandal.

While Theresa might have had an entire entitled air about her I thought she was true to how she was brought up and how she was at least honest.

Sophie drove me a little nuts. I get that she was sheltered and wanted a different life but I don't think she was really that naive.

I enjoyed the mystery surrounding the trial and I really liked h
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Sherri Thacker
A Certain Age was a “ok” read and I kept getting lost in parts of the story. I felt like i skimmed through a lot of the sections because i was losing interest. For that reason, I’m giving it 2 stars. Oh well.
Alicia
By the end of the first chapter, I had to force myself to finish this book. I really liked the author's writing style, and the murder story was interesting and I wanted to find out who the murderer was. But that was largely overshadowed by the constant and crude descriptions about Mrs. Marshall's and Octavian's adulterous relationship (which went on page after endless page until it became a story almost solely focused on a lady and her young lover). I also did not like a lot of the characters in ...more
Judy Collins
A CERTAIN AGE, is a delicious gripping tale of love, secrets, and family scandal in the glamorous Jazz Age — inspired by Richard Strauss’ masterpiece Der Rosenkavalier — a glamorous New York Manhattan socialite loses her young lover to an ingénue with a mysterious past.

Love the elegant cover!


The queen of historical fiction, Beatriz Williams skillfully blends the old and new, sorrow and joy, wealth and depression, the delicate and fierce, with an ongoing theme of age—from the dazzling youth
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Jessica Jeffers
I didn't love this but I’m wondering if my dissatisfaction with this book has more to do with me than with the book itself. For one thing, it’s a retelling of an opera that I’ve never even heard of until literally right now as I pulled up the book’s page on Goodreads to write this review. Perhaps some of the construction issues were homages that flew right over my head? I dunno.

For another thing, I read this book on a flight to New Orleans for a conference, then in patches while I was working
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Purple Country Girl (Sandy)
I won a copy of A Certain Age in a Goodreads Giveaway.

A Certain Age is my first novel by Beatriz Williams. I’m a big fan of historical novels and I thought I would have no problem diving in and getting lost in the roaring 20s. Unfortunately, I found it very hard to stay interested in the story and I did not connect with the characters. I kept putting the book aside and finally, after many weeks, decided to buckle down and finish it even if it meant skimming...which, sadly, it did.

Theresa Marsha
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Gianna Lorandi
Although I did enjoy reading Theresa’s chapters, she’s very entertaining, this one doesn’t come anywhere near The Summer Wives.
Linda
2.99 Kindle Special on 10/15/16.. great deal for those of you that have it on wish list

Cheaters, liars, lust, drunks, free thinking, murder...and all that jazz. I was drawn to this book because of the era, New York, and the author. I had never read Beatriz Williams until this year and I love her writing. No one writes character driven books better than her. I enjoyed the love triangle, the mystery and the ending. You all know I'm a sucker for a beautiful cover too! I look forward reading more bo
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Tammy
Mar 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Certain Age is a rollicking ride of the glitz and glamour of the roaring '20's! It has scandal, high society, a love triangle and a murder mystery. I loved the nod to Beatriz Williams writing partners(Karen White and Lauren Willig)...one of the characters is employed at the firm of Willig and White. I am so in love with Ms. Williams writing! Well done, Ms. Williams, well done!!
Adrienne
Aug 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-long-ago
Wonderful
Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
Feb 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2017
Certain Age is fabulous historical fiction with the setting placed in the glamours 1920s. The story is inspired by Der Rosenkavalier and I was totally charmed with this interpretation. For me, was this book extra interesting to read since I have read the other two books that come after A Certain Age, and now I get the full background story to Sophie Fortescue and here sister Virginias life before we once again met Virginia in Cocoa Beach. One thing I really enjoyed about this book is the way The ...more
Kelly
- 2 stars -
I was sorely disappointed by A Certain Age after really loving A Hundred Summers by the same author. That book was fast-paced and fascinating, while A Certain Age is hampered by a dragging-its-heels first half, an unclear plot twist (view spoiler), and then a very muddled yet admittedly faster-paced second half in which the plot twists arrive frequently, yet contribute
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Kathleen Nightingale
Not only did I read this book, I re-started reading this book because I felt that I had missed critical points at the beginning. Why? Yes Williams did address the roaring 1920s between youth and age, tradition and modernism and old and new money. From the beginning of this book I saw Mrs. Theresa Marshall being played on the big screen by Cate Blanchette. Williams re-interpreted the comic opera of Richard Strauss's Der Rosenkavalier and set it against the roaring 1920s in New York City. A very p ...more
Barb
I think this latest novel from Beatriz Williams is her best work yet. She's brings her characters to fully formed life in the very first few chapters, pulling the reader down into their stories. I love her strong female protagonists.

Theresa and Sophie, whose lives intersect and form a triangle at the point of one Octavian Rofrano, are two very different women. Sophie, young and innocent, has lived a life almost completely sheltered from the world. Theresa mature, poised and refined, is always c
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DJ Sakata
Favorite Quotes:

His ears are large and extend like a pair of wings from his old-fashioned whiskers, so that Sophie sometimes imagines he can actually hear her thoughts.

I don’t go in for soul-searching, for this modern passion of psychoanalysis. Examining every last detail of your childhood, every last itch in your subconscious. Generally speaking, the less I know about the contents of a person’s soul, the better I like him.


My Review:

A Certain Age was enthralling, captivating, and smartly writte
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Debbie
Apr 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: debs-books
Here we have a manipulative, wealthy, sad and lonely old woman with her penniless, drunk, and lothario brother and her used, young, and curious lover on one side of the table. Then, we have a sweet, beautiful, naive debutante who is learning very quickly that things aren't as they seem. Throw in a seemingly rushed engagement and a decades old murder case and that sums up this book. Simple, huh?

Of course not. Ha!!! I absolutely loved this book! I was screaming at these characters as some motives
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Amanda
Jan 29, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well, I LOVE Beatriz Williams, but this wasn't my favorite. Still, a good book and one I still would tell people to read.

First, it took awhile for me to adjust to how the story was being told and all of the characters. I decided to just plow through and hope it all came together. And it did, eventually.

Secondly, so much talk of affairs. I get it. It's a period thing where people of society openly carried on affairs, but something in how this one was phrased kinda gut punched me. My moral compa
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Martin Turnbull
Oct 09, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although I wasn’t quite so thrilled about the twist that comes deep into this novel, I was nonetheless dazzled by the prose. Time and time again, I found myself thinking, “Wow, what an exquisite turn of phrase!” and admiring her deft way of putting across an emotion, a reaction, a character trait or flaw that had me enthralled to the very last page. The dual narration is like nothing I’ve encountered in fiction before, and Williams handles it marvelously well. This is my first Beatriz Williams n ...more
Donna


3.5 stars. I like the way this author, Beatriz Williams, creates such a vivid sense of place in her historical fiction. She not only uses descriptive words to do this, but also through the dialogue of the various characters. Her characters were also well drawn. I loved the detail she gave to their emotions. I felt I could certainly understand where they were.

The story was a little too slow to start, but it picked up. The author kept things rolling once it built up speed. The ending was little t
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BookishStitcher
This was a case of there being one character that I just really didn't like. Oddly enough this time it was the "good/nice" girl. She was just too naive to even be believable. I preferred the older woman character even though she was manipulative at times; she was more believable. The plot of the story and setting were good.
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A Certain Age (2 books)
  • Cocoa Beach
“Books, after all, were expensive, and it was better to eat than read. So the little shelf in Sophie's bedroom contained a selection of volumes amassed lovingly over successive birthdays and Christmases, and the idea of an entire gilded library, old and venerable, covered with the fingerprints of one's ancestors, never needing to be returned to it's rightful owner-why, it stole her will!” 1 likes
“Love, like a chicken salad or a restaurant hash, must be taken with blind faith or it loses its flavor.” 0 likes
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